Harvard hockey Coach Bill Cleary had given up answering the big question--why can't Harvard win a Beanpot?--a long time ago.
Now, he's passing on the small question--why can't Harvard win a consolation game?
For the second straight year, Boston College pulled out a lategame triumph over the Crimson in the 'Pot consolation contest--this time, 4-2, before a tiny Boston Garden crowd.
Last year, the Eagles scored with zero seconds left in overtime. This year, they nailed the game-winner with 1:02 left on a puck that dropped out of the rafters and then threw in an insurance goal from 80 feet 40 seconds later.
So who could blame Cleary, with a resigned grin on his face, for shrugging another 'Pot loss.
"I don't know, I don't know," said Cleary, whose team dropped a 6-4 decision to Boston University in the opening round of the 'Pot last Monday. "It's perplexing."
And what could not be retrieved or understood should be forgotten.
"I told the kids I don't want to hear about this," Cleary Said. "We've got two big games coming up in our league and we're in first place. That's all I want to hear. What's the use of brooding?"
The anticipation of this weekend's home games against Cornell (Friday) and Colgate (Saturday) could not lift the pall that befell the Crimson locker room last night. Losing is hard. Losing again and again--as Harvard has at Boston Garden in the Beanpot--makes you want put a truck-full of dynamite under the venerable structure.
"There's not much you can say about it," Harvard Captain Steve Armstrong said. "It's not as though bad luck had anything to do with it. We just didn't deserve to win the game."
Harvard and B.C. slow danced to a 2-2 tie late in the third period. But with 62 seconds on the clock, B.C. Co-Captain Dan Shea cradled a puck that had bounced high off the boards and stuck a 40-ft. shot past goalie Michael Francis and into the Crimson net.
With 51 seconds left, Francis was removed in favor of a sixth skater for a face-off in the Eagle end. Harvard controlled, and Armstrong had a chance to put in a rebound with 23 seconds left, but couldn't quite get his stick on it.
"The puck came across the crease," Armstrong said. "It's typical of the way things go for us sometimes. It just didn't go for us."
Instead, Shea took the puck, whirled around and fired a shot from the B.C. circles into the empty Harvard net.
"Both times I just closed my eyes and shot it," Shea said.