The Harvard hockey team handed Coach Cooney Weiland his 100th Ivy League win in dramatic fashion last night, edging Brown, 3-1, at Watson Rink. The Crimson held a precarious 2-1 lead until Bob Fredo lit the lamp and the candles on the team's victory cake with 84 seconds to play.
The cake was part of a locker room celebration honoring the winningest coach in Harvard hockey history. Since he came to Cambridge in 1950, following a brilliant career as both player and coach for the Boston Bruins, Weiland has led the Crimson to 240 wins overall (against 127 losses and 15 ties).
Among the 17 teams that compiled the Ivy century were eight League champions and three runners-up. And last night's win definitely stamped the 1966 squad as another contender.
Harvard, after four road games, was slow and sloppy in the first period of its home debut, and had sophomore goalie Bill Diercks to thank for the scoreless tie after the first 20 minutes.
Bob Carr put the Crimson in the lead at 5:41 of the second period. He took a pass back from Bobby Bauer five feet inside the blue. line and let fly with a slap shot for his second goal in two games.
In the third period, Carr got the same pass, but passed across to defensemate Charlie Scammon on the left point. Scammon's long shot went under the splitting goalie and the hustling senior had his first goal in three years of varsity play.
The Crimson was wearing the Bruins down, but when center Bill Clarke banged in a rebound off Diercks's stick three minutes later, Brown and its loud and large contingent of rooters came alive.
The pace of the game doubled, and Harvardians among the 1700 fans held their breath until Fredo put the game away at 18:36.
Second line center Jack Garrity stick-handled down the left boards and fed his wing in the middle. Fredo's quick flip from seven feet in front of the cage caught the lower right corner.
Many of the Harvard supporters were seeing Diercks for the first time, and they couldn't help but like what they saw. Brown's lone goal came on the only clean rebound Diercks allowed, and the Minnesotan thrilled the crowd with his roaming, confident style of play.
Other treats were the play-breaking back-checking of Fredo, the gutty return of defenseman Don Grimble after a Brown stick broke his nose, and the arrival late in the second period of captain Dennis McCullough, who was named one of Michigan's two Rhodes Scholarship candidates after interviews in Detroit yesterday.
Yesterday afternoon, Harvard's freshman team slaughtered the Bruin Cubs, 12-4.
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