Crimson Tackles Terriers in Beanpot Showdown
As Harvard takes to the ice tonight at 9 p.m. in defense of its Beanpot title things look almost too good to be true. But Boston University, this evening's opponent, bears two wounds it will seek to avenge. The deeper injury is the Terriers' 7-2 December defeat at the hands of a surgically-clean Crimson attack: the more recent is Saturday's 5-3 prostration by Colgate.
These two losses are the sole blemishes on the Terriers 14-2 ECAC record. Tonight will be their opportunity to sidetrack Harvard's Beanpot aspirations and inflict the first loss on the Crimson's 14-0 Eastern state.
The Harvard hockey team survived the old post-exam blues in fine fashion by playing almost flawlessly last week. The East's leading squad crushed North-eastern, 9-0, in Monday night's Beanpot semi-final and then riddled a potent Vermont six Friday evening in a 10-1 rout.
B.U.'s participants in Operation Upset boast impressive credentials.
The slim personnel advantage Harvard may hold is compensated by the Terriers' emotionally potent underdog status. Chief surgeon for B.U. is burly defenseman Captain Vic Stanfield, brother of former Bruins star Fred Stanfield. Stanfield leads the Terriers' scoring attack with 49 points.
Head resident in goal for B.U. will be freshman Brian Durocher. Durocher, since taking over the crease chores, has posted a near-perfect 10-1 slate and a strong 3.45 goals against average.
Harvard faced Pat Devlin in its earlier encounter with B.U. and has yet to meet the grand nephew of baseball's Leo "The Lip" Durocher.
Despite Durocher's strong statistics Captain Randy Roth said yesterday that he is by no means awed. "I saw him against B.C. and he looked a little shaky. He certainly isn't any Ed Walsh and if B.U. has a weakness I'd say it was in goal," he said.
Both teams are out of the same "skate-the-other-team-into-the-ice" school. In Harvard's previous victory over B.U. the Terriers apparently hadn't done their homework and returned to Comm Ave. with a 7-2 failing grade.
Each squad skates four lines, which is unusual in the college games. Thus the pace should be fast and furious.
Both captains agreed that forechecking would be the key to the contest. "When we forecheck hard, B.U. tends to tire easily, and their play gets sloppy," Roth said.
The Terriers' offense is well balanced throughout and must indeed be held in check. Seven B.U. forwards have scored ten or more goals. First line center Rick Mcagher leads the pack with 17 goals, including five short-handed tallies, while freshman wing Mike Fidler is next in notches with 15.
Whether B.U. will have recovered mentally from its upset at Colgate remains to be seen, but Durocher feels the loss may lend impetus to the Terriers' retrieval of the coveted title.
"Saturday's loss might have done more harm than good. We have to get up for the game now" he said Durocher was not in goal on Saturday.
Roth was equally confident. We're just starting to peak," he said. It might not be a tomp but it will be victors for sure.