Freshman Brian Hart, shown above in previous action, and classmate Jimmy Vesey have been bright spots in an otherwise disappointing 2012-13 season for the formerly highly ranked Crimson. The pair connected for a first period goal when Hart found Vesey in front of the net.
While the women’s hockey team was skating to a comeback victory in overtime against St. Lawrence, its male counterpart failed to follow suit.
With the score knotted at three apiece, the horn sounded to indicate the end of regulation. But unlike its last overtime game, where Harvard eked out a 6-5 victory over BU, the Crimson (5-13-1, 3-11 ECAC) was unable to find the back of the net first in the extra period, falling to the Saints (11-10-3, 4-5-3), 4-3, Saturday night at Bright Hockey Center.
The loss marks the Crimson’s sixth consecutive loss and fourth straight defeat at home, where Harvard has not won since Nov. 10, 2012.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” freshman forward Jimmy Vesey said. “It seems like all of these losses are blending together, and it’s not really all that fun to lose, but I think that today was a step in the right direction. We played really hard, and St. Lawrence is a good team, and we were right there.”
Nearly four minutes into overtime, St. Lawrence forward Patrick Doherty slid the puck around the net, sending it to the edge of the left faceoff circle. Defender George Hughes collected the puck before sending it past junior goaltender Raphael Girard to lift the Saints to victory.
Harvard had the best opportunity to break the tie with less than three minutes left in regulation when forward Chris Martin and defender Patrick Raley entered the penalty box, giving the Crimson a two-man advantage on the ice for a full two minutes.
But despite the advantage, Harvard couldn’t convert, and Saints defenders deflected shot after shot, sending the game into an extra period.
“We had some looks, had some shots, but ultimately we have to find a way to get a goal there,” Crimson coach Ted Donato said. “We needed someone to step up and make a play. We had plenty of opportunities, we had possession of the puck—I think the whole time, maybe the puck came out of the zone once. I think our guys were battling, but I think there’s no question that our execution could be better.”
While Harvard struggled to get its offense going, recording only one shot in the first thirteen minutes, St. Lawrence lit up the scoreboard twice in the span of two minutes.
Eight minutes into the game, defender Pat Raley collected the puck outside the right faceoff circle and shot it towards the net. The puck bounced off Girard’s pads, but as the goaltender moved up to corral it, forward Pat Doherty pushed it into the net to notch the first goal of the contest.
The Saints extended its lead to two when, with their goaltender pulled to put an extra man on the ice, forward Kyle Flanagan received a pass from forward Greg Carey and crossed a shot past Girard.
But the Crimson retaliated a few minutes later during a power play as freshman forward Brian Hart passed to Vesey, who was waiting on the right edge of the crease. Vesey tapped the puck behind goaltender Matt Weninger to give Harvard its first point of the night.
Vesey struck again 11 seconds into the second period to tie the game, 2-2. Sophomore forward Colin Blackwell and Hart worked the puck across the ice before sliding it to Vesey, who was skating towards the left post. The freshman shot it into the back right of the net to tally his second goal of the game, a feat he had not accomplished since Harvard’s home opener against Bentley.
St. Lawrence briefly regained the lead 12 minutes later when Girard, anticipating a shot from Flanagan, drifted to the right post. Flanagan instead crossed the puck to the left, where forward Jeremy Wick collected it and shot it into the empty left side of the net.
Senior forward Alex Fallstrom brought the score to 3-3 off of a rebound from his own missed shot attempt. The Crimson looked like it would finally gain its first lead of the game when junior defender Dan Ford drove the puck up the ice early in the third and slapped it into the crease. The puck zinged off of the right post and slid across the crease before hitting the left post. Upon review, the referees decided that the puck did not completely cross the goal line, and the score remained tied.
“I give St. Lawrence credit, they kept coming and they came in having won three in a row,” Donato said. “We knew after having beaten Dartmouth last night, that they were going to throw a lot of pucks at the net. We thought really after the first 10, 12 minutes, we really settled down and played a lot better.”
—Staff writer David A. Mazza can be reached at email@example.com.