For the first weekend of the holiday season, there certainly wasn’t much cheer in a packed Bright Hockey Center.
The Harvard men’s hockey team (2-5-0, 2-5-0 ECAC) was blown out, 8-2, by conference rival Dartmouth (5-3-1, 4-2-1) last night.
“Obviously, it was a frustrating game,” said Crimson coach Ted Donato ’91. “I thought there were some stretches in the first half where we battled and created some chances for ourselves, but you know, I think we got pretty much outworked, outhustled, outcoached, outplayed, pretty much all night.”
The Big Green got things off on the right foot, putting its first two on-target shots into the back of the net.
Just over three minutes into the game, Dartmouth rookie Eric Robinson skated in up the right side, putting a shot on Harvard assistant captain Kyle Richter. Richter made the initial save, but the rebound landed on the stick of Doug Jones, and the junior powered it home for the early lead.
Eleven seconds later, Big Green senior Matt Reber stole the puck in the neutral zone and fed it to a streaking Scott Fleming. Fleming, skating in alone on Richter, beat the senior to double Dartmouth’s advantage.
“That’s going to happen in hockey—bounces, they aren’t going to go your way,” sophomore Conor Morrison said. “We’re just going to keep getting pucks to the net and keep driving guys and keep working hard. We can’t really change our whole game plan because two bounces don’t go our way.”
Richter settled in after the rocky start, making 13 saves in the period, as Harvard matched the Big Green shot for shot in the frame.
The Crimson cut its deficit in half with 5:24 to play in the first. On the power play, Morrison took a pass from classmate Danny Biega at the point and crossed the puck down to the right post. Marshall Everson was waiting to deflect the shot in, and the sophomore beat Dartmouth goaltender James Mello to bring the score to 2-1.
But the Big Green jumped right back ahead four minutes into the second period. Robinson tallied his first collegiate goal on a shot from the right boards that flew over Richter’s head and into the cage.
With the score 3-1, Richter was pulled in favor of classmate Ryan Carroll.
For most of the second period, the move appeared to be a good one, as Carroll made a number of key saves while Harvard’s power play once again took advantage of its opportunities.
Midway through a mid-period power play, senior Michael Biega skated up the ice from the blue line before dropping a pass back to junior Alex Killorn. Killorn cut toward the goal line, leaving a back-door pass for Morrison at the left post, which the sophomore buried.
For a team that had scored just one goal with the man advantage in its first six games, getting two against Dartmouth was a step in the right direction.
“I think we had great puck movement, great puck support,” Morrison said. “They really pressured us up high, and guys did a great job of getting open for us down low so we could just get pucks to the net.”