Forget the Frozen Four, those college kids have nothing on the howitzers, hits and heroics on display the last weekend of March at Harvard’s Hub of Hockey, Bright Arena. That’s right, the McArthur Cup brought the best MBA men’s and women’s hockey teams in the East together for a knock-down, drag ’em out weekend of non-stop hockey action featuring the HBS Blades Men’s “A” and “B” teams and the wily Women Blades.
Facing off against our hometown heroes were teams from Babson, Cornell, Duke, Ivey, Michigan, Queens, Tuck, Wharton and Yale.
Having sipped sweet nectar from the silver chalice of champions at the Tuck tourney in February, the Men’s “A” team were eager to avenge an early exit from their home tournament last year. And avenge they did, thanks to some serious scoring from their defense, stand-on-his head goaltending from Byron “wake me up after the first five minutes” Penstock (OF) and a pretty put-away OT winner in the final by Tomas “the Swedish Sensation” Persson (OG). In front of a packed house at Bright Arena, your crusaders in crimson capped an undefeated season as McArthur Cup champs.
The HBS Lady Blades Fight Their Way To the Fianl Game
The Lady Blades were planning to take home the gold to avenge their loss in overtime against Michigan during the Tuck Tournament final game only a few weeks ago. With strong leadership as a substitute coach, Brett “The Inspirational Ice King” Rota (OG), guided the Lady Blades as they faced off against a tough Tuck squad on Friday night. Although Tuck stole a goal early in the game, Margaret “Wicked Talented” Warden (OG) broke away with her fancy stick handling to score two goals. Defense specialists Sylvie “Zamboni Queen” Tran (OJ), Pam “Smooth Operator” Kocher, and Ako “Tiger on Ice” Nakajima (OI) kept their guard up as they controlled the puck inside the blue line. The Lady Blades smoked Tuck in a 4-2 victory, with shots on net from Morgan “the Secret WMD” Flatley (OD) and first-timer Heather “Hardcore Alaskan” Harwood-Stamper (ND Partner), who made scoring look too easy.
Fresh from the victory against Tuck, the Lady Blades sent the Lady Bulldogs back home to Yale with their tails between their legs on Saturday evening. Cheri “the Brick Wall” Ruane, along with ‘strong D’ support from the dynamic duos Camille “Catch-Me-If-You-Can” Kubie (OA) and Kathy “Send’em to the Dog House” Neuhaus (OJ) shut out any feeble attempts by the Yale puppies. Sarah “So Sweet & So Strong” Molloy (ND) and Stephanie “Tower of Power” Hannon (OJ) also forced the opponents to have ‘deer in headlights’ looks with their intimidating presence. Highlights also include double hat tricks from Margaret Warden (OG) and Alix “Wonder Woman” Wilson (OG), who had hats thrown onto the ice from the cheering fans. Anissa “Keep It Coolio” Kalinowski (OG) scored her first goal and had friends and family buzzing on the stands as she was tackled by teammates post-goal. Pamela “Freedom Fighter” French, Amy “One Shot One Kill” Mitchell (HBS Staff), Meg “Make’em Wimper” Molloy, and Grace “Judo on Ice” Park (OA) each scored a goal to annihilate Yale 11-0.
With reports of high school kids breaking into the Molloy’s car to steal ice hockey equipment, the Lady Blades made calls to suit up Meg for the final match against Michigan on Sunday morning. Dedicated Lady Blades who came back early from Spring Break in Costa Rica to play in the finals included Ling “Show Me the Puck” Shao (NC), who terrorized the Michigan lineup along with Cara “Fancy Footwork” Shortsleeve (NF), who made the only goal. Solid playing throughout the games came from Jen “Just Do It” Daily (OF), Cindy “It’s Show Time” Tse, and Anne-Marie “Can’t We Check’em?” Checcone (OJ). The loss to Michigan was not the fairy tale ending that the Lady Blades had hoped for, but thankfully the HBS Men’s A Team brought home the gold. Special thanks goes to Coach Brian and Mike who have volunteered time to teach and motivate the Lady Blades throughout the season!
HBS Men Finish The Season Undefeated and are Champions Again
The Men’s A-team entered the tournament a perfect 15-0 on the season, and were gunning to take back their hometown cup. There were some tense moments, to be sure, but in the end our crimson-clad cowboys pulled through.
The weekend kicked off in classic A-team style with a 9-1 domination of the (not-so) Big Red from Cornell. Led by a punishing volley of blasts from blue-liners Darcy “the Montreal Marauder” Raymond (NA), John “Big Daddy” Gibbons (OI) and Mike “Magic Man” McKee (OOO?), the Blades took it to an undermanned and outgunned group of upstaters. Taking a 3-1 lead into the third period, our boys on blades really took control in the final frame. “The Swedish Sensation” Persson and Eric “Swiss no-miss” Lohrer (OD) notched two tallies each, while Steve “Crafty” Carrel (OJ) managed to keep his cool, despite the pending birth of his first child, and add another goal for the good guys. Jeff “Make my Day” Mandlebaum (OJ) and Jim “Superman” McNary (OOG) both claim credit for setting up Kirk “K-O” Nielsen for his breakaway goal that rounded out the scoring.
After imbibing some of Pizzeria Uno’s finest on Friday evening, our fanatics of the frozen pond were back on the ice Saturday morning to face-off against their arch-rivals from Wharton. On paper, this looked like an easy pass into the semi-finals. It was anything but. The weenies from Wharton played a chippy, physical game that seemed to trip up the high-scoring Blades offensive machine. With their forwards frustrated by a hot goaltender, our boys had to rely on a twist of the old maxim “the best offense is a good defense.” Dave “Defense? What’s that?” Phillips (NF) led the way with a hat-trick from the blueline. Phillips was supported by some wizardry by “Magic Man” McKee, who roofed a backhander from the edge of the crease and left Wharton’s goalie with his pants around his ankles on a beautiful deke. It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win and our Crimson-clad warriors were on to the semi-finals against the Wolverines of Michigan.
The fans had barely cracked open their PBR’s for the Michigan matchup when the fast-skating Wolverines scratched first-blood with a goal at the 15 second mark. However, nothing seems to faze this year’s band of b-school skaters, as Brett “Bring it On” Rota (OG) answered back within a minute or two. Kirk “K-O” Nielsen (OB) followed up on the next shift with a pretty put-away to make it 2-1 and the Blades never looked back.
Before it was over, even Dan “Humungus Amongus” Gertsacov (OJ) had notched a tally in a 7-3 victory. The Blades had earned a ticket to the big game Sunday afternoon against the Fuqua (how do you spell that again?) School of Business, who had surprised a strong Babson team in the other semi-final.
The ’03/’04 Blades have a history of keeping their fans on the edge of their seats in big games and Sunday’s final was no exception. By the time goalie Penstock and the rest of the team had awakened from their usual early game slumber, the Blades were down 2- 0 and the fiends from Fuqua had collapsed into a New Jersey Devils-like defensive-shell. For two and a half periods our would-be champions fired round after round at the brick wall that was Duke goalie, to no avail. With twelve minutes left to play, the situation went from bad to worse as Warren “Hatchetman” Brown (NF) was sent to the box for attempting to “Van Gogh” a Fuqua player’s ear with a deft two-hander. However, a turnaround was in store, Fuqua’s star player, “Toolman” Taylor took an inexplicable holding the stick penalty on the powerplay to make it four-on-four. Taking advantage of the open-ice, the Blades unleashed their blazing speed and pretty passing capping off an exciting series of plays with a nifty put-away by K-O Nielson to break the shut out. Less than a minute later, Marco “Fresh Legs” Ferrari picked up a head of steam in his own end and pulled a Paul Coffey-esque end-to-end rush that left the Fuqua defense shouting a differ
ent spelling of their school’s name and the game dead-locked at 2-2.
And off to overtime we went. With the momentum and fan support behind them, Nielsen and Persson combined on a give and go down low that left Persson open in the slot. Time seemed to stand still as Persson picked his spot and fired for the far post, the puck floated past the goalie’s outstretched blocker and settled in the mesh. Sweet victory was ours once again. A perfect end to a perfect season. Stay tuned for word on the date and location for the ticker-tape parade.
Special thanks to Steve Carrel, Jen Daily, Camille Kubie, Grace Park,Tomas Persson, Eric Lohrer, Peter Harwood-Stamper, Dan Gertsacov, Steph Hannon, Sylvie Tran and Jon Gibbons for all their hard work in organizing a great tournament.