The result did not matter, but it’s hard to imagine a better outcome for the Harvard men’s hockey team’s game against McGill on Friday night at Bright Hockey Center.
The Crimson, coming off an appearance in the ECAC championship game last season, won its first exhibition game of the year, 5-1, over its Canadian opponents.
Harvard scored three goals in the first period to jump out to a commanding 3-0 lead. Senior Luke Greiner, who scored nine times last season, put the first one in the back of the net with a one-timer less than six minutes into the contest. Greiner added a second goal with the Crimson a man down in the second period.
But the story of the night for the Crimson was the performance of its highly touted freshman class. Less than two minutes after Greiner’s goal, rookies Desmond Bergin and Brayden Jaw put away the first goals of their respective Harvard careers. Bergin scored off assists from Conor Morrison and Max Everson with a thunderous shot from the blue line, and just 25 seconds later, Jaw scored off a tip from sophomore Petr Placek. Crimson Goaltender Raphael Girard allowed a score nine minutes into the first period, but the junior didn’t allow another, stopping 17 shots as the Crimson outshot its opponents 34-18.
Harvard was playing its first game without All-American forward Alex Killorn ’12, who led the Crimson in goals a year ago and is currently playing in the American Hockey League with the Syracuse Crunch, an affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.
But the performance of the Crimson’s rookies on Friday eased fears of replacing Killorn and his 53 career goals.
Harvard returns to the ice on Oct. 27 to take on Bentley at home in the season opener.
—Staff writer Alexander Koenig can be reached at email@example.com.