After their chartered flight fell through, and after enduring a torturous bus ride from Syracuse to Ithaca, the Harvard skaters arrived at Cornell's Lynah Rink last night seeking retribution for a 7-4 loss earlier in the season.
For one period, the Crimson dominated play enough to make the Big Red's zone look like an explosion in a tomato cannery on a sunset evening. But after the opening 20 minutes, the capacity crowd of 4100 began to see what they had been expecting all along as Cornell asserted its superiority, eventually skating to an effortless 6-2 win.
The Crimson tripped the red light first when John Corchrane scored his fifth goal of the year off a pass from linemate Jon Garrity, as Cornell netminder Steve Napier got off to a shaky start.
While Napier struggled to repulse the sorties of Cochrane, Garrity, and center Randy Millen, Brian Petrovek came out showing his midseason from as he robbed John Stornik in front of the crease and kicked aside Carl English's semi-breakaway.
The Big Red then erupted for a three goal scoring salvo. The typing goal came at 12:24 when Petro lost a foot race to Brian Marrett for a loose puck. Marrett slid the puck under Petro and it inched across toward the goal line, like a slow-moving glacier familiar to Swiss travelers.
The period ended in a 1-1 deadlock as the iceman failed to capitalize on a high sticking penalty called on Cornell's Fred Tomsic at 17:31. George Hughes's blast was off the mark and when he did put the puck on net, Napier came up with a sprawling kick save.
By the time play resumed, the Harvard end was littered with mackerel offered up by the boisterous partisans and Petrovek was confronted with a rubber chicken in the net.
None of these distractions proved as disheartening as Stornik's bang-bang goal from Jim Vaughan and Lance Nethery, who make up the Ivy League's highest scoring line. Stornik's tally, only 35 seconds into the period, was a harbinger of the Crimson's shifting fortunes, as the best the skaters could display the rest of the way was a distraught shuffle.
Harvard was trailing 3-1 when Jimmy Trainor cradled the puck and unloosed a drive past Napier at 8:42 that seemed impelled by dynamite.
The Crimson had a shot at evening things up when Bruce Marrett went to the box for high sticking. Harvard's power play foozled when Jim Vaughan victimized Petrovek on a short-handed breakaway goal. The unassisted score at 11:14 was Vaughan's fifteenth of the season.
Before the period ended, Brian Marrett carded his second goal of the night and upped it to 5-2 on a short range backhander.
Neither squad clicked during the final period as the only score came on a picture-perfect goal by the Big Red's top line when Nethery shoveled off to Vaughan for his fifth goal in two games against Harvard.