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Defending champion Denver ended Harvard's slim upset hopes with a four-goal second period and coasted to a one-sided 9-2 victory in the semifinal round of the NCAA championships last night at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.
Denver will meet the winner of tonight's other semifinal contest between Cornell and Michigan Tech Saturday night in the title game while Harvard will face the loser in the consolation game for third place.
The Crimson surprised everyone by playing the Pioneers to a 2-2 standoff in the opening period, but the outmanned skaters failed to convert three power plays into goals and never challenged again.
Throughout the game, Denver's big defensemen controlled the area in front of the cage by clearing out Crimson forwards. But when they did threaten on the power play, goalie Gerry Powers--who made 21 saves to Bruce Durno's 31--made the crucial saves to deny Harvard the score.
Eight Denver players scored in the rout--Harvard's worst loss of the year--and the first and second line centers, Tom Miller and Bob Trembeckey, led the team with three points apiece. Trembeckey scored two goals.
Harvard seemed to defy all predictions of a runaway Denver victory when it jumped out to an early lead with a quick score only 28 seconds into the period.
Captain Bobby Bauer, setting up the first of his line's two goals, broke into the Pioneer zone all alone, and caught the Denver defense sleeping with a pass to Ron Mark. Mark fired the puck and stunned the confident defending champions with his goal.
But Denver quickly assumed the offensive, and scored two goals within 14 seconds to lead 2-1--the first on a clear shot by Tom Gilmore and the second on a tip-in by Craig Patrick.
The two teams settled down into an even battle until George McManama tied the score for Harvard with a shot past Power's glove hand. The period ended with the score deadlocked; 2-2.
The second period was a disaster After having a man advantage for the beginning of the period. Harvard found itself a man down for the first time when Terry Flaman was penalized for tripping at 3:35. Gilmore scored the winning goal 14 seconds later in a scramble in front of the crease.
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