Somewhere in Belleville, Ontario, there lives a woman named Meagher who has done an incredible disservice to the cause of Harvard hockey.
Last night at Watson Rink, the third Meagher offspring to arrive at Boston University in the last few years with the intention of playing hockey tucked home a goal at 2:12 of overtime, giving the Terriers an important 3-2 victory over Harvard and their first win of the young hockey season.
His first name is Tony, he is a freshman, and he is a member of what might be the most prolific sports family since the Flying Wallendas. Anyone who has watched Harvard hockey over the past four years can tell you about them.
Meagher's goal, the first of his college career, wiped out the memory of a spirited Crimson rally that carried the game into overtime after the Crimson trailed 2-0 in the third. A drive by Terrier Bill O'Neill which carromed off Brian Petrovek's glove was retrieved by John Fox behind the net and fed in front to a fortunately (as always) placed Meagher, who stuffed it home before Petrovek could react.
The loss was a tough one for the Crimson to swallow, especially in light of the events of the third period, when goals by defenseman Jim Trainor and center George Hughes erased B.U.'s two goal edge.
Trainor's tally came at 6:24, just seconds after a two-minute penalty on B.U.'s John McClellan had elapsed. With McClellan frantically skating out to rejoin the forces, Trainor let loose a blast from the left point which sped unimpeded into the top of the net behind goalie Jim Craig, and it was 2-1.
Nine minutes later, after some spectacular saves by Petrovek on John Bethel from in close and John Fox from the side, Hughes knotted it with a wrist shot at 15:23. Taking a pass from sophomore wing Doug Thompson directly in front of the net, Hughes slid it under Craig for his second goal of the year.
A tripping call on Harvard's John Cochrane with three minutes left in regulation took the steam out of the comeback drive, and the Crimson failed to muster another good shot on net for the remainder of playing time.
Petrovek was sharp for most of the game, turning away 30 shots while Craig was kicking out 34. The senior was dented twice in the second period, however, when the Terriers put together a power play score and a breakaway in the space of little over one minute.
Impressive freshman Dave Silk opened the game scoring at 11:12, when he deflected an O'Neill point drive past a helpless Petrovek. At 12:19, Bob Boileau made it 2-0 with a backhand flip between Petro's pads, the finish of a nice play set up by Mike Eruzione's fine rush down the left boards.
Craig and a revived Terrier defense (30 goals in five previous games) were busy at the same time shutting off Harvard's promising offense with some solid play. Few of Harvard's shots in the first 40 minutes even remotely looked like scoring opportunities, and those that did were handled with ease by the Terrier freshman.
With games against Brown and New Hampshire coming up in the next week, the Crimson will have little time to consider how Mrs. Meagher is sabotaging its best efforts. But there's always the Beanpot in February and the chance that another Meagher will have turned up by then.