When he looks back on last season, Donato said even though he wishes there were more victories, he felt there was reason to feel good about what the Crimson accomplished.
“I was confident last year, kind of throughout,’’ he said. “It was an excellent group of guys who stayed focused. We played obviously in a lot of close games. I knew that would ultimately — as much as it was frustrating to go through it — help us later in the year and help us in the playoffs having gone into overtime an inordinate number of times.
“We were comfortable playing in those tight, one-goal games. I think that was helpful to us.’’
Harvard lost to Union in the ECAC championship game and Union made it as far as the Frozen Four.
“We wore down a little bit,’’ said Donato. “We played Yale in a very tough three-game series. There was a lot of emotion. And Union was a very good team.
“That opportunity to play in the league championship and make a good, strong march deep into the playoffs, I think it’s an experience that has whet the appetite of the team as a whole, and I think guys are excited to get back to that point and take it another step.’’
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.