Just as it was beginning to appear that the varsity hockey team was a sure bet to trim Princeton, Tiger skaters blossomed into life with three goals in four minutes that toppled Harvard, 5 to 4, in the final period of last night's Arena game.
It was a 60 foot blue-line shot by Jack Bryan that did the final damage. Bryan's long shot completely surprised goalie Johnny Chase and enabled the Tigers to break a 4 to 4 tie at that point. The loss may force Harvard into a tie for the Pentagonal League cellar, unless the Crimson can beat Yale in the season's finale Saturday at the Arena.
Last night the Crimson combined a good attack and fairly steady defense to subdue Princeton for most of two periods, before the Nassau skaters staged their third period coup. After spotting Princeton a goal early in the first period, Harvard tied the game at 13:24 when Captain Myles Huntington made good a pass from Lew Preston.
Play remained relatively peaceful, save for twice in the second period when the Crimson broke the calm with goals. Preston charged in from the left, scoring at 10:45, and defenseman Dusty Burke tallied at 13:26 on a pass play to give Harvard a 3 to 1 lead as the teams entered the final period.
After Princeton's Jack Hoffman and Harvard's Huntington traded early goals in the third period, the Tigers got their break at 11:15 when Duke Sedgwick, who had been hit from behind by a Princeton player, was sent off the ice for "interference." For over a minute goalie Chase was pressed by a concerted Tiger attack that finally clicked at 12:59 when Hoffman lifted the puck into the upper right hand side of the nets.
The tying goal came at 14:42 when a vicious shot by Ern Montgomery beat Chase. Bryan's tie-breaker came less than two minutes later.
Scoring: First period--Montgomery (Mathey) 6:21; Huntington (Preston) 13:24. Second period--Preston (Huntington) 10:45; Burke (Anderson, Kittredge) 13:26. Third period--Hoffman (Gardner) 6:34; Huntington (Preston, Carman) 7:47; Hoffman (Collins) 12:59; Montgomery (Weeden, Mathey) 14:42; Bryan (unassisted) 16:22.
After upending Yale Saturday night, the varsity basketball team will have another chance for an upset when it meets Columbia, the team which ended Holy Cross's 26-game winning streak, tonight in the Lions' cigar-box shaped Morningside Gym.
If John Rockwell scores more than six points in tonight's game he will break Harvard's all-time season scoring mark of 394 points set in 25 games by George Hauptfuhrer '48 in 1946-47. Rockwell, who has a 17.6 average for 22 games, already holds the individual game record of 33 points scored in last month's Penn game.
In its first meeting with Columbia the Crimson got off to a fast start and was still with the Lions, 30 to 30, at the half. But the team, which was then in the middle of its pre-Yale game slump, ran out of speed in the second half, crumbling before Coach Gordon Ridings' fast break.
If the Crimson plays the same brand of ball it showed against Yale, it might very well dump the favored Lions. Ed Smith's improved set shooting should give Rockwell a better chance to work under the basket, and if the man to man defense presses as well as it did against the Elis' double pivots, Frank Lewis and John Azary should be checked.