Minutes before the overtime period of Saturday night's men's hockey game, I asked a friend for his prediction about the contest's final outcome. "Do you remember history?" he answered darkly.
There were at least several streaks to which he could have been referring.
It seemed likely that the 4-3 streak would continue. five of the last seven meetings between Harvard and St. Lawrence had ended with a 4-3 score, and three of those had been decided in overtime.
On the Bright side, the Crimson's magnificent string of 29 straight games at home without a loss might pull Harvard through and insure another win.
But there were also several indications that the evening would end unhappily for the home heroes.
Since Harvard had lost its last three overtime games over the past two seasons, the Crimson might have been doomed to come up short in this contest as well.
And then there was last year's regular-season finale--which ended in an overtime defeat.
Most ominously, calendar buffs could point out that the last time the Crimson had lost at home was March 1, 1985 to--of all teams--St. Lawrence. And the icemen had lost by that ominous score, 4-3, in overtime.
Saturday, history--specifically that final bit--repeated itself at Bright Center.
Afterwards, the Crimson players tried to make sense of what the 4-3 overtime loss meant to the team. It was upsetting to end the home unbeaten streak and to lose in front of the home fans, but it was nuclear what this meant for the future.
"Maybe it's good entering the playoffs that we don't have a streak going," defenseman Mark Benning said. "This teaches us we have to be up for every game."
First-line center Allen Bourbeau took the opposite view. "If we had won, it would be a lot easier in the playoffs because we'd have more momentum," he said.
Harvard Coach Bill Cleary was upset about the game's outcome. "Who the heck likes to lose?" he said. "We just didn't have the oomph, because we had to kill too many penalties."