Most every hockey fan in the East had to be surprised when the Boston University Terriers dropped their first five games of this hockey season.
B.U. was nothing less than number one in the ECAC last season and ended up fourth in the nation after two disappointing losses in the NCAA tournament. The Terriers also whipped Harvard three times a year ago.
On December 8, with the Crimson riding the crest of a 3-1 record, 2000 revenge seekers from Harvard piled into Watson Rink. The Terriers startled the Crimson, who skated as if they were asleep, by walking off with a sloppily played overtime victory, 3-2.
Since their triumph over Harvard, B.U. has played terrific hockey, winning six of their last seven games. With a 7-6 record, the Terriers are steadily cruising to the peak of the ECAC standings.
On Wednesday, January 11, at their own Walter Brown Memorial Rink, the Terriers, ranked seventh in the East, pulled out another overtime thriller, 7-6, over the University of New Hampshire Wildcats. The Wildcats were ranked number one in the East and number two in the country before the B.U. contest.
Freshman Dave Silk scored the game-winner on a power play at 4:13 of the overtime period. Defenseman Gary Fay sent the puck to co-captain Mike Eurzione who slipped a pass to Silk in the slot.
Game on Ice
The game was exciting, to say the least. UNH amassed a 4-1 advantage in the first period. The Wildcats' Bob Miller, who played for the U.S. Olympic team, led all UNH skaters in scoring by assisting on three of the Wildcats' first period goals, and notching a goal of his own in the second stanza.
Tallies by Joe Rando at 9:57, Rod Langway at 11:30, and Paul Powers at 14:58 gave UNH a three-goal advantage before the Terriers could beat Wildcat goalie Dan Magnarelli who had 35 saves for the night. Matt Marden put B.U. on the board at 16:06 of the first period and Bob Gould stretched UNH's lead to 4-1 late in the stanza.
B.U. dominated the second period with a little help from the referees. After the Wildcats' Miller slammed in UNH's fifth score, the Terriers scored three power play goals. Co-captain Rich Meagher rammed in a rebound at 3:46. Mike Pidgeon followed Meagher's act only 12 seconds later.
B.U.'s Silk scored the first of his three goals at 10:25 of the second period. Ralph Cox of UNH hoped to deter B.U.'s surge with a tally at 12:17, but the hard-driving Silk had other ideas, scoring the Terriers' fifth goal and bringing B.U. to within one goal of a deadlock.
B.U. dominated the third period but scored only once. Marc Hetnic connected at 14:00 to tie the contest. In overtime, one minute after the Terriers had successfully killed off a four-minute Fay penalty, Silk pumped in the game-winning power-play goal.
With its victory over UNH, B.U. seems to have fully reacclimated its perennial power in the ECAC. Unless Harvard meets B.U. in the Beanpot Tournament or in the ECAC playoffs, the Crimson will have to wait until next season to seek the sweet taste of revenge against the intimidating Terriers.