PROVIDENCE, R.I.-The Harvard men's hockey team wasn't quite robbed.
Let's just say the Crimson was molested.
Harvard (4-0-1, ECAC 4-0-1) barely escaped from Providence with a 4-2 victory over Brown (2-3-0, 2-3-0) after battling both the Bears and lousy officiating all night.
"Sometimes you get the bounces, sometimes you don't," Harvard goalie Allain Roy said. "I'm really confident with those guys out there. In the last two minutes, we got the bounces."
Not only did the Crimson come away with the win, but it also came away with sole possession of the ECAC lead, grabbing a one point advantage over Clarkson.
"Our game plan was to come out and play physical and not let Harvard get its transitition game going," Brown forward Joey Beck explained. "But we didn't get into the game until halfway into it and by then we had spotted them three goals."
Heading into the third period with a tenuuous 3-2 lead, the Crimson struggled against the physical and aggressive Bears. Harvard's offense failed to put Brown away despite four power play opportunities, including three 5-3 situations.
The Crimson made key mistakes throughout the game including bad penalties, errant passes, poorly timed forechecks and looked placid during the final period.
As Brown picked up the pace--pressuring the Crimson net and forechecking well--Harvard finally came alive halfway through the third period.
Unfortunately, the referees showed more than a little support for the home team.
The most egregious call came at 9:04 of the final period. On a power play, junior forward Matt Mallgrave slapped in a pass from roommate Steve Flomenhoft into the left corner of the net.
The goal, which would have put the Crimson up a comfortable 4-2, was called off because the net was off its moorings.
The net did go off the moorings, but the referees failed see that it was pushed off after the goal. Needless to say, a whistle was only blown after the goal had scored.
It wasn't until 19:53 that Harvard could finally breathe easily when senior forward Jim Coady scored an empty-net goal to secure the victory.
Brown netminder Brett Hay-wood put in an impressive performance recording 29 saves.