To be or not to be was not the question for the Yale men's hockey. team last night.
How to stop Harvard's two "Killer B's"--second-line forwards Allen Bourbeau and Tim Barakett--was.
But neither Eli Coach Tim Taylor nor Yale's hounding defense, which held Harvard's other three lines scoreless, found an answer.
And the Crimson--capitalizing on two Bourbeau goals and a pump from linemate and honorary "Killer B" Ed Krayer--buzzed past the Elis, 3-2, at Bright Center.
Although the rest of the ECAC has felt the sting of the B's for awhile, Yale had yet to face a full game's worth of the formidable duo until last night.
And oh how the Elis felt it.
"Bourbeau's line made some very nice plays," Taylor said. "We tried to match our best lines against them. But it's a little tough."
Bourbeau's second goal, at 9:55 of the second period, proved to be the difference in the game.
With two players in the penalty box, Yale was scrambling to prevent a Harvard score.
And with time running out on the Crimson's power play, it looked like it might succeed.
But Bourbeau--standing 20-ft. from the Eli net on the point--faked a pass to Captain Scott Fusco, lurking to his right, and slapped a bullet past Eli netminder Mike Schwalb.
"A lot of times I give it to Scott on the right," Bourbeau said. "He usually tees it up and shoots. But I took the shot this time."
The Killer B's had their genesis in the third period of the first Yale-Harvard clash in early November, which the Elis won 7-5,.
And Harvard Coach Bill Cleary--the author of that union--has kept them together ever since.
"Bourbeau's line gives us added strength," Cleary said. "It's nice to have a group that can score like that."
Although the present incarnation of the second-line was shutdown in the first Yale game, the early rumbling of a scoring machine could be heard throughout Ingalls Rink.
"When the coach first put us together, we dominated play," Krayer said.
Since then, Bourbeau and company have torn up the ECAC--and the country.
Coming into last night's game, Bourbeau was the fifth-leading scoring in the nation with a 2.15 points per-game average.
And Barakett--who fed a pretty pass to Krayer on the freshman's goal--was 17th with an average of almost two points a game.
Although Krayer's two goals on the year don't compare with Bourbeau's 16 and Barakett's 15, the rookie has contributed in other ways, chalking up 13 assists.
Last night, however, Krayer burned the Elis for the game's second goal after taking a pass from Barakett on the right side of the Yale net.
"I've never been a great goal scorer," Krayer said. "But it feels good to score. It was a beautiful play on Timmy's part to get me the puck."
While Krayer contributes his share to the second line, Bourbeau and Barakett really run the show.
And yesterday's running of "Night of the Killer B's" played to a standing room only crowd.
"They played well," Fusco said. "They had Yale guessing all night. When you do that, you're bound to win."