Allston, MA – A sell-out crowd at Harvard‘s Bright-Landry Arena was treated to a classic cross-town rivalry game with Boston College. The game featured 19 NHL draft picks, a dozen for the Eagles and seven for the Crimson. A second period three goal outburst by # 12 BC was enough to down #6 Harvard 4-2 yesterday. The Crimson went from leading 2-0 to losing 3-2 in just 1:52.
The Eagles pressured Cam Gornet early in the first. A flurry of activity in front of the Crimson goal had the puck on Patrick Giles stick as he appeared to have an open net to the right of goal but heady stick work by freshman defenseman Ryan Siedem knocked the puck wide.
During a break in the action at 14:01 the Crimson honored BC coach Jerry York for his introduction into the Hockey Hall of Fame last weekend. The 3,095 in attendance gave the legendary coach a standing ovation.
The Crimson struck first at 9:27 when Henry Bowlby swooped in along the left side and fired off a shot that Spencer Knight stopped but Jack Badini was able to bang home the rebound for the 1-0 Crimson lead.
The Eagles Ron Greco had a wrap-around attempt gloved against the post by Gornet at the other end.
The Crimson outshot the Eagles 8-3 and controlled the face-off circle 12-6 for the first period.
At 5:15 BC’s Drew Helleson was called for Cross-Checking. Before the Crimson power play was able to settle into their routine, the Eagles penalty kill had a two on one rush with Giles dishing to Marhsall Warren but Gornet was there for the stop. Harvard’s Jack Drury had his shot go just wide of the Eagles net. At the other end Gornet stopped an Aapeli Rasanen shot which was the extent of the BC offense.
Greco was sent off for Tripping at 15:53 giving the crimson another crack at the man advantage. Shortly before the power play was set to expire, Jack Rathbone fed Drury at the goal lone. The sophomore spun on Knight and roofed the puck home for the 2-0 Harvard lead at 17:15.
Just twenty seconds later Harvard’s Badani was sent off for Tripping and the game turned. It only took the Eagles seven seconds to capitalize on the man advantage. Julius Mattila won the face-off back to Ben Finkelstein at the blue line, who dished the puck across to Logan Hutsko. Hutsko threw puck towards the Crimson goal and Rasenen tipped it past Gornet cutting the score to 2-1. Rasenen’s seventh goal of the season leads the Eagles.
At 18:30 Alex Newhook banged home a rebound tying the game at 2-2. Mike Hardman drove to the net, fired it on Gornet, and Newhook was there.
Some nice passing by the Eagles led to David Cotton‘s game winning goal at 19:27. Graham McPhee fired a pass from the corner to Mattila at the top of the opposite circle, Mattila dished to a wide-open Cotton in the slot. The senior beat Gornet low blocker side for his sixth of the season.
BC outshot Harvard 16-10 for the second, however the Crimson continued to own the face-off dot 22-20.
In the third Harvard had three cracks on the power play. The first came just twenty seconds in when Cotton was sent off for Slashing. The Eagles penalty kill had another short-handed bid when his shot went just wide of the Crimson goal. The second power play came at 8:20 when Mattila was whistled for Holding. Once again the Eagles penalty kill was able to deny the Crimson from getting anything going offensively. The Eagles had another scoring opportunity on this penalty kill, this time they wouldn’t be denied. Giles put a shot on Gornet and a net crashing Marc McLaughlin had the rebound bounce off of him and between Gornet’s legs for a 4-2 lead. McLaughlin had been hurt earlier in the game when he was checked awkwardly into the boards.
McLaughlin was sent off for Hooking at 12:15. The Crimson were unable to put the puck past Knight. As time wound down the Eagles forecheck kept the Crimson on their heels. Harvard was unable to pull Gornet during the the final minutes of play. The Crimson outshot the Eagles 11-9 for the period and 29-28 for the game. The Crimson also outdrew the Eagles in the face-off circle 35-32.
For the Crimson it was their first loss of the season, and ended their home un-beaten streak at 13 (12-0-1). The Eagles meanwhile have won seven straight.
Coach York spoke highly of what the BC vs Harvard rivalry means to him. “This is a terrific series over the years,” said York. “Having played in it myself, then having coached it, that BC-Harvard match-up to me, is kind of electric. I thought the crowd responded tonight, packed house, sold-out, to see two good teams play. I think we both played the right way. We’re quick, we make plays, the game is going to come down to that 1:50 where we got the three goals un the second period. We were down 2-0 and we just kind of caught fire. I feel really excited about how our PK (penalty kill) was tonight, I know we gave up one power play goal but they (Harvard) have as good a power play as we’ve seen this year. They move the puck extremely well. A combination of good stick work and outstanding plays by Spencer (Knight) keep them (from scoring), because that third period we killed three penalties that third period. I thought all three zones we played very, very solid.”
York was touched by the Hall of Fame mention during the timeout. “I thought that was a nice gesture for a visiting rink to bring up the hall of fame. that’s something, I’m not surprised that Harvard would do that. It’s a pretty classy group here.”
When asked if he expected the same treatment at Boston University, York smiled and said “I didn’t say that.”
For his part, Harvard Coach Ted Donato knew what BC was capable of bringing to the ice but wasn’t sure if his team was ready for it. “For about three or four minutes of the second period there,” said Donato. “Took a penalty, I’m not sure it was worth the price we paid that’s for sure but you know they’re a good hockey team. We knew they were going to make a little bit of a run and we have to be able to manage that situation and get the ship back in the right direction. We did a lot of good things out there. For us they are a very dangerous team, I thought a lot of things that we were doing as a team to give us success, they did. They made some big saves, they made some skilled plays, scored some goals and their special teams, they have good special teams and goaltending. They ended up with a power play goal and a short-handed goal and their goaltender made four or five saves at an important time and that was the difference in the game. It’s a good lesson for us. We did a lot of good things but some of the things we’ve been pointing out in victory sometimes that message doesn’t land on interested ears. After tonight we should be able to take a deep breathe and look and see somethings that we need to do better.”
“We felt it was a nice opportunity to recognize him,” said Donato about the York tribute. “He’s beloved in all the spots he’s been. I thought it would be a nice opportunity with it being a local game, we thought there’d be a lot of Harvard and BC fans here. Jerry’s accomplishments are many but going into the Hall of Fame is incredible and well deserved. For us we felt it was a nice opportunity, for us being at home to recognize him, one of the all-time great guys in the sport of hockey, ever. Obviously for college hockey really setting the bar as to not only what success could look like but also how to run a program and have good kids.”
Harvard travels to Boston University on Tuesday for a 7:00 pm tilt at Agganis Arena. The Crimson will host Cornell on Friday and Colgate on Saturday at Bright-Landry Arena. Both games will start at 7:00 pm.
Boston College has a home and home series against Notre Dame. Friday the Eagles will host the Fighting Irish for a 7:00 pm face-off at Conte Forum and travel to South Bend, IN for a Sunday game at 5:00 pm at Compton Family Ice Arena.