The Harvard hockey squad's special teams played last night like Rick Barry at the free throw line. Or like Wade Boggs trying to reach the elusive .400 batting average.
They were almost perfect.
Sparked by three power-play scores and Allen Bourbeau's two-goal, three-assist performance, Harvard defeated Colgate, 8-2, in front of 3224 spectators at Bright Center.
The semi-perfect special-teams output--the Crimson capitalized on three of five power-play situations and killed all six penalties--kept Harvard's record in perfect condition. The Crimson (8-0 overall, 7-0 ECAC, 6-0 Ivy League) still sits alone in first place of the ECAC.
"We're improving on the power play," Harvard Coach Bill Cleary said. "We want to be a bit more patient. When we execute our power play well, it's pretty hard to defend."
After John Murphy scored the Crimson's first goal of the game, thanks to a crisp pass from the blue line by Ted Donato, the Crimson power-play unit went out on the ice twice in the opening period.
And twice the red light went on for the Crimson.
"I thought their power play was very good, they can skate," Colgate Coach Terry Slater said. "We tried to play defensive hockey against them at the beginning."
Bourbeau, Harvard's poised point man, took a shot from the center of the zone, which rebounded in front of the right side of the net.
C.J. Young tipped the puck past Colgate goalie Greg Menges (25 saves) with 7:27 remaining in the opening period.
Exactly two minutes later, Bourbeau passed the puck to Pete Ciavaglia in front of the net. The puck clung to Ciavaglia's stick like Crazy Glue, but the sophomore had no problem back-handing his shot into the net to give Harvard a 3-0 lead.
"We cooked on a couple of power plays and suddenly we're up by a few goals," Bourbeau said.
But probably the most memorable goal of the game was Harvard's fourth--Paul Howley's first goal of the year.
Doing a mean impression of Bourbeau's on-his-stomach goal against the Soviets in the 1988 Winter Olympics, Howley managed to fling the puck past Menges while he fell to the ice with 6:57 into the second period. Harvard led, 4-0, and Howley's quest for a score was over.
"I tried just about anything, from hungerstrikes to getting extra shots at practice,"Howley said.