Harvard Hockey Dumps Boston College in OT
Watson Goal Caps 5-4 Win
Harvard and Boston College, presently two of the worst in ECAC Division One hockey, took the battle for the cellar into overtime and the Crimson grabbed a 5-4 victory at McHugh Forum last night.
Harvard freshman Mike Watson was the key man for the Crimson last night, notching two goals and one assist, including the game-winner at 1:31 of overtime. Watson flipped a quick backhander past Boston College goalie Doug Ellis (28 saves) while Harvard was on the power play with Eagle Jeff Smith in the penalty box for holding.
George Hughes and Jack Hughes assisted Watson's goal which sent the Crimson bench into a frenzy and the B.C. Eagles into a state of depression.
The win raised Harvard's record to 5-9-0 overall and 3-7-0 in the ECAC. Boston College, last year's ECAC champion and the number two team in the country, slipped to 7-7-0 overall and a dismal 2-6-0 in Division One.
Watson played a part in Harvard's last three goals of the contest. Down 3-2 after two stanzas, the rookie from Brunswick, Me., carried the puck the full length of the ice, neatly deked B.C. goalie Ellis and scored unassisted at 0:39 of the third period to tie the game.
Fast, but sloppy, two-way hockey marked the third period of play. With less than three minutes remaining, Harvard's offense gelled. The line of Watson, John Cochrane and Tom Murray pressured the B.C. zone with solid forechecking.
Watson caught an Eagle pass along to the boards and fed captain Cochrane planted 12 feet in front of the B.C. net. After Cochrane fired a quick wrist shot, Harvard had the lead with just 2:41 to play.
The Crimson could not ward off the pressing Eagle attack. At 19:12 of the third, Harvard freshman Mitch Olson fanned on a pass in the Crimson end, and B.C. Captain Joe Mullen fed Paul Hammer who beat Harvard netminder Wade Lau to send the game into O.T.
Lau's goaltending was hot and cold. Lau bobbled Mark Murphy's shot from the point with B.C. on a power play (Jon Garrity, interference) and Gary Sampson smacked the garbage past him. That made it 2-2. Just 43 seconds later, Harvard's Graham Carter lost control of the puck in front of the Crimson goal and Lau was nowhere to be seen when B.C.'s Peter Arnold embroidered the gaping net.
However, Lau made two amazing saves with the Eagles on a power play halfway through the second stanza. Lau came up with a flailing glove save on All-America winger Mullen's blazing slapper from 20 feet. Thirty-three seconds later Lau stuffed Sampson's close-range backhander.
The Eagles jumped to a 1-0 advantage at 2:39 of the first stanza. B.C.'s Charlie Antetomaso picked up an errant Jim Trainor pass in the Harvard end and drilled a 20-foot slap shot past a surprised Lau. Harvard and B.C. both mustered ten shots on goal, but the Crimson could not find the range.
In the second frame, which was marred by a six-minute delay after Harvard's Trainor and B.C.'s Bob Hehir crashed through a piece of plexiglass, the Crimson found its offense. Rick Benson knotted the game at 1-1 with assists from Murray Dea and Bob McDonald. Then, Harvard took the lead for the first time on Scott Powers' tally set up by the Hughes brothers.
Two assists a piece for the Hughes boys lifted George and Jack into a tie for the scoring lead in the ECAC. Both have 19 points: George six goals, 13 assists; Jack, three goals and 16 assists. George and Jack are one-two in team scoring with 9-15-22 and 3-16-19 respectively. Jack tied Chris Curry's 1970 Harvard record for career assists by a defenseman, 50.