Harvard's hockey team took on two of the best and two of the worst teams on its schedule over vacation, and came out even, losing to non-ECAC opponents Wisconsin and the National team and defeating mediocre Ivy League rivals Princeton and Penn.
The Crimson's toughest loss came in the opening round of the St. Louis tournament, as Harvard fell to once-beaten Wisconsin, 2-1, in overtime. Wisconsin had outscored its opposition 59-20 while winning 12 of 13 games in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, but Harvard goalie Joe Bertagna, playing possibly the best game of his career, held the Badgers to one goal on 26 shots during regulation play.
Coach Billy Cleary broke-up the Local Line to give Harvard more scoring balance, but his strategy failed to pay off as the Crimson was shut out for almost the entire game. Cleary finally re-united Bob McManama. Dave Hynes and Billy Corkery with eight minutes remaining in the third period, and the juniors responded with the tying goal at 17.41.
Wisconsin sank the Crimson after three minutes of sudden death play, however, and Harvard was faced with the impossible job of getting up for the consolation game with Penn, a team that had already fallen to the Crimson earlier this season, 11-3.
Not surprisingly, Harvard trailed the Quakers, 43, at the end of two periods, but Harvard woke up in the third period and finished off Penn with four goals. Billy Corkery was hot for the Crimson, picking up two goals and two assists.
Cleary experimented with his line-up again in the consolation game, moving ex-JV star Larry Desmond on to Tommy Paul's line, where, according to Cleary, he played "very well." Desmond will replace goal-less Jay Riley again against Brown on Wednesday night, relegating Riley to the third line or penalty-killing.
The Local Line had a field day in the Princeton game, picking up four goals as the Crimson whipped the Tigers, 7-1. Princeton, starting six sophomores, has an excellent goalie in Phil Robinson, but little else. Robinson kicked out 46 shots, twelve of them off the stick of Dave Hynes. Hynes ended the evening with only one goal, however, as the scoring was divided among Corkery (2), Paul, McManama, Harry Reynolds and Dave Cavanagh.
Two days later, the Nationals, checking all over the ice under pro rules, jumped the Crimson for a 3-0 first period lead, and hung on to win, 5-2. Harvard played the Nationals evenly in the final two periods, getting goals from McManama and sophomore defenseman Mark Noonan.