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Babbling Brooke

More Than Free Hotdogs

By Brooke A. Masters

I knew I was in trouble when the teams changed sides for the second period and I didn't notice.

Hockey games never seemed all that complicated when I watched the Islanders on television or the Harvard team in Bright Center. Somehow, sitting high above most spectators in the Boston Garden press box lent an aura of mystery to the whole affair.

Even though the Garden was all but empty last night at the beginning of the Beanpot consolation game between Harvard and Boston College, I had a great time surveying the action from the press box and eating the complimentary Boston Garden hot dogs.

The scoreboard confused me at first, because the two teams are labeled "Boston" and "Visitor" and Harvard was officially the home team. But I eventually figured things out and settled down to enjoy the game.

After all, I wasn't the only mixed-up person in the Garden at last night's Beanpot tournament. When the buzzer went off at the conclusion of the third period with Harvard and B.C. tied at 6-6, all the reporters were asking each other whether there would be an overtime.

New England Sports Network (NESN), the television station broadcasting the game, thought it knew the answer: it turned off its television cameras. And WHRB told its radio audience that the game was over.

We eventually figured out that there would be one 10-minute, sudden-death overtime, and helped ourselves to more hotdogs.

By this time, the Garden was packed with Boston University and Northeastern fans, who had come for the Beanpot finals. Most of them were even more ignorant about Harvard hockey than I am and didn't care about the game's outcome to boot.

Stellar play drew cheers nonetheless-but the shouts turned to confused murmurs at the game's conclusion when B.C. forward Ken Hodge knocked a 60-ft. shot past Harvard goalie Dickie McEvoy with zero seconds showing on the clock.

I didn't know whether or not the goal was good. But no one else did either.

The goal judge obviously thought not, becausehe had already turned on the green lightsignaling the end of a period.

The people running the digital message boarddisagreed, because they flashed a signcongratulating B.C. coach Len Ceglarski on hisrecord-breaking 556th victory.

The B.C. players and fans were too busycelebrating to even question the goal's validity.

The referees ultimately ruled the goal good,but Harvard Coach Bill Cleary and his playersremain firmly convinced that time had expired.

At least they have definite opinions. Me, I'mjust confused

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