Shutting out No. 3 Boston College by a score of 4-0 at Bright Hockey Center last night, No. 16 Harvard (1-3, 0-3 ECAC) took home its first victory of the season to break its season-opening three-game losing streak.
“I think our guys were a little frustrated coming in and saw this as an opportunity to get things turned around and headed in the right direction,” said Harvard coach Ted Donato ’91.
With a start reminiscent of its last three losses, the Crimson failed to take advantage of a 5-on-3 power play early in the game.
But Harvard quickly stepped it up, using the past games to fuel its intensity against the Eagles (5-3).
“BC’s a great challenge, and we were struggling out of the gate,” Donato said. “But we knew the crowd would be a full house and a good building energy-wise, so I thought our guys came out and played with a lot of passion.”
Keeping the pressure on the Eagles, the Crimson finally landed the puck in the net 13:30 into the game.
After senior Kevin Du was jostled by BC, senior Ryan Maki pounced on the open puck to slap in Harvard’s first goal.
Two minutes later, Du scored one of his own, picking up his own rebound during another 5-on-3 to give Harvard a 2-0 lead over the Eagles.
But though the offense started the Crimson down the right path, it was the defense that really brought the victory home.
“I felt defensively we were a lot more solid,” Donato said, comparing last night’s game to Harvard’s recent losses.
“We didn’t give up a lot of great chances outside of their special teams. I thought we did a much better job with the puck, just not turning it over and allowing what is a very potent offense any more opportunities than they generally possess.”
BC stepped up its intensity in the second period, scrambling to find the net, but freshman goalie Kyle Richter held the Eagles scoreless, making a total of 36 saves during the game.
“They were pressing pretty hard,” Richter said. “[But] we didn’t let them in the slot area too much [last night], which was definitely a plus. The team played a full 60-minute game, that helped me out a lot. It was a good team effort.”
Maintaining its momentum throughout the third period, the Crimson put away its third goal on a power play, with junior Alex Meintel finishing off the second rebound on the right side after shots by Maki and sophomore Brian McCafferty.
Freshman Alex Biega added insult to injury with two minutes left on the clock when he slammed home a cross by Mientel, who had skated the puck up the left boards.
After ending its string of home games on a high note, Harvard will head to Cornell this Friday for conference match-up.