Over 30 first- and second-year students competed in the 21st Annual Tuck MBA Hockey Tournament this past weekend.
The tournament featured ten entrants on the Men’s side – Babson, Chicago, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, Kellogg, Michigan, Suffolk, Tuck and Wharton-and five entrants on the Women’s side-Cornell, Harvard, Michigan, Tuck A and Tuck B.
Action commenced Friday afternoon and continued through Sunday when both the HBS Women and Men skated away with well-earned titles. For the HBS Women, the final victory on Sunday represented a successful defense of the title earned last year at Tuck; for the HBS Men, Sunday represented a return to prominence in the MBA hockey world.
HBS Women Repeat
The HBS Women struck early Friday morning in a 8-0 thumping of an overmatched Tuck B squad. Following this strong effort, the Blades earned a 6-1 victory over Michigan early Saturday morning that sent the HBS Women to the semis later that evening. A bruising semi-final game against Cornell produced a 8-0 shutout and a chance to compete in the final bout against the Tuck A squad. In a hard-fought championship game, the Blades defended their title with a triumphant 6-2 win.
With an amazing total of 28 goals scored over four games there were many offensive highlights. Notably, Helga Mispelblom knocked in her rookie goal against Cornell and Francie Walton scored a pregnant hat-trick from the defensive point. Several Blades scored multiple goals in the tournament, including Jenny Duval (5+), Gretchen Engster (4+), Alexis Palmer (3+), Emily Schnitman (3+) and Sara Nelson (2+).
Exciting things also happened away from the goal. Gretchen Engster’s demonstrated her enthusiasm when she launched herself over the boards on a line change and found herself laying flat out onto the ice. Goalie extraordinaire, Cheri Ruane, pondered the meaning of life in goal as she waited patiently for an ACTUAL shot during the Tuck B game. Players showed plenty of competitive spirit in a rigorous final game, especially Deana Menkes and Arielle Loeb, who were assigned penalties for tripping and hooking, respectively. When asked later about these incidents both coyly replied: “Who? Me?” Coach Corby Thomas, donning a sport coat and tie for the finals, brought both superior coaching and cheerleading talents to the Blades bench.
Lastly, the story would not be complete without pondering one important question-why was Toronto Travis of the Cornell Men’s team seen wearing a certain second-year’s hockey pants?
The next women’s Blades home game is March 3rd in Bright Arena. Look for future Women’s Blades hockey action next month at the McArthur Cup March 28th-30th-the HBS tournament at Bright Hockey Center.
HBS Men Snag Title
The HBS Men got off to a great start with a 4-2 victory over Suffolk Friday afternoon. Suffolk, last-minute additions to the tournament after Columbia pulled out of competition, jumped out to an early lead on HBS. HBS answered with goals by Kendall Bailey, Elliott DeLoach, Chris McIsaac and Ken Grahame and moved on safely to face Michigan on Saturday.
Michigan fared no better than Suffolk, losing 5-2 to the HBS Men’s squad on the strength of great goaltending by Ben Heller and an amazing three-goal offensive performance by Ken Grahame. Rob Masson and Jason Sutherland rounded out the scoresheet for HBS.
The Men moved on to face Wharton in a semi-final contest Saturday night. Despite playing on two hours rest, the HBS squad simply outskated Wharton in a 4-1 victory. Two more goals by first-year Ken Grahame and helpers from Sam Wolff and Chris McIsaac sealed the win and put the Men into the finals.
Bright and early Sunday morning, the HBS Men again put on a show for Michigan, lighting them up in a 7-1 victory to take the title. Kris Whalen turned in a strong performance, scoring three goals. Mark MacTavish, Ken Grahame, Jason Sutherland and Ken Baumgartner also helped finish off the boys from Ann Arbor.
Off-ice, the Men enjoyed the excitement that Hanover has to offer. For those of you familiar with the Dartmouth undergraduate scene, this refers to a slightly more interesting form of ping-pong.
The next men’s Blades home game is February 24th in Bright Arena against MIT. The Men are anxiously looking forward to the McArthur Cup March 28th-30th here at Harvard.