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M. Pucksters Set For Cornell

Hockey Notebook

By Michael R. Grunwald

It was Saturday night, and the Harvard men's hockey team was feeling glum.

The Crimson had just fallen to Clarkson, 6-2, in Potsdam, N.Y., to drop into sixth place in the ECAC. To make matters worse, the P.A. announcer had just informed the Walker Arena crowd that Cornell was beating RPI, 5-4, with three minutes left to play.

That meant Harvard had to come back to Walker this weekend for the first round of the playoffs.

"This is our worst nightmare come true," a gloomy forward Pete Ciavaglia said.

"There's not much we can do about it now," goaltender Allain Roy said. "We'll just have to suck it up and outskate them and outhit them, like they did to us tonight."

But they had spoken too soon. Minutes later, a report came in that the Engineers had taken the Big Red to overtime. A tie still would have meant a Harvard return to Potsdam. But RPI scored in sudden death, and that's when it really got confusing.

Cornell and Clarkson were tied for third place with 27 points apiece. The ECAC's first tiebreaker, head-to-head results, was inconclusive--the teams tied twice. Criterion number two, the squads' record against the league's top four teams, resulted in another draw.

But the Big Red nabbed the opportunity to host the Crimson on the basis of its record against the league's top eight, ousting the Knights by a single point.

Unsurprisingly, the Crimson was ecstatic. Harvard has defeated Cornell in the teams' last 11 meetings, including two convincing victories this season.

"Oh, Cornell's a tough place to play, too," a cautious Coach Bill Cleary said. "But I'd just as soon go up there."

Big Talkers at Walker: Harvard could have forced the Golden Knights to travel to Bright with a victory last weekend, but Walker officials apparently were not too worried about a Crimson win. The schedule of arena events posted outside the rink promoted "Harvard Tonight" as well as "ECAC Playoffs Next Friday."

Thank God for the Ivies: Harvard copped its ninth straight Ivy title this season with an 8-1-1 record within the Ancient Eight.

Outside the Ivies, the Crimson has plodded to a 5-12 mark. If Cornell sweeps the two-game playoff miniseries this weekend, Cleary will end his career with his first losing season since 1983-84.

Shuffling the Deck: After fourth-line forward Jim Coady filled in admirably for injured defenseman Kevin Sneddon during the Vermont/RPI weekend, Cleary decided to keep him at the blue line.

So before Friday night's match-up with St. Lawrence, Cleary moved sophomore defenseman Rich DeFreitas up front.

"I wasn't really comfortable with it at first," DeFreitas said. "I guess I'm willing to do anthing for us to win."

Goal of the Week: Ed Krayer slipped an overtime goal past Minnesota Robb Stauber to give the Crimson the national championship. It happened last April, but it was a really good goal.

With the Crimson held to three tallies during its Friday night loss to St. Lawrence and two against the Golden Knights, there wasn't much to choose from.

Offensive Player of the Week: Forward Matt Mallgrave. He didn't do anything particularly spectuacular last week, but neither did anyone else. All the freshman wing did was continue to skate himself silly bearing the brunt of the third line's forechecking and backchecking responsibilities.

Defensive Player of the Week: Roy. That's right, Roy. After Saturday night's debacle, everyone in both locker rooms agreed that Clarkson would have had a lot more than six goals if it wasn't for Harvard's sophomore netminder.

"Al was fantastic--he was a magician out there," Harvard forward Ted Donato said. "He kept his end of the bargain, but we didn't keep ours." HARVARD MEN'S HOCKEY (13-12-1 Overall, 12-9-1 ECAC)

Player  GMS  G  A  PTS  P/PM< /B> Mike Vukonich  25  21  28  49  7/14 C.J. Young  26  21  27  48  13/32 Peter Ciavaglia  26  17  17  34  11/22 John Murphy  26  9  25  34  8/16 John Weisbrod  25  9  21  30  17/58 Ted Drury  17  9  13  22  5/10 Tod Hartje  26  5  10  15  12/27 Tim Burke  26  6  7  13  10/20 Jim Coady  26  3  9  12  3/6 Ted Donato  14  5  6  11  8/24 Steve Flomenhoft  26  5  5  10  21/42 Scott Barringer  23  0  9  9  14/28 Brian Popiel  26  3  5  8  13/26 Kevan Melrose  16  1  6  7  36/124 Kevin Sneddon  24  0  7  7  9/18 Matt Mallgrave  24  3  3  6  10/31 Brian McCormack  26  2  3  5  18/36 Scott McCormack  22  1  4  5  17/34 Craig Miskovich  12  1  1  2  5/10 Chuckie Hughes  10  0  2  2  2/4 Aron Allen  3  0  1  1  3/14 Rich DeFreitas  26  0  1  1  9/18 Greg Hess  1  0  1  1  0/0 TOTALS  26  121  211  332  260/6 03 Opponents  26  98  160  258  225 /531

Player  GMS  MP  W  L  T   SV  GA  GAA  SV% Chuckie Hughes  10  609  5  4  1  28737  3.65  .886 Allain Roy  14  809  7  7  0  404  5 0  3.71  .890 Mike Francis  3  143  1  1  0  759  3.78  .893 TOTALS  26  1561  13  12  1   766  98  3.77  .887 Opponents  26  1562  12  13  1679  121  4.65  .849

Player  GMS  MP  W  L  T   SV  GA  GAA  SV% Chuckie Hughes  10  609  5  4  1  28737  3.65  .886 Allain Roy  14  809  7  7  0  404  5 0  3.71  .890 Mike Francis  3  143  1  1  0  759  3.78  .893 TOTALS  26  1561  13  12  1   766  98  3.77  .887 Opponents  26  1562  12  13  1679  121  4.65  .849

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