Engineers Skate to Draw with Visiting Harvard

Marshall's career-high 45 saves help Engineers share of ECAC Hockey points
Marshall's career-high 45 saves help Engineers share of ECAC Hockey points

TROY, N.Y. – Freshman goaltender Linden Marshall made a career-high 45 saves as the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men's hockey team tied Harvard University, 2-2, at Houston Field House on Tuesday night. The Engineers move to 3-15-4 on the year (2-7-2 ECAC Hockey), while the Crimson are now 7-6-2 (6-3-1 ECAC Hockey).

In their second matchup in just five days, the Engineers got off to the hot start with several chances in the opening minutes. Senior forward Viktor Liljegren (Stockholm, Sweden/Fairbanks Ice Dogs) eventually capitalized, sniping one home to give Rensselaer the 1-0 lead at 5:12. The lone assist went to junior Brady Wiffen (St. Mary's, ON/Trenton Golden Hawks).

Harvard finished the first period with a 13-4 shot advantage, with Marshall holding down the fort in the first period for the Engineers.

In the second, Rensselaer found themselves on two separate 5-on-3 penalty kills just before the halfway mark. The PK units stood strong, and were able to kill off all three penalties.

The Engineers entered Tuesday's tilt with Harvard holding a shutout streak of 142:53, with the Crimson not having scored in Houston Field House since 2014.

With 3:46 left in the middle frame, Harvard forward Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale, IL/USNTDP), who tied the game at one, ended Harvard's Houston Field House drought at 179:07. Floodstrand was the recipient of a cross-ice pass by sophomore defenseman and Calgary Flames prospect Adam Fox (Jericho, NY/USNTDP).

After an Emil Ohrvall (Halmstad, Sweden/Waterloo Black Hawks) tripping minor at 16:35, the Engineers went back on the kill. Even after a shot off the pipe by Fox, the Engineers were able to kill off the remainder.

Senior Merrick Madsen (Acton, CA/Minot Minotaurs) came on to relieve starting goaltender Michael Lackey. The Engineers tested Madsen early, as he was forced to make a tough save on a rocket by Jacob Hayhurst (Missassauga, ON/Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), just ten seconds in.

At 5:46 of the third, Crimson junior defenseman Viktor Dombrovskiy (Coquitlam, BC/Prince George Spruce Kings) threw the puck towards goal, and senior forward Jake Horton (Oakdale, MN/Waterloo Black Hawks) tipped it past Marshall to put Harvard up, 2-1.

Following two Harvard penalties at 8:53 and 9:41, Rensselaer went to work on a 5-on-3 of their own. After maintaining possession throughout the power play, senior defenseman Jared Wilson (Calgary, AB/Vernon Vipers) threw a wrister towards the net, which found its way past Madsen, tying the game at two. The assists went to junior forward Evan Tironese (Qualicum Beach, BC/Alberni Valley Bulldogs) and Wiffen.

Both teams had their respective chances in overtime, but Marshall (2-8-2) and Madsen (5-5-2) held the opposition scoreless in the five minutes. Marshall had made 39 saves heading into overtime, and turned away an additional six shots in the period to pass his previous career-high of 41 saves. Harvard outshot Rensselaer 47-21 on the night.

Wiffen led the way offensively for the Engineers with two assists, while Liljegren registered a team-high six shots on goal. The Engineers also finished the night 6 for 6 on the penalty kill.

Rensselaer next takes the ice Friday night as they host St. Lawrence on Friday night and No. 3 Clarkson on Saturday night, both at 7pm. Harvard will take on Princeton and Quinnipiac both at home this weekend at 7pm and 3:30pm, respectively.