Blades Roll to Tuck Tournament Victory

The weekend of February 17th proved to be a great one for your HBS Blades, as they stormed the town of Hanover, NH, and stole the 2006 Tuck Cup from the host team. While many fellow classmates were busy enjoying all that Vail has to offer, the HBS men’s A-team spent Friday through Sunday rolling over the likes of Michigan, Babson, Cornell and Tuck.

With many key members of the squad missing, the odds makers in Hanover had shifted their favor away from the Harvard squad, perhaps for good reason. Bill Frank (OC) was too busy reprogramming his new Razor phone to make the trip, and Ben Mandell (OA) was too depressed to leave his apartment – the unfortunate result of a squash match loss to Ben Wall (OG) earlier that week.

Perhaps the most notable scratch from the Blades lineup was co-captain Syl Apps (OH), who was in Turin with his father (a former NHL player), his mother (a former model) and his sister ( an Olympic soccer player) to watch his other sister, Gillian, lead the Canadian women’s hockey team to a gold medal. Not to be outdone by his family’s exploits, Syl has used his HBS experience to set some records of his own, including attending 73 consecutive classes without making a comment.

Despite the absence of these key players, the Blades arrived in Hanover with an undefeated 10 – 0 record and a license to dominate. The team went to work on Friday night at the Thompson Arena and easily defeated a less-than-impressive Michigan squad by a score of 13 – 1. The victory over Michigan was sweet revenge for the Blades. As you’ll recall from this fall, the Michigan team porked the Blades by canceling their tournament after the HBS team had already booked plane tickets. The decisive victory helped your Blades wash the bitter taste of useless Northwest flight credit from their palates.

The highlight of the Michigan game was a first-period hat trick by Tamin Pechet (NA). For those of you who have not yet met Tamin, he can usually be found either with his NA sectionmates in Aldrich 11, or driving his H3 around the Spangler parking lot (windows down, music up) in a floral print shirt.

The Blades returned to action the following evening, dazzling the crowd of almost 7 spectators with a stunning 6-3 victory over Babson. With nothing else to do in Hanover on a Saturday night, the entire town (of 5) plus my parents showed up. All were treated to brilliant performances by John Williams (NG) and Mark Fox (OH). Fox, who had spent the entire day whining about how cold New Hampshire is, finally warmed up to bury two goals. Williams, whoes ability to score goals is akin to Chuck Norris’s ability to deliver roundhouses, went coast-to-coast three times for a hat trick of his own.

After a night out in the booming metropolis that is West Lebanon, NH, the Blades arrived at the Dartmouth rink for an early Sunday morning semifinal game against Cornell. Despite starting the game less than four hours after they had been kicked off the beer pong table, the Blades recovered to score several early goals and disposed of the MBA Big Red by a score of 5-2. Highlights included Ilya Brovin’s (OF) early goal rifled into the top right corner and Brad Charron’s (NG) spectacular ability to foil countless Big Red opportunities.

The championship game proved to be anticlimactic, with the Blades putting on an undeniably dominant show at Thompson Arena to defeat the tournament hosts (Tuck) 8-1. Mark Narain (OA) kicked off the scoring with perhaps the best one-timer in HBS history, and the play of the game was provided by goalie Angus McOuat (OH), who stoned a penalty shot taken by the Tuck captain and demolished any hope the Big Green had for a comeback. From there, it was the Dan Svoboda (OJ) show. In line with his performances in the previous games, Svoboda dominated play and pumped in goal after goal. As you can see in the picture, Dan was awarded tournament MVP – for which he was given a cup and a small child.

As always, Captain/Waterboy Casarella (OF) attempted to keep the water bottles full and the team’s spirits up, and he did his best not to trip over the blue line. He succeeded in two of three, as hydration and confidence levels were at all-time highs.
Quickly becoming the envy of the business school hockey world, the HBS team departed Hanover with its undefeated record untarnished (14-0) and a Championship trophy in hand. With its eyes on perfection, the team relished victory, but quickly turned its sights to the next challenge: a trip north of the border to London, Ontario, for the annual Ivey (Western Ontario) MBA tournament.

March 13, 2006
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