After opening the season on the road with wins against RIT and Robert Morris, I had some hopes for this team, but they were dashed in their performance against Harvard. They did lose to the Crimson in Cambridge last year, 10-1, but I've never the Tigers lay an egg like they did on Saturday at home.
Blame can be spread all around. The defense was particularly outmatched, as Harvard had no trouble keeping the puck in the offensive zone. Princeton couldn't mount much of an offense, either. Even on power plays they couldn't muster an attack. The public address announcer for Princeton, after a penalty is over, says, "The teams are now at even strength." I turned to my friend and said, "The teams now have the same number of players, but they are not at even strength."
Harvard's Lindsey Frye had a hat trick by the second period. The only good news was that Kelly Cooke, now a senior but still no bigger than a minute, continued to be the Tigers' leading scorer. Her goal was something of a fluke, though, as she fired a shot that the Harvard goalie cleared, but the puck struck the crossbar and went in. The news wasn't all good for Cooke, though, as unless my eyes deceived me, one of Harvard's goals was deflected in off her stick. In an event like that, the nearest offensive player to the puck gets credit for the goal, so there's no black mark against Cooke's record.
Tiger fans can only hope that the team needs time to gel, and that Harvard is a buzz saw that no one could beat. I'll keep thinking that--otherwise it will be a long season.