clashes with Crimson
As the men’s hockey Terriers take a hard look at Harvard before they face each other on Friday, March 28, in the NCAA tournament, BU coach Jack Parker sees many similarities between the teams -- and not just because both lost their conference title games in overtime.
“Harvard is a good matchup for us,” he says. “The team is very much like ours, with a great goaltender and good forwards.”
Game time for the Northeast Regional semifinal at the Worcester Centrum Centre will be 4 p.m. The following night, at 8 p.m. in the same building, the victor will play the winner of Friday’s New Hampshire–St. Cloud State game.
BU (24-13-3) is ranked 7th nationally, and Harvard (22-9-2) is 12th. The cross-river rivals aren’t mirror images, but they’re close. And they certainly won’t have to spend much time tracking down videotapes of each other’s games. The teams faced off early in the season and in the Beanpot.
Although BU emerged victorious in both contests, blanking the Crimson
3-0 on November 26, and taking the Beanpot opener, 2-1, Parker speaks
of the “revenge factor” as a possible equalizer. “We
had two great games with Harvard,” he says. “We had a 3-0
win in our building, which really wasn’t indicative of the closeness
of the game, because they could have won, 4-3.”
In the first game of the Beanpot on February 2, it was a goaltenders’ duel as Fields turned aside 28 of 29 shots, and Harvard’s Dov Grumet-Morris stopped 32 of 34.
“It’s going to be a tough one for us,” says Terrier cocaptain Freddy Meyer (MET’03). “Hopefully, we can get by them again.” The defenseman, who scored the winning goal against Harvard in the Beanpot, says that it was hard to watch his team from the stands in the final two Hockey East tournament games. Meyer has missed five of the last six games with a separated shoulder, and BU has missed his on-ice presence. Despite his absence, the Terriers were able to defeat Boston College in the March 14 conference semifinal, in the second overtime, 6-5, and barely lost another marathon with New Hampshire, 1-0, in the following night’s Hockey East championship game. BU had just 17 hours of rest between the two grueling games.
“The guys looked like they were starting to get physically drained from playing so long the night before,” says Meyer. “But we put the game in perspective. We made it pretty far in the tournament, and we’re happy with the way we’re playing. The loss against New Hampshire might give us some motivation to turn it up a little more against Harvard.”
And thanks to the long rest, his shoulder is healing nicely. “A couple more days of practice,” he says, “and I should be ready to go.”
The three NCAA Northeast Regional games at the Centrum Centre will
be televised on NESN. For information, call 353-GoBU or 353-3838.