The Sargent Shriver campaign bandwagon camped outside Watson Rink last night and picked up a few votes by announcing the final score of the Harvard-Cornell hockey game over its loud speaker: "Harvard won in overtime, 3-3."
Standing on the brink of ECAC extinction, Billy Cleary's Crimson squad came out possessed in the third period, wiping out a two-goal deficit in the first three minutes and gaining some breathing room in the Eastern standings. Jon Schuster's slapper tied it at 2:19 of the third.
It was a classic battle between the Big Red and Crimson, reminiscent of the days of Dryden and Cavanaugh, when Harvard and Cornell were at the top of the East. Big Red netminder John VanDerMark looked like some of his famous Cornell predecessors, but it was Brian Petrovek who stole the show.
Petro showed why he is an All-American, stopping 36 shots during regulation time and a few in the overtime period to keep his teammates in the game. Despite two second-period goals by Cornell, Petrovek was spectacular, robbing John Harper at 4:36, and Brian Campbell twice in the final ten seconds of the period. He posted 16 saves in the stanza alone.
On offense, Bill Hozack and his linemates, Phelps Swift and Bill Horton, gave VanDerMark fits all evening. Swift scored Harvard's first goal at 7:01 of the second, narrowing a Cornell lead to 2-1, and along with Hozack, assisted on Schuster's tying goal in the third.
The Hozack line is the only one that has been playing together for a good part of the season, as injuries have forced Cleary to shuffle his other lines. Last night Kevin Carr centered Gene Purdy and Dave Bell on the first line, while George Hughes was put between Kevin Burke and Tim McKenna. Burke scored Harvard's second goal at 1:03 of the third with assists from his linemates.
Cleary did not make use of a fourth line, and it showed in the third period as Harvard slowed down after its two-goal outburst. Cornell pulled itself together and finished the period with 12 shots on Petrovek, but none went in.
On The Mark
VanDerMark got most of the goaltending work in overtime, as the revitalized Crimson squad smelled victory. He was equal to the barrage, turning aside all nine shots that came at him.
The overtime period was quite a contrast to the start of the contest, when most of the action took place around the Harvard net. A nervous Crimson squad missed passes and gave the puck away several times, as the Big Red carried the play for the first ten minutes. Mark Trivett fired a Dave Groulx rebound past a screened Petrovek at 3:37 to give his squad a quick lead.
Brian Campbell got ahold of another unattended rebound at 5:23 of the second period to make it 2-0, before Swift's 40-footer buzzed past VanDerMark to narrow the gap.
What appeared to be the backbreaker for Harvard came at 13:30 of the second, when Bill Weber, assisted by brother Dick, banked a shot off Schuster's skate from an impossible angle, to again put the Cornellians on top by two. But Schuster, who played an otherwise strong game, made up for it in the third.
A loss last night would have been close to disaster for Harvard (8-6-3), fighting to make one of the top eight seeds for the ECAC tournament. But thanks to the tie and Brown's win over Providence (now 11-10-2) last night, the Crimson has a good shot to make the playoffs again