ITHACA, N.Y.--Harvard's hockey team stumbled to its fourth loss in a row tonight, but the 5-2 drubbing was more attributable to Cornell's metamorphosis than Harvard's play.
Cornell was a very different team from the one that fell to Harvard, 6-4, last month, flying to its seventh straight Ivy title before a receptive SRO home crowd.
Harvard held a 35-28 shooting edge--the third consecutive time the Crimson has outshot an opponent and last--but Cornell clearly out played a somewhat tired Harvard team tonight.
The opening period was virtually a replay of Harvard's opening period against B.U. in the Beanpot. Harvard pressed in the first ten minutes, building up a 10-5 shooting edge, but Cornell came alive in the second half with two goals. The Big Red picked up their first at 9:37, as Craig Brush took a centering pass from Larry Fullan on a 3 on 2 and beat goalie Joe Bertagna to the near post.
Harvard defenseman Dougie Elliott found himself in the penalty box at 17:27, and it took Cornell only three seconds to send Harvard's penalty killers, who have been shaky lately, back to the bench.
Bill Hanson did the damage, tipping a slow point shot past Bertagna.
Harvard came back early in the second period to narrow the gap to one, as Larry Desmond finished off a long rush with an upper right hand corner wrist shot through Cornell's fading defense. The Crimson continued to pressure Cornell goalie Dave Elenbaas for ten minutes, but despite two Cornell penalties and a Dave Hynes slap shot that hit the post, Cornell maintained its lead.
Harvard wilted again in the closing minutes of the period, and Cornell capitalized with two insurance goals. John Fumio scored the first and set up the second, breaking in all alone to beat Bertagna at 16:17 and leaving the puck for a wide open Dave Westner at 19:54. Fumio had been ridden off the play by Harvard's defense, but Westner snapped up the loose puck and flipped in a wrist shot.
Cornell continued to outskate Harvard in the opening minutes of the third period, but Larry Desmond raised Crimson hopes with his second goal at 10:49. Taking a pass from Elliott and breaking down the right side, Desmond outraced the defense and shovelled the puck over Elenbaas' shoulder on a nice rush.
The goal gave Harvard some spirit, but Cornell broke it with close checking at mid-ice in the waning minutes. Roars of "We're number one" erupted from the 4800 fans jamming Lynah Rink at 19:41 when Fumio picked up his third point with an open net goal, icing the game.