Harvard Blanked at Colgate

Photo courtesy of Steve Babineau
Photo courtesy of Steve Babineau

HAMILTON, N.Y. – A night after upsetting No. 10 Cornell on the road, the Harvard men's hockey team couldn't muster any offense as the Crimson dropped a 1-0 decision to Colgate Saturday night at Starr Rink. Harvard dips to 4-3-0 and 3-3-0 in the ECAC with the loss while Colgate moves to .500 overall at 6-6-1 and picks up its second conference win in as many nights.

Colgate came out with a head of steam and pinned the Crimson in its own defensive zone to start the game, firing four shots and forcing Harvard goalie Raphael Girard to make the game's first save. Harvard gathered its bearings and the game began a back-and-forth flow in the middle of the first period, with Harvard testing Colgate netminder Spencer Finney with a handful of shots on net. It was a period of sustained Colgate pressure that led to the game's first goal, however, as Jeremy Price drove home a shot from close range off passes from Joe Wilson and Kurtis Bartliff with 6:45 to go in the first. Harvard closed the period with a 9-7 advantage in shots and a 1-0 deficit.

Things looked bleak for the Crimson early in the second when Danny Fick was booked for a five-minute major just 2:14 into the stanza. Harvard did well to disrupt the final passes by the Raiders and the Crimson penalty kill, which has been a strong unit for Harvard all season, kept the puck out of the net for the duration of the major penalty. The poised penalty kill swung the momentum back to Harvard and Jimmy Vesey nearly tied it when his shot clanged off the right post just seconds into Harvard's first power play of the game. A vicious hit on Tommy O'Regan saw Colgate get booked for its own five-minute major and the Crimson closed the period on the man advantage.  

Despite an extended power play opportunity to start the third, the Colgate penalty kill was up to the challenge, repeatedly chipping pucks out of its zone and keeping the Harvard shots to a minimum. Another power play for the Crimson came 5:48 into the frame, but Harvard managed just four shots on net in third period man-advantage situations. With a minute left to play, Harvard pulled its goalie and was on point keeping the puck in the Colgate zone. Patrick McNally one-timed a Danny Biega pass right on the doorstep with less than 10 seconds to go, but an unfortunate bounce saw the puck trickle wide and final buzzer sound.

Harvard held a 25-22 shots advantage for the game and Girard ended with 21 stops on the evening. Girard has now allowed just two goals in his last three games.

The Crimson gets a bit of a break after its first road trip of the season, as its next game comes Dec. 7 on the road against Merrimack. That contest will be broadcast on WBIN TV and is slated to start at 7:30 p.m.