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Beanpot notebook

Del Mauro is a real winner

By Nancy Marrapese-Burrell
Globe Staff / February 15, 2011

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If one goes strictly by wins and losses, the 2010-11 campaign has not been a very successful one for Harvard.

The team went into yesterday’s Beanpot consolation game with a record of 4-18-1. But the Crimson took a step toward righting the ship with a 5-4 victory over No. 15-ranked Boston University at TD Garden.

While BU coach Jack Parker was dismayed by his team’s performance, labeling it “an embarrassing display,’’ Harvard coach Ted Donato was pleased with his squad in general and senior right wing Michael Del Mauro in particular. Del Mauro, who had four career goals in 81 games entering last night, potted the winner for the Crimson with 2:08 remaining in the third period.

“Michael had a great playoffs for us last year,’’ said Donato. “When we went on the road and beat Princeton, he was one of our best forwards. I was very happy for him. He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t always show up on the scoresheet but he really has been a great leader for us this year in not a great situation.

“His work ethic and his commitment to the team is really unmatched, I feel, in our locker room. I was really happy to see him score. He works so hard, going to the net, things that we’ve been preaching. We haven’t been able to score a lot of goals. So to get one where he got a rebound goal, I couldn’t be happier for him. He deserves it.’’

Del Mauro, the team captain, said the Crimson have tried to build on the positives throughout the season.

“We established a commitment to playing our game, the way we’re supposed to play,’’ he said. “We all love each other and we all want to play very hard for each other. It’s not an easy game, it’s a game of a lot of mistakes. It’s not that people weren’t buying in. It’s now that we’ve kind of adjusted those mistakes and we’re figuring it out a little bit more.’’

Harvard played then-No. 2 Yale very tough Feb. 4, losing a 1-0 squeaker. After a poor outing against Northeastern three days later, the team battled to a 4-4 tie with Princeton, at the time ranked 20th, on Friday. Del Mauro said even though the wins haven’t been there, the progress has.

“It’s definitely been incremental,’’ he said. “The great part about it is, the fact that it is the way it is, it makes for a whole lot of opportunity for growth for the whole team. It’s not like one line is playing better, all lines are playing better. It’s the best part of hockey. We want to win more games but we’ve battled through a lot together and we’re going to continue to. I think we’re knocking on the door of success.’’

Donato is hoping the victory will give Harvard some momentum going down the stretch with five regular-season contests remaining.

“This game for us, we wanted to use as an opportunity to play against a good team, do the things we need to do to hopefully have some success down the stretch in our league and into the playoffs,’’ said Donato. “I’m happy for our guys. BU is a very good team, a team we have a lot of respect for.’’

Kreider named MVP BC sophomore left wing Chris Kreider, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player, had two goals and an assist and a game-high eight shots on net . . . The Kreider-Pat Mullane-Jimmy Hayes line combined for four goals and three assists . . . NU’s top line of Tyler McNeely-Steve Silva-Wade MacLeod combined for two goals and five assists. MacLeod had a team-high seven shots on net . . . NU was 2 for 6 on the power play, BC 2 for 7 . . . BC improved to 31-9 in the Beanpot against Northeastern. The Eagles are 2-1 against NU in championship games.

Narrowing it down The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston announced the 15 semifinalists for the 59th Walter Brown Award, given annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England. Five of the Division 1 players are from Hockey East, five are from the ECAC, and one represents Atlantic Hockey. BC senior Brian Gibbons, BU defenseman David Warsofsky, UNH defenseman Blake Kessel, and Yale forward Broc Little were all semifinalists for last year’s award, which was given to Bobby Butler of UNH. BC goalie John Muse is a first-time nominee along with Merrimack goalie Joe Cannata, Dartmouth junior James Mello, and Quinnipiac sophomore Eric Hartzell. Other nominees are UNH senior Paul Thompson, BC junior Cam Atkinson, BU junior Chris Connolly, Providence senior Kyle MacKinnon, Yale seniors Denny Kearney and Chris Cahill, and Holy Cross sophomore Rob Linsmayer. The Gridiron Club will announce the finalists and the winner in March, following league playoffs but before the start of NCAA Tournament play.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at marrapese@globe.com.