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WEST POINT, N.Y.--They weren't thinking about the Beanpot. They couldn't afford to.
Colgate entered Saturday night's ECAC action eight points ahead of Harvard in the standings. Army--Harvard's opponent--had yanked the Crimson for a one-goal win earlier in the season.
The Beanpot? Forget it.
"I told the kids that we had to stay out of [the fights], we couldn't afford to retaliate," said Harvard Coach Bill Cleary after his Crimson defeated the Cadets, 4-1, here at Tate Rink. "We have a game Monday night and [Army] doesn't."
Army did what it has been trained to do. It fought.
Harvard had its own instructions: walk away. No fights, no penalties, no injuries. Last season, junior John Weisbrod took a direct trip from Tate Rink to the hospital, Lane MacDonald '88-'89 staggered out with a minor concussion and C.J. Young and Josh Caplan '89 limped away with leg injuries.
That, Cleary instructed, was not going to happen this year. Especially not with the Beanpot peeking around the corner.
Freshman Ted Drury tried to follow instructions.
When Mike Gengler forced a little tangle in the Army end of the ice, Drury got angry--but walked.
But Harvard didn't have control of this game. The Crimson could have walked all the way to New York City and it wouldn't have mattered. The Cadets were on a mission for blood.
"It got kind of ridiculous after a while," Drury said. "It's not even that they were just backchecking. They were swinging sticks."
Young took a stick in the face. John Murphy, the arm. By the end, it wasn't just sticks, but fists as well. But Drury didn't last that long.
In the second period, after Cadet Scott Tardif was sentenced to the box for tripping Young, Drury took the puck on the power play and ended up with a knee in the thigh. He limped off the ice and out of tonight's Bean-pot lineup.
Senior Scott McCormack didn't have much better luck--not that he didn't try. He was a gentleman when Army's Rich Sheridan made big-time body contact with Harvard goaltender Allain Roy in the net. He didn't retaliate--he even helped Sheridan up from the ice.
But Sheridan--who finished his stick-swinging with a slam against the arena wall after a late-game ejection--found no solace in McCormack's manners.
He took the senior down early in the third period with a low slice. McCormack tried to get up. He tried again. And again. But his hyperextended knee just wouldn't cooperate.
McCormack, who missed last year's Beanpot with a broken collar-bone, may be sitting down for three weeks. The official word on Drury is one to two weeks.
So when the real bumping and bruising began, McCormack and Drury were riding the bench. Ahead? A long busride home--with ice packs--and a longer sit in the stands during tonight's Beanpot semifinal.
But they weren't supposed to be thinking about the 'Pot. No one was.
But it was hard to avoid.
"All over New England, it's a big deal," said Drury, a Trumbull, Conn. native. "It means a lot to me. I'm disappointed I'm not going to play."
Crimson, 4-1 at West Point, N.Y. HARVARD 1-1-2--4 Army 0-1-0--1
First Period: 1, H, Mike Vukonich 15 (John Murphy, Kevin Sneddon) 5:03. Penalties--Mike Kelsey (elbowing) 1227; H, Tim Burke (cross checking) 1621.
Second Period:2, A, Scott Schulze 6 (Rich Sheridan, Al Brenner) 14:10; 3, H, C.J. Young (Tod Hartje, Vukonich) 15:18. Penalties--A, Scott Tardif (tripping) 8:41; H, Scott Barringer (Cross checking) 12:20; H, Young (hooking) 12:46.
Third Period: 4, H, Pete Ciavaglia 14 (Burke, John Weisbrod) 0:49; 5, H, Ciavaglia (Young, Ted Donato) 10:57. Penalties--H, Barringer (holding) 2:23; A, Sheridan (hitting from behind) 3:03; H, Rich DeFreitas (tripping) 7:32; H, Bench (served by Barringer) 8:22; H, Weisbrod (10-minute misconduct) 8:22; A, Todd Traczyk (holding) 10:39; A, Brad Hamacher (roughing) 13:50; A, Sheridan (tripping, slashing, 10-minute misconduct) 15:38; A, Todd Tamburino (hooking) 18:41; A, Neil Minihane (roughing) 19:46; H, Steve Flomenhoft (roughing) 19:46; H, Barringer (roughing) 19:46.
Saves: H, Allain Roy 6-9-5--20; A, Brooks Chretien 5-5-3--13.
Power Play: H, 1-8; Y, 1-6.
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