After suffering a loss to No. 14 Cornell on Friday night, the Crimson barely escaped from Colgate on Saturday night with a 2-2 tie after being forced to come back from a two-goal deficit.
“I guess it was nice to get at least one point on the weekend,” co-captain Jimmy Fraser said. “As a team, we thought we should have had a better result. Personally, I’m disappointed, but [the tie is] better than nothing.”
The play of three freshmen was the highlight of the game. Freshman forwards Daniel Moriarty and Alex Killorn scored both of the game’s goals, while classmate Matt Hoyle started in goal and made 28 saves on the night.
“It’s definitely been really nice [to have had an immediate impact], because you come in not really knowing what to expect,” Killorn said. “We’ve been playing well, and we’ve been really happy with how we’ve been doing.”
But rookie firepower wasn’t enough to lift the Crimson to a win against the Raiders. The tie marked the fifth straight road game that Harvard has been unable to win despite having an undefeated record at home.
“I think we’ve just been getting unlucky breaks on the road,” Fraser said. “Last night was just one shift, and that was the only time Colgate had good offense. Untimely mistakes have cost us.”
At the start of the game on Saturday night, the Crimson looked ready to reverse that trend. The team came onto the rink looking for the win, and its flying start reflected that drive.
“We actually started our game real hard,” Killorn said. “We were forechecking, and we had control of the game.”
A tough offensive attack early gave Harvard the first scoring opportunities of the game. Fraser, junior forward Doug Rogers, senior forward Steve Rolecek, and sophomore forward Michael Del Mauro all had shots on goal in the early going.
Despite having control of the game early in the first period, a quick lapse in play caused the Crimson to suddenly find itself down two goals. The Raiders scored two goals within 40 seconds to swing the momentum its way.
“I guess for a few minutes we let down our guard and they got two quick goals,” Killorn said. “That was kind of a downer, but then we scored in the second period, so we knew we could build back up. We were happy we could come back and persevere.”
Harvard found the back of the net for the first time at 4:08 in the second period. Moriarty won a faceoff in the Colgate zone and passed the puck back to co-captain Brian McCafferty, who returned the puck back to Moriarty. Moriarty fought to stick the puck in behind Raiders goaltender Charles Long for his first career Harvard goal.
The Crimson scored again to tie the game at 2-2 halfway through the third period. Killorn received the puck from Rogers on the blue line. After beating one Raiders defender, Killorn skated the puck wide and took a shot from distance.
“I took a shot from pretty far, not really looking to score, but I guess it was a good shot, and it blew by the goalie’s glove,” Killorn said.
Harvard’s offense dominated the third period, holding a 15-8 shot advantage over Colgate. Despite its strong play at the end of the game, the Crimson was unable to find the back of the net for the third time that night and was forced to settle for the tie.
“To win away from home, it’s going to take a full 60 minutes of hard work, and I think this weekend we took a few steps towards doing that,” Fraser said. “It’s just a matter of time before we start clicking and things start going our way.”
Hopefully for the Crimson things begin to click into place just in time for next weekend’s game, when it plays away from home yet again. Harvard will take on cross-town rival No. 4 Boston College at Kelley Rink in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
“We’re just really hungry,” Killorn said. “We see the national champions from last year, and we just want to beat them really bad, so we’re definitely going to come out really hard.”
—Staff writer Lucy D. Chen can be reached at email@example.com.