HBS Blades Bring Home Women's Title at Tuck Tournament

Over 30 first and second year HBS students competed in the 20th Annual Tuck MBA Hockey Tournament this past weekend.
The tournament featured ten entrants on the Men’s side – Babson, Columbia, Concordia, Cornell, Harvard, Kellogg, Michigan, Tuck, Wharton and Yale – and five entrants on the Women’s side – Cornell, Harvard, Michigan, Tuck A and Tuck B.
Action commenced Friday afternoon and continued through Sunday afternoon. In the end, the HBS Women skated away with a well-earned championship title and the HBS Men drove off with plans for revenge.

The HBS Women’s first game of the season started with power-play goals by Jenny Duval and Alexis Palmer against Tuck B.
The Blades then got a goal from Gretchen Engster, courtesy of the video-replay judges, to take a 3-0 lead at 4:17 of the first period. The slaughter continued throughout the next two periods, ending in a 11-0 victory which included two more goals from Palmer, additional goals from Duval and Engster, and two goals apiece from Jackie Cavanaugh and Katie Cousins.

Highlights of the game included Katie “Call me Scrappy” Cousins sacrificing her body to take out the Tuck B goalie and stellar defensive play by Arielle Loeb.

The HBS Men were not as lucky in their first contest. Miraculously lumped in the same division as similarly favored Kellogg and Wharton – Tuck students showing surprising mastery of C&S fundamentals – the Blades faced a challenging first opponent in Kellogg. Despite strong performances by second-year captains Jesse Baker, Luke Winter and Jeff Zawadsky, as well as first-year standout Ken Baumgartner, the Blades fell behind 3-2 in the final minutes of a close contest, only to give up a final empty-net goal in the waning seconds. “Bomber” and “Cool Hand Luke” scored for the Blades.

Thanks to some creative scheduling on the part of the Tuck organizers, the HBS Men took to the ice to play Cornell less than eight hours after their defeat by Kellogg late Friday night. Tired and more than a bit ornery, the Blades took out some aggression on an unprepared Big Red squad. Jeff Zawadsky led the way with a three-goal performance, Jesse Baker, Luke Winter and Jason Sutherland each added a pair of goals, and Ken Baumgartner, Joe Charlson, Sam Wolff, Andrew Boer and Marty Kandrac all scored in a 14-1 dismantling of Cornell.

The HBS Women faced off later Saturday evening versus Cornell. The Blades took an early commanding lead in this contest and never looked back, winning the game 10-0. Lexi Brownell was the first to score for the Blades, achieving her first career goal. Teammates Alexis Palmer and Jenny Duval contributed four goals and two goals, respectively, to the victory. Also putting the biscuit in the basket were Katie Cousins, Gretchen Engster and Kara Murphy. Late in the game, Jackie Cavanaugh accepted a slick pass from winger Claire Broido, maneuvered around the Cornell defensemen, and slammed the puck into the net with one hand. This remarkable goal was not counted, based on a supposed penalty called post-facto by the referee. The ruling predictably infuriated normally mild-mannered HBS co-coach Jesse Baker. He stormed to the front of the bench area and angrily opened the gate, only to be calmed down by his players who kept repeating, “Jesse, it’s not worth it, we’re up 10-0.” Blade co-coaches Luke Winter and Jeff Zawadsky wondered what all the fuss was about. Said Blades co-captain Jess Segal, “Me and Jacks were right there. We knew it was a goal, but when you’re as far ahead as we were, you can afford to let it go.”

Following this victory the HBS Women earned a berth in the final game versus a tough Tuck A opponent. Though the team was fatigued from the previous night’s game and post-win celebration, superstar Jenny Duval quickly scored two goals in the first period to put the lady Blades ahead of their archrival Tuck. With bragging rights on the line, Coach Baker urged the team to play smart defense for the remaining periods. All eyes were on goalie Cheri Ruane who performed flawlessly and was supported by excellent defense from Pam Kocher, and second-year co-captain Amy Lieb. “Dump and chase” tactics filled the remaining two periods, and in the end the HBS Women emerged as the 20th Annual Tuck MBA Hockey Tournament Champions.

Social highlights of the weekend included a Blades dinner Saturday night, followed by a big party with other tournament participants.

The Blades would like to thank the many fans that supported their efforts at Tuck and encourage other students to attend a game in the near future. The next women’s Blades home game is against MIT this Sunday evening. Look for more Blades hockey action next month at the McArthur Cup – the HBS tournament at Bright Hockey Center from March 22nd – 24th.