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Shortly before faceoff time tonight, Brian Petrovek of the ECAC will climb eight flights of stairs in an abandoned Causeway St. warehouse and officially throw the 1980-81 season records of the Harvard, B.C., B.U. and Northeastern hockey teams out an open window. Or so some people would have you believe.
They say that anything can happen at a Beanpot. That ranks up with Watergate and Santa Claus as widespread misinformation. Things will be just as usual. Harvard won't have any more effective defensemen tonight than it did during all of January. Rick Meagher and Mike Eruzione won't blaze onto the pale blue ice, one last game of college eligibility magically remaining, and lead the Terriers to victory. Jackie Parker won't mellow out.
What happens at the Beanpot is exactly the same as what happens at every other sporting event--the best team usually wins. When it doesn't, and an underdog rises to the occasion--last year for instance--the result is a stirring, dramatic contest that sends highly ranked losers back to conference play reeling and troubled, and infuses the previously lowly winners with a spirit of regeneration. But those are the upsets.
People remember the upsets, but the hard facts of life for the losers in this world read like this: Boston University was the best college hockey team in the East during the 1970s, and Northeastern was one of the worst. B.U.'s Beanpot totals for the decade are 16 wins and four losses. The Huskies went 3-17.
Here are some things that will happen tonight:
Boston College, the best team in the East right now, will have some trouble with a fired-up B.U. squad that has been playing well of late. In the end, however, the potent Eagle offense will wear down the Terrier defense--much like Northeastern did last week--and Billy O'Dwyer and company will spurt to a three-goal win.
Harvard, which played a fine game against Clarkson Saturday night, will be looking to avenge an 11-5 loss at the hands of Northeastern and come out hitting. But with Tom Murray and Mark Fusco ailing and plenty of confusion and defense and the power play, netminder Wade Lau will spell the difference between a blowout and a close one. If Lau plays the way he did against Clarkson, the Crimson has a real chance because Northeastern is under lots of pressure as defending champion. But it's rare that goalies are so sharp twice in a row You have to go with the Huskies by two or three, and hope for the breaks.
How others see it:
Mike Bass, Crimson Associate Sports Editor: B.C., 7-4: Northeastern, 4-2.
Jeff Toobin, Crimson Sports Editor Emeritus: B.U., 6-5; Northeastern, 4-3.
Denis Kennedy, WHRB, The Voice of Harvard Hockey: B.C., 7-4; Northeastern, 6-5 (OT).
Ed Murphy, WHRB, The Voice of Harvard Basketball: B.C., 88-81, Harvard, 71-69.
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