It was one of those nights when you walk out of the Boston Garden wondering why certain things had to happen the way they did.
If only Brian Petrovek hadn't misjudged a Boston University deflection at 5:54 of the third period.
If only a "mystery goal" hadn't magically appeared behind Petrovek nine minutes later to catapult the Terriers to a two-goal lead over the Crimson.
If only Dave Bell's desperation buzzer drive had managed to elude B.U. goaltender Brian Durocher in the frantic finale of last night's opening round of the Beanpot Tournament.
If only B.U. hadn't won, 6-5.
Facing the awesome combination of the nation's No. 1 college hockey team and the I-just-had-an-exam-this-afternoon blues, Harvard's rapidly developing hockey squad gave it a good go at the Garden last night, only to come up one goal and a few seconds short.
That margin was particularly painful in light of the frustrating events of the final period, which saw the Crimson explode dramatically in the early minutes, to wipe out a B.U. lead and assume command of the game.
Trailing 3-1 as the period opened, Harvard's underdogs pumped some life into a sluggish game when Kevin Burke tallied with just over one minute gone and Paul Haley followed with another score about 60 seconds later.
Burke took a pass from forward Gene Purdy and swooped in on Durocher at the 1:12 mark, stuffing it between the goaltender's pads and cutting the margin to 3-2.
After Petrovek robbed B.U.'s Mike Eruzione at point-blank range at the other end of the ice, Haley grabbed the puck at mid-ice, skated just inside the Terrier blue line, and rocketed the game-tier by Durocher at 2:23.
Unusual Garden Crowd
An unusually subdued Garden crowd came to life with that one, and visions of upset danced in Crimson fans' heads. But the fates were not about to allow this one to get away from the Terriers, and the Crimson netminder was their first victim, three minutes later.
Harvard's Jim "Sonny" Liston got the puck rolling for the Terriers at the 4:06 mark, when he was nabbed by the referees for holding. Liston spent the next minute and 48 seconds in the sin bin, his stay shortened by a cheap but important B.U. goal at 5:54.
With the Terrier power play winding its way down, apparently unsuccessfully, B.U.'s Mike Fidler redirected a slow shot toward the Crimson goal. The next frame in the picture sequence shows people standing on their feet, the red light is on, and Petrovek and the rest of those present wondering about the one that got away.