PROVIDENCE, R.I.--Straight from the sonnets of Sir Philip Sidney, the courtly lover came to life here at Meehan Auditorium Saturday night, and he bore a strong resemblance to the Harvard hockey team.
Like impassioned Astrophel chasing fair Stella, the Crimson stickmen pursued elusive victory, only to be turned away, like the unrequited lover, frustrated by a 2-1 loss to Brown.
Time and time again, Harvard's golden opportunities failed to bring results, and the Crimson power play degenerated into virtual non-existence in the latter part of the game. Brilliant goaltending from Crimson freshman Wade Lau and his Brown counterpart, Mark Holden, kept the score low as Harvard outshot Brown, 60-45.
With Harvard trailing 2-0, Jackie Hughes tallied the only Crimson point of the night, ripping a blueline sizzler past Holden at 8:41 of the third. Jon Garrity picked up the assist.
But the mood of frustration, established early in the contest, came back to stifle Harvard's bid for a comeback, a picture-perfect Mike Watson-to-John Cochrane give-and-to late in the third period ending up with Cochrane unable to get off the shot from in front of the Brown net.
The tone of the game, much to Harvard's disdain, was set early in the first period as the sticksters executed their only strong power play of the evening, coming away empty-handed.
With Brown's Jim Bennett in the box for tripping, the Crimson icemen worked the points perfectly, freeing Jack Hughes, Murray Dea and John Dunderdale for blistering point shots. But there were no rebound opportunities as sure-handed Holden gloved the corner-high rockets and halted the Harvard assault.
Then, just minutes later with both teams at full strength, Brown's Jim Lawson picked up a weak Cochrane clearing pass and dumped it past Lau's outstretched arm to open the scoring at 16:13. The Crimson defense, suffering through an extremely erratic night, fell victim to some crisp Brown forechecking, the Bruins trapping the puck in the Harvard end for three, four and five shots at a time.
High-scoring Bruin Rick Scully and power-skating Dave Roberts pestered the Crimson defense behind the net and in the Harvard corners as the spirited Brown band kept the vocal crowed roaring and singing, "Ten thousand men of Harvard, 9000 are queer."
Three horrible Harvard power plays in the lackadaisical second period, matched only by the Crimson's dismal, third period excuse for a power play (their only set-up came in the last 20 seconds of the penalty), drowned out the early-period flurry that almost put Harvard even.
With Brown up 1-0, Jack Hughes fired from the point, watching his sizzler rebound off the post to the right of Holden. Jackie Burke picked up the loose puck, and with the Bruin netminder out of position, he misfired on an open net. Brown quickly covered for a face-off.
Three minutes later, Burke came back on a breakaway and charged Holden only to catch the bottom of the puck and flip it up high, the shot sailing off the goal's crossbar and up into the crowd.
With Harvard's offense temporarily asleep, Lau and the Crimson defense cam alive to keep the contest close, defenseman Graham Carter stopping Roberts on a 2-1 break with a nifty poke check. Lau then went to his knees to block Lawson's rebound shot just before the second period ended.
Jim Bennett opened the third period with a deflection of a Mike Mastrullo wrist shot, beating Lau at 2:41 of the final stanza for the winning goal and a 2-0 lead.
After Harvard missed a score of short-range opportunities with George Hughes and Burke working well in front of the net, Brown almost added insult to the injury.
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