It was typical of a season opener. Harvard's freshman hockey team out-classed the Boston State junior varsity from opening face-off to final buzzer, but managed to make enough mistakes to keep the contest close, narrowly squeezing out a 4-3 victory.
"We've got a long way to go," coach Tim Taylor said after watching his squad outshoot the Warriors, 44-18. "For one thing, we had an awful lot of unnecessary penalties."
One such penalty, a hooking call on center Ken Farrish, gave State the power play that put it ahead early in the first period, when Warrior defenseman John Paduto blasted a 40-foot drive from the right point past Crimson goalie Bob Fernandez.
In the next five minutes, however, the Crimson came back strong, ringing two shots off the Warriors' goalposts before wing Roger Hunt left-handed a 15-foot drive into the State nets at 15:56 into the period.
Farrish put the Crimson ahead to stay two and a half minutes later, picking up a rebound and bouncing it off the State crossbar to give Harvard a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period.
Dominated Second Period
The Yardlings completely dominated the second period, besieging the Warrior nets with 19 shots, while State could only respond with three.
Two of the 19 found their mark, but not before 18 minutes of the period had passed. Then wing John Keeley scored from point-blank range after a melee in front of the Warrior nets at 18:11. Center Tom Cook followed 31 seconds later with a 20-foot drive, and Harvard's 4-1 lead at the second intermission seemed invincible.
But the Yardlings fell apart in the third period. "They just stopped skating," Taylor said.
Warrior forward Steve Gillis blasted in a score less than 90 seconds into the period. In the next 12 minutes Harvard ran up four penalties, giving State a near-permanent power play. Warrior center Kevin Jato scored on a drive with six minutes left to play, making it 4-3.
The Warriors pulled their goalie with just under two minutes remaining and launched a strong attack on the Crimson nets, very nearly tying the game.