HANOVER, N.H.--Harvard's varsity skaters embarrassed a vociferous sellout crowd of Dartmouth fans here last night, as they demolished the Big Green icemen, 6-2, in Dartmouth's Davis Rink to move into sole possession of first place in the Ivy League.
The Crimson's Jim McMahon broke a 2-2 tie during a power play at 4:50 of the final period, and then midway through the stanza, Harvard exploded with three goals within 70 seconds to put the game out of reach.
The victory assures Harvard of at least a share of the Ivy championship, which has been the property of the Big Red for the last eight years. Harvard now boasts an 8-3 Ivy record, while Dartmouth and Cornell each stand 7-4 in Ivy play.
All three teams have their final league contests this weekend, and if the Crimson skaters down Yale on Saturday, they will win the title for the first time since 1963. If Harvard loses to Yale, and if Dartmouth and Cornell each win their final Ivy game, the season will end in a three-way tie for the championship.
Harvard goalie Jim Murray came back strong last night after a weak performance last Saturday at Yale. Murray proved a stalwart behind the Crimson's defense, making 12 saves in the third period alone and stopping 30 shots all together. On offense Harvard's four lines produced a balanced attack.
The Crimson took an early lead when Harvard co-captain Bob Goodenow converted during a power play at 3:35 of the opening period. Goodenow, assisted by Randy Roth and McMahon, tallied from the point after the power play unit's earlier attempts to score from close in had failed.
The Crimson successfully killed a holding penalty on co-captain Marc Noonan halfway through the stanza, but with 2:55 remaining in the period, Dartmouth tied the score at 1-1. Senior winger Bill Dunbar beat Murray with a high shot into the left corner.
Harvard regained the lead at 8:57 of the second period when left-winger Phelps Swift flicked a shot over the outstretched leg of Big Green goalie Dan Ringsred. At 9:08 referees banished Noonan to the penalty box for interference and Dartmouth's Bob Hayes tallied eight seconds into the power play to knot the score at 2-2.
Officials Bill Quinn and Robert Dupuis called two overlapping penalties on the Crimson in the last two minutes of the middle period, but the Big Green skaters failed to convert although they held a two-man advantage for 55 seconds.
McMahon scored the game-winner early in the third period when Harvard was a man up. Jim Thomas, playing the point, passed to Steve Dagdigian in the left corner, and Dadigian sent the puck to McMahon who was standing by the crease.
Sophomore Paul Hailey put in a rebound at 11:12 to give Harvard a 4-2 lead after his linemate Kevin Burke had carried the puck down ice.
Dadigian scored at 12:10 in a high shot from the right face-off circle area, and Dan Bolduc notched Harvard's final goal 22 seconds later.
Big Green fans arrived two hours before the game to put up "Freeze the Johns" signs around the rink. Before the opening face off they stood at attention to sing a school fight song, which was played in lieu of the national anthem.
In a J.V. game played earlier at Harvard's Watson Rink, the Crimson downed Exeter Academy 4-3. Exeter took a 1-0 lead in the first period, but the Crimson tallied one goal in the second stanza and three in the fourth to sew the game up.
In the 5-3 Harvard freshman victory over the Big Green, the Crimson's first-line center Bill Hozack scored a hat-trick and Lyman Bullard and Bill Horton netted one goal apiece.
The Crimson traded goals in the first two stanzas with Dartmouth, leaving the score 3-3 after the second period. Hozack tallied in the final two goals to give Harvard its 14th win of the season.