It won't be a matter of who will be the winner tonight at the Grimy Garden after the semi-final round of the ECAC Division One hockey tourney, but rather by how much they will win. Barring an outbreak of the plague on the Boston University and Harvard campuses, the guys from upstate New York will be playing their last games of the season tonight.
BOSTON UNIVERSITY-CORNELL: I grossly underestimated the Terriers in my prediction of the opening round. Despite Jack Parker's whining about not wanting to face Dartmouth, and despite a so-called late season "slump", the Terriers made short work of the Green to the tune of 8 zip. Ed Walsh was, as always, superb in the nets. Cornell, on the other hand, had a tough time with St. Lawrence (the other team Parker was afraid of) and starting goalie Steve Kelleher was injured in the final minutes of the contest.
Cornell will be psyched, but the Big Red is only a shadow of its old dynasty this season, and the Terriers are tough in goal and have a lot of depth. B.U. will take this one by two.
HARVARD-RPI: The Engineers, as I predicted, peaked against New Hampshire Tuesday with a dramatic 7-6 overtime win. That game, and not tonight's game, will be the high point of the season for RPI.
Harvard was another team I underestimated before the opening round. After a slow start, the Crimson came on like the proverbial gangbusters to crush Providence. The only problem the squad will have tonight is RPI goalie Don Cutts. If he has a hot hand in the Engineer nets, it will look close on the scoreboard.
RPI, tabbed as the "Cinderella team" of the playoffs after its opening round upset won't be able to do it again. Harvard will take this one by three.
Quarter-final predictions: I'm batting a thousand.