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This is my first-ever column for the Crimson. Before you read this rag, I'd like to tell you a little about myself. I mean the sports fan who reads a writer's column deserves to know a little history concerning the writer.
You can look at the byline to learn my legal name, but most folks at Harvard, and in the world for that matter, call me Fritz. I almost entitled my column "On the Fritz," but whatever.
Anyway, my beat this winter entails covering the varsity hockey team. I share the chore with Bill Scheft--yes he really is insane. I was given the job because I know a bit about the game. I have been a rink rat since I was six. I was captain of the Deerfield Academy squad in 1975. I was not much of a star, and had plenty of trouble putting the puck in the net from my center ice position. But nonetheless I had my day, so to speak.
At Deerfield I played with the likes of Harvard star Kevin O'Donahue, while opposing George Hughes, the man who led Choate to a 9-5 thumping over Deerfield, Bobby Fowkes and Jon Garrity.
Perhaps, this background information will add a little credibility to what I have to say to the reader.
In last night's 6-3 hockey victory over the University of Vermont Catamounts, the line of George Hughes, freshman Tommy Murray and Gene Purdy proved themselves to be a fiercely potent scoring unit. Everyone this side of the Mississippi knows that George can put the puck past any goaltender. Last Tuesday Hughes fittingly scored Harvard's first goal of the 1977-1978 campaign. Last night the mustachioed junior twice beat UVM's goaltender Tony Frost with wrist shots seven feet from the crease, for the first two tallies of the contest.
Purdy's performance against the Cats was awesome. Purdy is the Crimson's most brutal iceman in the corners. No one takes the opponent out of the play more effectively. In the scoring department, Gene assisted on three Harvard goals before connecting on his first goal of the season. Two of Purdy's assists were brilliant, both on first period goals. Having had a hand in Harvard's first score, Purdy nailed a pass onto Tommy Murray's stick as the freshman blazed toward the UVM goal behind the Catamount defense. Murray deflected a shot on goal, and Hughes cranked the rebound by the sprawling Frost.
Murray and Purdy once again combined to set up Harvard's third tally. Murray blazed into the offensive corner to pick up a loose puck and alertly saw Purdy streaking to the opposite corner. Murray sent the puck around the boards, and Purdy hit defenseman Jack Hughes with a pass at his right point position. Hughes, last season's ECAC Rookie of the Year, slapped a pill past the UVM goaltender. Hughes drilled two goals from his point position in the game.
Rookie Murray exhibited intense poise and anticipation in his second game ever as a Harvard hockey player. The Needham native notched three assists on the evening. He assisted George Hughes with a perfect backhand pass from the right corner, earning his first point of the season. Hughes was all alone in front of the Catamount cage. In the third period Murray slipped the puck by two UVM defenders to send Purdy all alone on net for Harvard's sixth goal. The freshman took a number of tough hits, but never backed down in the contest. His speed and passing ability are great assets to the team
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