Though the Harvard hockey team was supposed to be the host at Walter Brown Arena last night, the regular tenants, the Boston University Terriers, made surrogate subletters of the icemen and raised their record to 5-0 with a decisive 8-5 victory.
Playing without the services of six of its top forwards, B.U. ran up a 7-3 lead after two periods, then held on in the final 20 minutes.
And though the Crimson would outscore B.U. 2-1 in the third, goalie Jim Craig was just good enough (12 saves, 28 overall) and the Terrier defense just careful enough to prevent Harvard from damaging their unblemished record. And when Todd Johnson slid his third goal of the night 80 feet into an empty net to make it 8-5, blemished only was Harvard's aborted comeback attempt.
Tommy Murray popped his first goal of the year from out in front to make it 7-4, and then surprisingly clean play from both squads (no third-period penalties) helped the icemen cut the deficit to two with six and a half minutes remaining.
Harvard used a line change to its own advantage, as freshman Dave Burke and George Hughes, two of the team's better goal scorers, passed it back and forth before Burke flicked it by Craig for the game's last legitimate goal.
The Terriers had emerged with a 2-1 lead after an up-and-down slapshot fest of a first period.
Sophomore hip check specialist Daryl MacLeod opened the scoring at 3:04, taking a shovel pass from freshman Rob Davies and firing a high wrister to the short side of the cage past Crimson frosh Wade Lau.
Davies had broken in alone on Lau, but was checked off the play just as he passed off. Harvard defenseman Jack Hughes could not get to MacLeod in time to stop his shot.
The Crimson then pulled the emergency brake on B.U.'s momentum, as senior Murray Dea popped his first of the year just six seconds later to tie it at one-apiece.
Dea took the puck after a face-off in the B.U. zone and surprised the out-of-position Craig with a whistler to the lower right corner.
As both teams went into fleeting moments of offensive pressure, the Terriers used the last half of the first to conduct a give-and-go, 3-on-2 clinic and cop the go-ahead goal at 10:05.
Sophomore Mark Fidler took the puck into the left corner, and after drawing the attention he is accustomed to from the Harvard defense, dropped the puck back to junior Scott Nieland at the point. Nieland's blazer motored by the glove hand of the screened Lau and into the upper corner for B.U.'s second score.
But the dogs went mad in the second period, despite some strong play by Harvard in the middle of the stanza, and were up 7-3 with one period left.
B.U. made bookends out of its goal-scoring outbursts, firing in three in the first six minutes plus, and a pair within the last 1:24.
MacLeod notched his second of the evening at 2:43 when he tucked a rebound pass from Davies into a virtually vacated net. Sophomore Johnson then cranked his first of two second-period scores when he scooped the puck up at center ice after some Harvard pressure and beat Lau low to the right.