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This is no time to rant and rave. This is no time to talk about "home jobs," or how long it took to fix the hole in the B.U. crease. This is no time to talk about dirty play, cheap shots, or what appeared to be a night-long mugging of George Hughes. And this is certainly no time to be thinking of what would have happened with Brian Petrovek in the nets.
The Harvard hockey team lost its second game of the season last night on a goal by the Terriers' John Bethel with less than four minutes to play. And that, coupled with the tear-your-eyebrows-out overtime loss to Dartmouth, gives you an idea of how close the Crimson has come to being 5-0 at this point, instead of 3-2.
But looking at records at this juncture of the season proves nothing. It's how a team is playing (sometimes in spite of its record) that counts. Harvard triumphantly proved last night that its 1977-78 edition can play with anyone else in the ECAC.
B.U. was supposed to run away with the ECAC this season. But the Terriers certainly didn't run away with the Crimson last night, and didn't even run at them until the last half of the game.
Harvard has no reason to feel that it was outplayed. That fact showed up best at the end of the game when Coach Billy Cleary shook each and every Crimson hand, a very untraditional gesture after a tough loss. The confidence is there, the wins will come. And so will the Beanpot, two months from now....
And now it's time to rant and rave:
1) HOME JOBS--The officiating was atrocious on both sides. Too many times offsides whistles were late, leaving the tempo of the game scattered and inconsistent.
But that's where the parity ends. Harvard players went to the box eight times last night, to only five for B.U. That's bogus; it's as if officials take for granted that the Terriers will play rough and concentrate on the mistakes of the skating-passing clubs.
Perhaps the most blatant example came after B.U.'s go-ahead goal, when the refs delayed the faceoff so that Dave Silk--who forgot that both teams were still skating four-a-side--could remember to get off the ice, rather than slapping B.U. with a bench minor for too many trade-school graduates on the ice.
Exhibit B in the case for "Home Jobbing" was supplied by the ticket sales people at Walter Brown Arena, who wouldn't grant the Harvard Band a section of seats. Bruce Shepherd on trumpet and Dave Schindler on sax did a gutsy job, but their sound never got past the left blue line. Score an immoral victory for Boston University.
2) FIXING THE HOLE IN THE B.U. CREASE--If the refs didn't demolish the tension of the game, the third-period clinic on Open Ice Surgery did. B.U. goalie Brian Durocher tantrummed for nine minutes and 30 seconds of the last period until play was stopped to fix the cavity by the right post of the Terrier cage.
The operation took 20 minutes, capped off by a half-dozen blasts from a fire extinguisher to harden the filling (the visual effect was intense--the crease looked like the beginning of "Dark Shadows") and the delay put the then 3-3 game in nerve-wracking perspective. I was waiting for Chad Everett to come out and take Durocher's pulse.
3) THE ATTEMPTED DISMEMBERMENT OF GEORGE HUGHES--That's NHL stuff. Not that George can't handle it--just ask Jack O'Callahan's head. And while we're at it, how about a prison sentence for Terrier terrorist Marc Hetnik and his "stickwork?"
4) "WE WANT PETRO!"--That's right, we want Petro. We want him to keep coaching John Hynes just like he's been doing, because the kid was super, and is my vote for Group I in goaltending. He's getting consistent and not allowing the dangerous rebounds like he used to.
Only 61 more shopping days 'til the Beanpot....
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