Harvard scored one goal in the first three minutes of the night, but nothing after. Stunned by a two-goal outburst in a matter of nine seconds near the end of the second period, the Crimson could not recover in the third, falling 5-1 Friday night to ECAC rival Clarkson (5-12-6, 4-5-2 ECAC) at the Bright Hockey Center.
The Harvard men’s hockey team (5-11-1, 3-10-0 ECAC) dropped its fifth straight, cementing its place at the bottom of the standings with six points in ECAC play. In this five game span the Crimson has not scored a power-play goal, going zero for 20 in the process.
“Ultimately I think we have to be able to be more productive on the power play,” Harvard coach Ted Donato ’91 said. “The power play to me cost us an opportunity to get two points tonight.”
Sophomore forward Joe Zarbo recorded a hat trick for the Knights, netting the go-ahead goal in the second period to make it 2-1 as well as an empty netter to clinch the victory.
Freshman Jimmy Vesey had the lone goal for the home team, scoring off a pass from sophomore Colin Blackwell just 2:34 into the first.
The Crimson started off well, with controlling play in the first 10 minutes, but could not muster much else for the rest of the night as the visitors netted five unanswered goals including three in the third to finish the game.
Junior Raphael Girard had 34 saves for Harvard in the loss, while the Crimson finished zero for six on the power play in the first home game of 2013.
“I think we’ve had trouble winning face-offs [on the power play] in their end which is huge for getting puck possession right off the bat and getting them on their heels,” Vesey said. “We haven’t won draws and [been able to] put a few passes together in a row to get them running around so we can open up a nice play.”
With his goal, Vesey continued his campaign for rookie of the year, having now tallied eight goals and four assists, leading the team and ECAC freshman in points and goals. Fellow freshman Brian Hart is not far behind with four goals and nine points, tied for second in the league in freshman scoring.
“I think we’ve had some chemistry and played well together,” Vesey said. “But I think that is a little overshadowed by the struggles we’ve had as a team; I’d trade us leading rookies in scoring any day.”
Circling around from behind the net on the left side, Blackwell had the puck poked away from him, but it found Vesey near the Clarkson net on the left side, who put the puck past Knight goalie Greg Lewis. Hart was also credited with an assist.
Harvard displayed solid offensive play in the first few minutes of the game, leading 9-2 in shots at one point, but Clarkson countered soon after killing the Crimson's lone power-play opportunity in period. The Knights ended the first period with 20 shots to Harvard's 14.
The second period looked to be an uneventful one, until Clarkson’s rapid offensive burst in the closing minutes.
For nearly 18 minutes, the two squads held each other to no goals highlighted by an impressive save by Girard. Knight junior forward Jarret Burton fired a shot that looked to trickle past Girard before the junior swept it away with his stick right before it crossed the goal line.
Clarkson was able to kill three Crimson power plays in the second period as well, including a four-on-three opportunity.