Reeling from Friday night’s 4-1 loss to Clarkson, the Harvard men’s hockey team trailed tenth-place St. Lawrence 3-0 heading into the third period on Saturday.
That did not bode well for the Crimson (10-11-4, 9-6-3 ECAC), who had won just once in 11 games this season when trailing after two periods and was a dismal 1-5-0 since the exam break.
On top of that, two of Harvard’s top scoring threats—junior center Brett Nowak and sophomore winger Tyler Kolarik—were out of the lineup against the Saints (9-18-1, 7-10-1).
Clearly, something had to be done if the Crimson was going to turn the tide. As it turned out, Harvard senior captain Peter Capouch knew exactly what to say during the second intermission.
“I just told [the team] that if we were going to come back we had to compete harder,” Capouch said. “Over the last six or eight games we haven’t been, and that’s obviously shown in our record. With the playoffs coming up soon we had to start playing better. I said what I felt, and fortunately it turned things around.”
The Crimson responded to its captain’s urgings, rallying with three third-period goals and playing solid defense to keep SLU off the board and secure a 3-3 tie.
“[Capouch] just let us know that we had to pick it up,” freshman forward Tom Cavanagh said. “He said that we couldn’t lay down. We had to make it happen.”
With the tie, Harvard assured itself of a berth in the ECAC playoffs for the 21st year in a row. Just making the playoffs, though, isn’t the final goal for the Crimson.
“This team has to go on a run, and that started in the third period against St. Lawrence,” said Harvard sophomore winger Rob Fried. “Our goal is to reach the ECAC finals. We can run the table these last couple weekends [of the regular season] and then keep going to Lake Placid.”
With just four ECAC games remaining, Harvard is tied for third place with Clarkson, just one point behind Dartmouth but eight in back of league-leading No. 7 Cornell.
Harvard 3, St. Lawrence 3 (OT)
Fried started Harvard’s comeback just 1:07 into the third. He pounced on a misplayed puck in the St. Lawrence zone and sent a high shot toward Saint goaltender Mike McKenna, who was able to make the save but did not control the rebound. Fried hustled after the puck and slipped it by McKenna to trim the deficit to 3-1.
“[Junior Dominic Moore] forced the puck out on the four-on-four,” Fried said. “I took a slapshot in the slot and then followed it up.”
Fried said that he relishes the opportunity to play with Moore.
“[Moore] is so good with the puck,” Fried said. “You just have to pick for him to give him room and he’ll produce.”