HAMILTON N.Y.--Since the Harvard-Colgate men's hockey series began in 1960, the Red Raiders had never defeated the Crimson here at Starr Rink. Eight games, no wins.
In fact, in the 20 games these two teams have played, Harvard had captured 17 of them. It's been 27 years of frustration for the Red Raiders.
But yesterday afternoon here at Colgate, led by the superb play of goalie Wayne Cowley, the Red Raiders withstood a quicker Crimson squad and defeated Harvard, 4-1, in front of 2741 spectators.
"Time was running out against us," Harvard Coach Bill Cleary said. "This was our home rink for awhile."
Perched On Top
Despite losing its first game of the season, Harvard still sits alone atop the ECAC standings with a 6-1 league record, one-half game ahead of St. Lawrence. Colgate (4-1 ECAC) moved into a fourth-place tie with Princeton and RPI.
Cowley, a second team all-ECAC selection last year, stopped all but one ofHarvard's 38 shots and virtually shut down thevisiting icemen in a game that saw Harvard fail toproduce on several scoring opportunities.
"It was a tough one," Cleary said. "We hadenough chances to win. Their goalie had a hotnight. I've got to tip my hat to them."
While the Crimson had problems getting the puckpast Cowley, the Red Raiders capitalized on twopower-play goals and a few lucky bounces of thepuck.
After a scoreless first peroid, JohnWoodcroft's pass from the bottom part of the leftcircle deflected off the stick of Crimson wingKevan Melrose and trickled into the net to givethe hosts a 1-0 lead, three minutes into thesecond period.
"We've been beaten so many times by Harvardthat a lot of players think Harvard is a bunch ofsuperstars," Colgate Coach Terry Slater said. "Alot of guys are awed by them, but we settled downand played hockey.
Six minutes later, with the Crimson down a man,Scott Lillie passed the puck to Mark Dupere at theright circle, and Dupere fired a shot past divingCrimson goalie John Devin.
Harvard closed to within one on a C.J. Youngpower-play goal with 4:30 left in the middleperiod. The plans for a Crimson comeback werebrewing.
But someone forgot to tell Cowley aboutHarvard's plans, and he shut down the Crimson therest of the way. Despite Harvard's quick offensiveattack, Cowley was always one-up on the visitors.
Peter Ciavaglia's short-handed breakaway streakto the goal typified Harvard's frustration intrying to burst Cowley's bubble. With the Crimsonstill down by one with 13 minutes left in thegame, the freshman center went one on one with thejunior goalie and came up empty.
Cowley's save entirely changed the game'smomentum.
Thirty seconds later, Colgate's Scott Youngconnected with the Raiders' second power play ofthe afternoon, virtually sealing the win forSlater's Raiders. The Crimson failed to muster upany more offensive firepower.
Aside from the loss, Harvard suffered even morebad news when several of its players were shakenup on the ice.
Freshman John Weisbrod hurt his knee when hewas slashed by a Colgate player in the finalperiod. The freshman's status is yet to bedetermined.
Despite the loss, Cleary expressed someoptimism for the rest of the season.
"With each game that goes by," Cleary said,"we're going to grow a lot.