Despite a third period comeback effort by the Harvard freshman hockey team, the team bowed to the Merrimack College J.V. at North Andover yesterday by a score of 6-4.
Early on, it looked as if the Crimson would get blown away, with its opponents punching in four unanswered tallies in the penalty-free opening period.
But the yardlings eliminated the possibility of a shut-out less than a minute and a half into the second stanza as George Arnold batted one past the Merrimack netminder. Jim Dales and Charlie Maniekis notched assists on the play.
Three minutes later, however, the margin was back to four, as Merrimack scored on a power-play opportunity.
Each period marked an improvement in the freshmen. When Maniekis opened the second period with a score after a Merrimack penalty it was apparent that the big line of Paul Mangano, Bob Kelly and Jake Thain was finally cooking; Mangano and Kelly assisting on the play.
After four minutes, Thain picked up a score with the Mangano-Kelly passing tandem providing the feed.
It was Kelly's turn to receive passes one minute later, parking the puck in the net with Mangano and Thain assisting.
The comeback was to fall short however, as the teams played the final seven minutes of the contest without a score. The loss dropped the Harvard squad's record to 3-5 for the season.
Coach Bob Carr outlined some of the reasons for the less than spectacular record yesterday. "If there are any exceptional freshmen players at Harvard, they play for the varsity. Also, we have to play J.V. teams from the other colleges because Harvard is one of the few schools with a freshman team," he said.
Possibly the biggest problem is that there are only three full lines, four defensemen and two goalies. "All have played pretty well, but we are seriously undermanned," Carr said.
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