Annual McArthur Cup is hosted by HBS hockey teams
On March 26 and 27, HBS hosted the annual McArthur Cup on campus. Though finishing a disappointing 2nd to Babson, victory was achieved at the bars.
On March 25th and 26th, HBS hosted a hockey tournament for MBA programs and other professional schools in the Boston area. Attendees included Babson MBA, Tuck MBA, Wharton MBA, Harvard Med/Law, Sauder MBA (University of British Columbia), Ivey MBA (University of Western Ontario), and Suffolk Law. Fielding teams in both the A and B divisions, HBS had high expectations coming into the weekend, after solid showings at the Tuck and Ivey tournaments earlier in the year, which included a victory for the B squad at Tuck.
In preparation, much effort was exerted in making sure sufficient beer would be available to fans, and as in years past, this incentive saw the fans turn out in droves to support their sectionmates and heroes. NI and OF were particularly well-represented in the stands, with OF attending 3 games, somehow staying warm, and raucously cheering on their favorite players.
The B squad had a frustrating experience, with their Friday afternoon showcase game ending in a 0-0 tie against Tuck. A haphazard offensive scheme was displayed in the absence of the team’s leading scorer, Chad Royer (NE), who was in transit from Toronto, where he was tending to Canadian things. A 23-8 shot advantage in favor of Tuck belied the defensive hustle and mental endurance of the HBS team. Just prior to the end of regulation, a tiny little fellow from Tuck decided (against better judgment and despite a distinct size disadvantage) to launch himself headfirst at the unsuspecting Adonis of a goalie from HBS, Dan Monahan (OG). After quickly realizing his mistake, the HBS enforcer, Tim Downs (NF partner) decided to try to hold the cheap-shot artist accountable for the way he was raised. Unable to muster the courage to try to hit a guy who was looking at him, the player was escorted off the ice and Downs’s reputation as an undefeated ice arena pugilist remained intact. Proceeding to a shootout, the game ended after the second round of shooters as Tuck scored on both their attempts and HBS was stymied by an unexpectedly solid goalie from Tuck.
The HBS A game on Friday night easily had the biggest crowd all weekend, and the atmosphere was intense. Fans were holding up signs revering Joe McElroy (OF), the first HBS hockey player to be inducted into the vaunted ring of honor while still an active player. He did not disappoint in a 6-3 victory over Wharton, scoring 3 goals, with Pete Trovato (NB) assisting on two and having a goal himself. The highlight of the game was Dustin “SportsCenter” Mann (NI) and his one-on-four offensive attack through the defense’s heart and legs that made the final cut for the night’s Top Plays on ESPN.
After enjoying a long evening at John Harvard’s, and not particularly enjoying the Saturday morning that followed, the B team valiantly took the ice against Babson’s B team. This time, with Chad suited up, expectations were high and a good effort would hopefully lead to a spot in the championship game. Things didn’t pan out, with HBS coming up just a bit short in a 3-2 loss. Jay Charles (NC) netted the first score, Chad Royer had a goal and an assist, Kent Foster (OF) helped on both goals, and Sean Biddick (OG) and Chad Hufsey (OB) each tallied one assist. With two losses, it signaled the end of the season for the B squad and time to hang up the equipment for the summer.
The second morning game on Saturday pitted the HBS A team against Babson’s A team. It didn’t take long to realize that Babson had gotten quite a bit better than last year. A close game after one period, with just one tally for Babson, turned into a laugher with 5 goals in the second frame. With a victory under their belts, the HBS squad may have started looking toward a likely second-seed for the playoffs and the matchup that would bring. The final score was 8-2, with HBS getting goals from Trovato and McElroy.
The A division semi-final for HBS brought a matchup against Harvard Med/Law. After a somewhat surprising run through their group (including a win over Tuck’s vaunted A team, the defending McArthur champs), the HBS squad wasn’t going to let their guard down for a second. With a slightly different defensive scheme employed to limit the quality scoring opportunities, HBS was able to play from an even score throughout much of the game. A scoreless tie through two periods led to a final intermission inspiring speech from a scorekeeper that had been over-served during the day. Nevertheless, you can’t argue with results, as McElroy beat the Med/Law goalie on his glove side with about 5 minutes left in the game to break the tie, with Trovato and Phil Giampietro (OE) assisting on the goal. The defensive effort prevailed as Monahan secured the 1-0 shutout with a few late saves, allowing HBS to move on to the final.
The final brought a rematch against Babson’s A team, but the altered game plan was a source of optimism for the men of HBS. An early goal for Babson remained the difference at the first intermission. Three quick goals in the second period for Babson were countered by two from Pat Kelly (OB), the second of which was an NHL-caliber backhand shot that would have beaten just about any netminder on the planet. Entering the third, a quick goal by McElroy was answered by another score for Babson, leaving HBS down 5-3. With about 3 minutes left, McElroy had yet another clutch goal (for those counting, that is SIX for the tournament), bringing HBS to within a goal. A late surge, aided by the extra skater after pulling the goalie, was not fruitful, and Babson iced the game with an empty net goal. Final score: 6-4, and a second consecutive runner-up finish for HBS in their own tournament.
The squad has some great players and high expectations for this coming season, but between now and then, most will be left to reflect on the season that was almost great.
Dan Monahan is the least interesting man in the world.