Harvard hockey added a sour postscript to a surprisingly strong season Saturday night, losing to Cornell, 7-6, in the ECAC consolation game at the Boston Garden.
With the score tied, 6-6, late in the final period, Cornell center Brian Campbell sneaked past the Crimson defense on a breakaway and rocketted the winner by Harvard netminder John Aiken with but 1:17 remaining on the clock.
Cornell's transplanted Canadians came out flying in the initial period, and within 12 minutes had pocketed four unanswered goals, two on powerplays and one shorthanded, to take advantage of an unpsyched and lackluster Crimson squad.
The Big Red added another late in the first, but not until after Dave Bell scored a powerplay goal and Kevin Carr had twined one for Harvard to prevent a runaway. The latter goal marked the first varsity point for freshman defenseman Franco Skalamandre, who assisted on the play.
Consolation-game form keynoted the second stanza for both teams, the only goal coming when Bell notched his second of the night at 32 seconds.
However, almost accidentally, both teams recovered their pride for the final 20 minutes, as aggressive, fast-paced hockey returned to the Garden ice. Harvard outscored Cornell, 3-2, in this period, the big story being Bell's hat trick goal at 11:47. Other tabs were by freshman whiz George Hughes at 9:09, and Bill Horton's game-knotter at 12:48.
Unnoticed in the otherwise overlooked game was the performance of Aiken in the cage. The senior goalie, playing the third consolation game of his career, responded admirably, stopping 45 shots. Much of the rubber that Aiken saw came on breakaways, the result of easy-going play by both forwards and defensemen.
When it was over the crowd turned their attention to the main event, as the B.U. juggernaut extinguished a red-hot Brown squad 9-2. The Terriers' vastly superior play during the semis and the finals of the ECAC makes them a strong favorite to dethrone Michigan Tech as NCAA hockey king.
One can only look back on the past hockey season with favorable reviews. Virtually no one expected the Crimson to wind up their season in the consolation game, much less beat UNH as it did Wednesday night.
Assistant coach Tim Taylor found highlights very easy to come by, citing last week's game in Durham as "our biggest victory of the season." Taylor also noted the team's seven-game unbeaten string just prior to exams, when they knocked off such notables as Michigan State (twice), Brown, Providence, and Boston College.
Taylor enthusiastically awaits next hockey season. "We were young this year," he said," especially on defense, but next season the experience will pay off, we'll be much stronger. There are a lot of things to look forward to."