Just The Luck O' The Crimson

Hockey Notebook

Almost everyone agreed that Harvard goaltender Chuckie Hughes played brilliantly in his 39-save performance against Rensselaer last Friday.

After the Crimson's 7-3 win, only frustrated Engineers Coach Buddy Powers could assess the game's outcome from a different perspective.

"I didn't know it was St. Patty's Day yet," Powers said. "A lot of shots that hit [Hughes], he didn't even know about. But they didn't go in the net for us, like they did for them."

Evidently, Harvard's "good luck" continued, while the bad luck stayed with Powers and Co., as Rensselaer managed only three goals the following night, tying the Crimson, 3-3.

Crimson netminder Allain Roy just happened to save 42 shots in the Engineers season finale.

* * *

Melrose Returns?: Kevan Melrose, a member of the Class of 1990, was an infamous member of the Harvard men's hockey team.

A defender with some speed, and lots of size, Melrose was known by every player and official in the ECAC for his affinity for the penalty box. He ended his career midway through last season in unfortunately typical fashion, cold-cocking an opponent after the whistle.

In Saturday's game, which was marked by 82 penalty minutes, Harvard hockey fans showed they do have some sense of history.

At the 13:36 point of the first period, Harvard junior forward Jim Coady found something objectionable about Rensselaer defender Dan Vaillant. The feeling was mutual.

The pair threw a few punches as a play in front of the Engineers' net was whistled to a halt. Neither player connected more than once, but the official sent both players to the sin bin for four minutes for roughing.

The Crimson fans, perhaps enjoying the physical play, saluted Coady's efforts with chants of "Mel-rose, Mel-rose."

***

High-Scoring Zebra: Pierre Belanger now expects to hear the catcalls and the "Three Blind Mice" tune when he takes to the ice as an ECAC official. But it was not always that way.

Belanger's name sits in the ECAC press guide, and not just in the referee listings. In 1967, Belanger scored 12 points for his Oswego St. team against RIT. That is still the single-game league scoring record.