It certainly looked a lot like the Harvard-B.C. rivalry of years past, as the Crimson played to its first sellout crowd of the year at Bright Hockey Center Saturday night.
However, relative inexperience and one questionable call by the officials robbed the Harvard men's hockey team (4-2-1, 4-1-1 ECAC) of its first legitimate chance for Beantown bragging rights in quite some time.
The No. 4 Eagles (11-3-0, 5-1-0 Hockey East) earned a stunning come- from-behind victory over the Crimson, stealing a 3-2 with a goal by Chuck Kobasew at 1:37 of overtime.
"We had the lead for a little while, and then inexperience took over," assistant captain Chris Bala said. "We need to battle through that kind of adversity."
But no amount of hard work and tenacity can reverse the kinds of calls that can outright change the outcome of a hockey game.
At 6:42 in the first period, sophomore center Dominic Moore took advantage of a B.C. turnover on its power play and flew down the ice, flanked by junior assistant captain Peter Capouch. Moore dished across the slot to Capouch, who batted the puck across the line. But officials claimed the puck did not cross the line, denying Capouch his fourth goal of the season and Harvard a potential victory.
The Crimson overcame this turn of bad luck and watched eagerly as sophomore center Brett Nowak and Bala teamed up to produce the Crimson's first go-ahead goal of the night.
Nowak drove hard to the boards behind the net and battled two B.C. defensemen for control of the puck. He emerged to Eagles' goaltender Scott Clemmensen's right and slid a pass to Bala on the doorstep. In a textbook play, Bala backhanded the shot past Clemmensen for a 2-1 lead at 10:47 of the third.
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