College hockey probably never produced a better advertisement for itself than Saturday's Division I final, a four overtime thriller won by Bowling Green University 5-4.
Minnesota-Duluth, which advanced to the final with an overtime victory against North Dakota, was the loser, but in name only, since it too played with the heart of a champion. Both clubs skated furiously throughout the protracted, emotion-charged contest, which was free of the fisticuffs that mar so much professional play.
The game, the longest final in tournament history, saw Bowling Green erase a two-goal deficit twice in the third period. The drama was played out on the same Lake Placid rink where the United States Olympic team won the 1980 gold medal. Unfortunately, the marathon contest received only spotty television coverage, including a delayed airing on ESPN.
In terms of spectator interest, the hockey final and the baseball World Series are two of the NCAA's fastest growing championship events. The all-Midwestern final sold out the 7900-seat Olympic Arena despite this year's eastern location.
To increase the game's attractiveness to TV, some have suggested moving the final from Saturday to Monday night, as college basketball has done so successfully. Others, however, wonder if this might adversely affect actual attendance, since it would disrupt the schedules of working fans who return home on Sunday under the present format. Skate champions crowned
The world figure skating champion-ships in Ottawa pretty much followed the form established during last month's Winter Olympics. In three of the four events, the gold medalists from Sarajevo repeated their winning performances - Scott Hamilton in the men's, Katarina Witt in the women's, and Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean in the dancing.
The pairs competition, however, provided a nice, storybook surprise for the host Canadians, who witnessed Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini make amends for a disappointing seventh in Yugoslavia with a first on home ice. The Canadian couple, third in last year's worlds, dethroned the Soviet pair of Elena Valova and Oleg Vasiliev, the Olympic gold medalists. Americans Kitty and Peter Carruthers did not compete, electing to end their amateur careers with last month's silver medal in Sarajevo.
Like Martini and Underhill, dance couple Judy Blumberg and Michael Siebert of the US found greater rewards in Ottawa. They finished third to ease the heartbreak of what happened at the Winter Games, where questionable judging kept them from winning a medal.
Elaine Zayak, the only American in the women's event, jumped from sixth to third with a strong showing in the final free skating portion of the competition. Disappearing shooters
If scorching the nets were a sure-fire way to basketball fame and fortune, Lawrence Butler, Tony Murphy, Zam Fred-rick and Harry Kelly would all be big stars now. Instead, they are far removed the limelight. Though never well known, each player managed to put his name on the major college scoring title during the last six years.
Butler, the '79 scoring king, had a railroad job in Missouri when Idaho State last received word of his whereabouts. Murphy, a 32.1-points-a-game gunner in 1980, has kicked around the sport's minor leagues since leaving Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. Fredrick, the 1981 champion from South Carolina, is playing pro ball in Italy. Texas Southern's Kelly, the winner of the 1982 and '83 scoring titles, was cut by the Atlanta Hawks before the current NBA season, then went to Europe, but soon returned home.