The Harvard men's hockey team rebounded from Wednesday night's 11-3 Ithaca nightmare to find happiness in Hamilton, N.Y., Saturday night as it crushed Colgate, 10-2.
In their finest effort of the season, the icemen blew the Red Raiders away with five second-period goals. Precision passing, strong goaltending and opportunistic scoring marked the Crimson's departure from the style of hockey that has produced a most disappointing record.
The sophomore line of Bob McDonald, Tom Murray and converted rear-guard Graham Carter sparked the icemen with buzzsaw forechecking and picturesque plays. Murray notched a hat trick with a goal in each stanza.
Every player on the team, though, turned in a solid two-way performance. All four lines broke into the scoring column (the Crimson's highest total of the season); and the squad's collective back-checking precluded any attempt by Colgate to make a game of it.
The Red Raiders jumped out to a frighteningly quick one-goal lead, as Murray DeCock's blast deflected off a Harvard defenseman and fluttered over freshman goalie Giff Duffy's shoulder at the 2:18 mark of the opening period.
The icemen did not allow the "Here we go again" feeling to sink in, however. Leading goal scorer David Burke, left unmolested in the slot, responded less than two minutes later with a power play tally, his 16th of the season.
The Crimson power play accounted for four goals in its best display since the Notre Dame contest last December 23. The power play had been successful only 23 times in 103 attempts coming into the game.
Murray, whose three goals Saturday were one more than he had scored in the entire season, took a slick backhand pass from McDonald and staked the icemen to a lead they never relinquished 1:08 later.
The first period also included one of the more bizarre incidents in Harvard hockey history. At the 17:48 mark, with the icemen still ahead by a slim 2-1 margin, Colgate alternate captain Mike Rawley tripped rightwinger Jon Garrity behind the Red Raider net. The referee skated Rawley to the penalty bench. In a move usually reserved for football coaches, Harvard mentor Bill Cleary apparently refused the penalty.
Rawley returned to the ice, and play continued without incident until the second period.
Colgate inserted backup goalie Drew Schaeffer in the second when starting goalie Guy LeMonde encountered an equipment problem. Mike Watson found the range after only 47 seconds to trigger a flurry of goals. LeMonde then returned to the twines to face the onslaught.
Jackie Burke polished off the rebound of John Dunderdale's drive to score his first varsity goal at 2:43. Randy Millen then redirected a flip pass from Paul Mangano (starting his first varsity match), to expand the lead to four goals.
Colgate's Dave Fridgen narrowed the gap to three with a dazzling double deke, but the icemen showed resiliency as Murray registered his second marker to restore the four-goal margin at 7:40.
George Hughes netted the final goal of the stanza at 13:47 with Raider defenseman Ken Moody (75 minutes in penalties this season) off for slashing. Hughes faked a pass to David Burke, cradled the puck, and rifled a bullet over LeMonde's left shoulder.
The Crimson struck swiftly at the beginning of the third period. Watson grabbed another power play goal a mere ten seconds after the opening face-off. Millen also notched his second tally of the night 1:06 later.