Trailing 3-2 in the third, the Crimson used a power play to tally the game-tying goal at 11:52. After the Raiders killed a two-man advantage, sophomore Doug Rogers capitalized in the remaining seconds of the 5-on-4 power play. Corralling the rebound of a shot by freshman Michael Biega in front of the goal, he skated around goaltender Mark Dekanich and deposited it into the right side of the net to knot the score at three.
Despite an aggressive Crimson attack in the third period in an attempt to notch the game-winner, solid Raider defense thwarted each additional Harvard chance.
With two minutes to play, junior center Jimmy Fraser fired a shot on goal, which was saved by Dekanich. Harvard recovered the rebound and a scuffle for the puck ensued in the crease. As the Crimson kept trying to fire shots on goal, a Colgate defender seemed to knock the goal off its moorings on purpose, stopping play and frustrating Harvard’s efforts.
“I think it was pretty apparent that the guy pushed the net off,” said Harvard coach Ted Donato ’91.
As both teams searched for the go-ahead goal, intensity of play heightened and tempers flared. With 21 seconds remaining, Raider Tyler Burton and senior forward Jon Pelle were called for penalties after another scuffle that ended with Pelle being pushed into the net after the whistle. Both were forced to sit through regulation and into the first 1:39 of the overtime.
While the Crimson got off 11 shots on goal in the third, it had just two chances in overtime, leading to 12 Dekanich saves in the final 25 minutes. Colgate took four attempts in the extra session—all stopped by sophomore goaltender Kyle Richter, who finished with 25 saves.
“All things considered, playing in a tough environment...I think we got to be happy with the effort,” co-captain Dave MacDonald said. “These guys worked hard until the buzzer went in overtime. Kyle Richter came up big a lot in the third period.”
Harvard had a sluggish start to the game, as three first-period penalties tired out the Crimson defense. Despite Harvard killing all three penalties, Colgate notched its first goal as Rogers left the box at 14:15.
In transition, Raiders pivot Ethan Cox skated down the right side and launched a shot from inside the right faceoff circle into the top-left corner of the net past Richter’s blocker to give Colgate a 1-0 lead.
“I don’t think we played very well in the first period,” Donato said. “We sat back on our heels a little bit—we took three penalties. I give Colgate a lot of credit. I think they dictated the tempo of play in the first.”
Harvard struck next, just 1:36 into the second period. After junior Brian McCafferty recovered the puck in the Crimson zone, he dished it ahead to senior forward Paul Dufault. Dufault found Michael Biega at center, who hit Dufault again on the right side, and the senior pushed it through Dekanich’s pads, giving Biega his second assist on the night.
Six minutes later, Harvard took its only lead of the night when sophomore Alex Biega scored on a blue-line slapshot from the right side off of a Pier Olivier-Michaud faceoff win. That lead didn’t last long, however, as Colgate tied it at two on a backhanded shot by sophomore winger David McIntyre that slid off Richter’s right pad and rolled into the net at 12:22.
The Raiders broke the tie 4:22 into the third period, when Harvard junior Jack Christian failed to clear the puck from behind the Crimson net.
The puck was intercepted by Colgate senior Dustin Gillanders, who found Mike Werner open in the slot for the go-ahead goal.
Rogers’ goal late in the third period would round out the scoring for the game.
With the tie, Harvard earned a single point in the standings. Combined with wins by Cornell and Union, the tie created a three-way tie in the ECAC standings, setting up an important battle Saturday night at Cornell’s Lynah Rink with a first-round playoff bye at stake.
“It’s going to be great; it doesn’t get much better than playing in Lynah,” MacDonald said. “It’s a great recipe for the Harvard and Cornell rivalry—you’ve got home-ice on the line, you’ve got their senior night. It’s going to be a great crowd. It really doesn’t get much better than that.”
—Staff writer Kevin C. Reyes can be reached at email@example.com.