Icemen Knock Off Friars in OT, 4-4
PROVIDENCE, R.I.--Senior Scott Powers scored with 2:22 remaining in overtime to lift the Harvard hockey team to a 6-5 victory over defending ECAC champion Providence College here at Schneider Arena last night.
The Friars, now 3-4, had taken a 5-4 lead with just three and a half minutes left in the game when a Tim Army shot deflected under the arm of Harvard goalie Wade Lau. But sophomore forward Tony Visone, who entered the contest with zero lifetime goals in 13 varsity games, set up the overtime just a minute later with his third goal of the night, taking a Greg Britz centering pass and slotting the puck to the left of P.C. netminder Mario Proulx.
The teams then played seven minutes of end-to-end hockey before Powers ended it at 7;38. "The puck was sitting out there," the senior winger said after the game, "and I just picked it up. He [Providence defenseman Bruce Raboin] tried to hit me, and missed, so I just went in alone. I looked, and there was nothing to shoot at, so I just shot on net."
Harvard has opened the scoring with 21 seconds left in the first period. Britz, who picked up three assists on the night playing his first game on a line with Phil Falcone and Visone, tossed a centering pass in the slot. Falcone nudged the puck to Visone, and the left wing put his first career goal to Proulx's left.
After the teams traded second-period goals, Jon Hogberg and Jeff Hamilton each tallied before the stanza ended to give the Friars a 3-2 lead at the second intermission.
But with Shayne Kukulowicz in the penalty box for tripping early in the third period. Greg Olson tied the contest on a breakaway, flipping the shorthanded goal home at 3:08. The Friars tallied twice more in the period, but each time Visone retaliated to re-knot the seore, sliding a rebound in the net at 9:54 and connecting with Britz for the hat trick at 17:29.
Powers' second goal of the season gave the icemen a weekend split with the Providence schools (Brown beat Harvard, 5-4, Friday night), and upped their season record to 5-3.
"This was a big one for us," coach Billy Cleary said after the game. "If we had lost this one, we're at 4-4 and back in the pack." The victory kept Harvard in fifth place in the ECAC, behind Clarkson, Northeastern, Colgate and Boston College.
It also clinched a .500 record at Christmas break for the Crimson, which travels to Princeton Saturday night before embarking on the annual holiday jaunt out west. Most importantly, however, it gives Harvard back some of the momentum of the two-game winning streak (Maine, UNH) that preceded the Brown game.
"I said to the team in practice Saturday that the Brown game was over, and to just forget about it," Cleary said. "They cane right back and did it tonight."
THE NOTEBOOK: The three stars as selected by the Cambridge media: Visone, Powers, P.C.'s Paul Guay... The last time Harvard won an overtime game was 25 months ago at Boston University. Dave Connors scored a similar goal late in overtime to win that one... Kukulowicz, who skated with the junior varsity for the last three Crimson games, returned to the big club last night paired with Olson and Mike Watson.