With things going well in its own backyard, the Crimson (6-5-3, 5-2-2 ECAC) headed west for a Dec. 15 game at then-No. 9 Michigan and a date in the Wells Fargo Denver Cup on Dec. 28 and 29.
It returned to Cambridge after making some noise on a national level with two strong performances against ranked teams—a 3-3 tie with the Wolverines (11-6-3, 8-3-2 CCHA) and 2-0 setback against No. 5 UMass-Lowell—and a stunning 5-3 comeback victory over Bowling Green.
“Our team played well,” said sophomore goaltender Will Crothers. “We definitely hoped to win them all, but we played some very good games.”
The Crimson will resume its ECAC schedule this weekend with crucial road games at Union (5-5-3, 1-3-1 ECAC) and Rensselaer (7-5-1, 2-2-1 ECAC), two teams that have fared well in their non-conference games and also played four fewer conference games than Harvard.
Harvard 3, Michigan 3
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Harvard was coming off some of its best hockey of the season as it prepared to face the Wolverines, who were 8-1-1 in their last ten games.
With each team hitting its respective mid-season stride, it seemed that something had to give.
Neither team budged, though, and the game ended in a deadlock before a sellout crowd of 6,719 at Yost Ice Arena.
“I’m really proud of the way our kids played,” said Harvard Coach Mark Mazzoleni. “This is a tough building, and they jumped on us early. But we showed a lot of resiliency, stayed up, and started to play our game.”
Playing in front of the always-raucous Yost crowd, the Wolverines came out firing on all cylinders and took a 1-0 lead on David Wyzgowski’s one-timer just 2:58 into the game.
Michigan carried the play early and even prevented the Crimson from mustering a shot on goal until 12:40 had elapsed in the period.
Shortly after that, the Crimson turned the tide and forced Michigan into a penalty. The Crimson cycled the puck well during the ensuing power play, and Harvard junior center Dominic Moore seemed to tie the game at 13:32 of the period after crashing the Wolverine goal. However, referee Kevin Hall determined that Moore’s skate had kicked the puck past Michigan goaltender Josh Blackburn—a ruling with which Moore agreed—and the goal was disallowed.
But while the goal itself did not count, the Crimson rallied around it, picking up its physical play and outshooting Michigan for the remainder of the period.
As the first horn sounded, the Wolverines were whistled for another penalty, giving the Crimson a man advantage and a fresh sheet of ice as the second frame began.
This time, Harvard made Michigan pay.