The Harvard freshman hockey team lost to the visiting Dartmouth skaters, 7-4, yesterday at Watson Rink. Intent on avenging an earlier 11-3 loss to the same team, the freshmen managed to narrow the margin of defeat but not much more.
The first period was about as exciting as The Ed Sullivan Show used to be to anyone with more than a fourth-grade education. Each team recorded the embarrassing total of six shots on net, but only Dartmouth was able to score, as John Hugo beat goalie Brian Murphy to the far side at 8:23 of the period.
Little else happened in the period. Although each team had two power plays, they were sloppily set up, and the score at the end of the first was Dartmouth 1, Harvard 0.
The second period saw more of the same. Again, only Dartmouth tallied although Harvard had three of the four power plays in this stanza, including a two-man advantage for 1:08. And as soon as Dartmouth returned to full strength, John Brennan made it 2-0 for the Green.
It is no wonder the flow of the game was so bad. Each player skated as if he needed double-runners. It was as if the guys were doing poor Mr. Frick imitations by taking spectacular spills, especially as they flew head-first into the benches.
The third period, however, was different. Just 0:20 into the frame, Hugo made it 3-0 on a brilliant tip-in on a Dave Dampisano shot. But it took only :08 for Harvard's Bob Kelley to assist on a Paul Mangano goal which sliced the lead back to two goals.
At 7:45 of the third period, John Dunderdale became the first of two Crimson players to receive a game misconduct for disagreeing with referee Neil McPhee's hooking call. Less than a minute later, Jack Kelley stuffed the puck past a sprawling Murphy to give Dartmouth a 4-1 lead.
Harvard countered with its own power play goal at 13:02 as Kelley and Mangano teamed again, this time Kelley scoring and Mangano assisting.
Dartmouth refused to relent, though, as it scored twice more before Kelley and Mangano teamed up for a third time at 16:20 to make the tally Dartmouth 6, Harvard 4.
At 16:53 all hell broke loose when McPhee, out of position for the umpteenth time, made yet another atrocious call and denied Harvard a goal. After a scramble in front of the net, the puck ended up in the twine. McPhee held that the puck was kicked in and disallowed the goal.
Kelley, obviously upset, protested the call and received a game misconduct just before Harvard coach Bob Carr accused the ref of having lost his intestines. It all meant nothing to McPhee.
Dartmouth added an empty net goal to make the final score 7-4.
Individually, Murphy had 23 saves on the afternoon while the Big Green's Hugo had a hat trick.
The loss dropped the yardlings record to 4-8-1 with one remaining game at Yale on Saturday. If the game is anything like yesterday's, the end is welcome.