Harvard Falls in OT at Minnesota, Despite Career Game From Madsen

Senior goaltender Merrick Madsen made a career high 48 saves against Minnesota on Saturday night. (Jim Rosvold)
Senior goaltender Merrick Madsen made a career high 48 saves against Minnesota on Saturday night. (Jim Rosvold)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – An outstanding effort from senior goaltender Merrick Madsen was not enough to lift No. 11/13 Harvard men's ice hockey past No. 6/7 Minnesota, as the Crimson fell to the Gophers, 2-1, in overtime on Saturday night (Nov. 18). 

Freshman forward and Minnesota native Henry Bowlbyscored in the second period to put Harvard ahead, but the Gophers scored late in the third period, and then on the power play in overtime to earn the victory. Madsen made a career high 48 saves in the game.

In a first period full of penalties, Harvard's penalty kill continued to shine, as the Crimson killed off a near full two-minute 4-on-3 man-advantage late in the frame.

Junior forward Ryan Donato had Harvard's best chance midway through the period, weaving through Gopher defenders and nearly wrapping the puck into an open net.

Madsen came up with his best stop late in the frame gloving a one-timer from Steve Johnson at 18:16.

Bowlby broke the scoreless tie at 7:02 of the second period taking a long rebound off a Donato shot and catching Minnesota goaltender Eric Schierhorn (15 saves) out of position with a quick follow up from the left side.

Madsen was again excellent in net, making several key stops in the frame including a sprawling stop on a Brent Gates Jr. shot from the high slot at 13:40.

He made another right pad save on a quick rebound chance for Brandon McManus at 3:05 of the third period.

Rem Pitlick tied the game with 5:22 to play, putting in a rebound after a long shift in the Harvard zone. Then Tyler Sheehy won it :35 into the extra frame on the man advantage.

Harvard Highlights:

  • Edina, Minn. native Henry Bowlby scored his third goal of the season – and leads all Harvard freshmen in that category.
  • Junior forward Ryan Donato (assist) has points in seven straight games to start the season. He leads the team with nine points (four goals, five assists).
  • Senior goaltender Merrick Madsen (48 saves) bested his previous single-game save mark (41 vs. Providence, March 2017), and had the most saves in a game by a Harvard goaltender since Raphael Girard made 48 saves in a win against Yale on March 10, 2012 (4th most in a game all-time)

Game Notes:

  • Tonight was Harvard's first overtime game of the season and the first game that Harvard has lost in overtime since Jan. 9, 2016 (L, 5-4 vs. Quinnipiac at Madison Square Garden).
  • Minnesota now leads the all-time series against Harvard 24-7-0 – this was the first two-game series for Harvard against a Big Ten opponent since Harvard visited Minnesota in Jan. 2010.

What's Next:
Harvard heads to Boston College next Friday afternoon for a 4 p.m. contest.