It is cold winter indeed for the Crimson icemen, and the forecast shows no thaw in sight. Gone are the Sheehys. The Olsons The Fuscos.
Gone, too, are the 9-2 routs of teams such as the lowly University of Maine Black Bears.
Last night, a sparkling Maine squad defeated Harvard, 5-4, at Alfond Arena in Orono, A hat trick by Ray Jacques and clutch goaltending in the third period by second stringer Mike Silengo proved too much for the Crimson.
The Black Bears overpowered Harvard through the first period, firing 14 shots at goaltender Grant Blair Only Blair's superb net minding kept Harvard in the game.
Junior wing Brian Busconi answered the Bears' early attack with the first of his two goals for the Crimson, a wrist shot from the left face-off circle.
But with only 15 seconds remaining in the period, Maine's pressure finally paid off Jacques, last season's team scoring leader, took a pass from Senior Captain Todd Bjorkstrand and slid the puck past Blair to tie the game
Penalties plagued both teams in the second period, but Harvard handily stopped Maine's power play, killing four penalties and scoring its first shorthanded goal of the year.
Rob Ohno again was the catalyst as he sent Busconi in alone on Silengo with a pretty pass from his own blue line. Busconi finally caught up with the puck in the offensive zone and, from the doorstep, backhanded it by the goaltender at the 4.12 mark.
Maine bounced right back. It was Jacques and Bjorkstrand on the attack once again, with Jacques stuffing a rebound between Blair's pads for the equalizer just 40 seconds later.
Joe Jirele and Ohno traded goals in the first 10 minutes of the final period But, in rapid succession, Silengo stopped Shayne Kukulowicz, Peter Follows, and Rob Wheeler on a breakaway, and Maine took control.
The duo of Jacques and Bjorkstrand combined to complete Jacques' hat trick with 8:30 remaining, and Kevin Mann's goal two minutes later gave Maine at decisive two-goal cushion.
Harvard was able to come within one as Kukulowicz finally ended a season-long scoring slump with three minutes left to play. But Harvard was unable to mount a final attack, and Maine started off with the victory.
THE NOTEBOOK: It does not get any easier for the Crimson, as they lace one of the action's top teams. The Mumbersa Goldels Gophers in a two game settees Saturday are Sunday in Minnesota. The Gophers will be seeking revenge lot last season's loss to Harvard in the NCAA semifinals. The icemen then travel to Greehoslovikia over Christmas break before returning home to face Boston College at Bright Center on January. H. Brian Busconi (Rob Ohno Peter Follows) 4.41 M. Ray Jacques (Todd Bjorkstrand Rene Comeault) 19:45 H. Ohno (Follows), 8.29; M. Jacques (Bjorkstrand, Jay Mazur), 11:30 M. Kevin Mann (Steve Santini, Comeault), 13:49: H. Shayne Kukulowicz (Tony Visone), 15:56. Saves--M. Make Silengo. 5-10-11--26 H. Grant Blair, 13-11-7--31. Att--2400
H. Brian Busconi (Rob Ohno Peter Follows) 4.41 M. Ray Jacques (Todd Bjorkstrand Rene Comeault) 19:45 H. Ohno (Follows), 8.29; M. Jacques (Bjorkstrand, Jay Mazur), 11:30 M. Kevin Mann (Steve Santini, Comeault), 13:49: H. Shayne Kukulowicz (Tony Visone), 15:56.
Saves--M. Make Silengo. 5-10-11--26 H. Grant Blair, 13-11-7--31.