PROVIDENCE, R.I.--A bottle of No-Dot, a can of Coke, a box of Vivarin, a few slaps of Skin Bracer--the Harvard men's hockey team needed something to keep it awake Saturday night.
It was so quiet you could here a puck drop in Brown's Mechen Auditorium, where the Crimson sleepskated its way to a 2-1 victory before a somber gathering of 2823.
"It's a dead rink," said Crimson junior Greg Chalmers. "The kind of hockey they play seems to full your to sleep."
Chalmers, one of a very few Harvard players who enjoyed a good game, scored for the second straight night. Goalie Grant Blair, who yielded six goals Friday at Yale, turned in arguably his best performance of the year, stopping 32 of 33 Bruin shots on goal.
But for Harvard as a team, this was a few bad breaks short of a night mare. The icemen--now 13-2-2 overall, 11-2-1 in the ECAC--showed more rapid eye movement than rapid skate movement. The Bruins--now 7-12 overall, 4-10 ECAC--acted as Keystone Kop Dream Police.
Fortunately, Harvard remembered to say its bedtime prayers.
"We had the gay upstairs looking over us," said a relieved Crimson Coach Bill Cleary. "Hey, we were fortunate. I don't know what it is. We just didn't have that oomph."
Only a man disadvantage could route Harvard, which played of its best hockey while killing penalties. With Rob Ohno off the ice for hitting after the whistle, freshman Lane MacDonald pilfered the puck from Bruin Pat Davis and fed Scott Fusco, who broke away for the game's first goal at 7:50 of the first period.
"As soon as we took a penalty we knew we had our hands full," Blair said. "When we got back five-on-five we didn't have to work."
So they didn't A step slow getting to the puck, an instant late on a check--nothing disastrous, but not an inspiring exhibition.
"What the hell, we might as well play the rest of the game shorthanded. That's the only way we play aggressive," Cleary said he told his troops after the second period.
THE NOTEBOOK: Vermont's 3-1 upset of Clarkson Saturday lightened Harvard's grip on second place in the ECAC At 10-4, Clarkson is not a game and a half back of the Crimson, with seven games remaining on the schedule....A solid check into the boards knocked a plexiglass pane into the crowd at 15:49 of the second period. Referce Richard Burrell decided to take the second intermission while the glass was reinstalled....B.U. Coach Jack Parker calls the Harvard team he'll face in lonight's Beanpot opener "obviously one of the best teams in the nation. They'll be in the national tournament," he predicts.