(Special to the CRIMSON)
DURHAM, N. H.-When the New Hampshire hockey team is playing in Snively Arena, partisan Wildcat supporters rarely allow a quiet moment. But last night there was silence, complete silence, in the rink almost throughout the evening, and it could only mean that U. N. H. was being horribly beaten.
After holding off intense New Hampshire pressure for the opening ten minutes, Harvard's fluid-smooth hockey team poured in five goals during each of the first two periods and ripped the Wildcats, 11-3.
A capacity crowd of 4013, which had arrived more than an hour early and thoroughly booed Harvard's first appearance on the ice, created a verbal bedlam at the opening whistle that set the hurried, almost frantic New Hampshire pace early in the game.
Wildcat forwards began chasing Harvard defensemen into the corners with determination almost immediately, and only the Crimson's calm retention of its position play style, combined with junior Bruce Durno's superb goaltending, kept New Hampshire at bay.
Dan DeMichele scored at 7:00 on a power play, however, and Leif Rosenberger added another goal 23 seconds later to rescue the Crimson from immediate danger. But not until there were four minutes remaining in the period, when Harvard unleashed an incredible barrage upon Blue goalie Larry Smith, did the tide begin to turn.
At 16:07, with Wildeat John Gray in the penalty box. Chris Gurry put a point shot past Smith to push Harvard ahead, 3-1. When Steve Owen and Joe Cavanagh both tallied within the next three minutes. New Hampshire was emotionally destroyed.
The Cavanagh-Owen-DeMichele line went on to score six of Harvard's 11 goals, with Cavanagh tallying three, and its cohesion and explosive power were symbolic of an evening during which the Crimson, offensively, could do little wrong.
Harvard clearly had the potential for such an onslaught, but for it to come against a New Hampshire squad that skated with the Crimson all night was quite surprising.
The primary factors, perhaps, were the Wildcats' overuse of their pressure strategy, which often left Blue defensemen stranded up-ice, and poor goaltending. Against a less powerful offensive attack, the strategy could have been devastating. Against Harvard, it was self destructive.
DeMichele and senior Jack Turco brought the lead to 7-1 with goals in the first four minutes of the second period. Bob Brandt and Terry Blewett scored at 4:54 and 9:55, but Cavanagh scored immediately afterwards to reopen the margin.
After Ron Mark skated through the entire New Hampshire squad on a rinklength rash to score Harvard's tenth goal, and George McManama netted the eleventh early in the final period, there was silence in Snively Arena
Clearly, it will not be pleasant to be New Hampshire's next opponent. Or Harvard's.