Junior goaltender Raphael Girard, shown above in earlier action, recorded 33 saves in men's hockey's 3-2 loss to Princeton.
Three goals by Princeton forward Andrew Calof led the Tigers over the Harvard men's hockey team, 3-2, on Friday night at Hobey Baker Rink. The loss was the third straight for the Crimson squad, which hasn't seen victory since beating then-No.10 Cornell on Nov. 16 at Lynah Rink, 4-1, on national television.
Harvard (4-6-1, 3-4-0 ECAC) lacked offensive pressure through the contest, while Princeton (4-7-4, 3-3-3 ECAC) capitalized on the energy of its sold-out home crowd to outshoot the Crimson, 36 shots to 18. This was the first game this season in which the Tigers were able to win without scoring at least four goals.
“I thought we battled really hard in the second and the third [periods],” Harvard coach Ted Donato ’91 said. “Through the first period, I don’t think we were at our best, but in the second and third, I thought we played well. We had some chances [and] had two breakaways there in the third.”
Calof was the only member of his team to score during the game, finding the back of the net twice during regulation and once during overtime. 12 minutes and 20 seconds into the first period, the junior was assisted by sophomore defenseman Tom Kroshus and freshman forward Mike Ambrosia to blast the puck past Crimson junior goaltender Raphael Girard. Girard recorded 33 saves through the night, his third-highest number this season.
Calof registered eight shots during his effort for the night. His second goal came almost nine minutes into the second period from just beyond the top of the right circle with help from forwards Kyle Rankin and Jack Berger to put Princeton up, 2-0.
“[Calof is] a good player,” senior forward Marshall Everson said. “He’s quick, he’s smart, he’s real crafty. The key with a guy like that is you have to keep a body on him, keep him outside.... He’s one of those guys you’ve got to watch out for.”
Completing a hat trick, Calof’s third score was fatal for Harvard. Just under a minute into overtime, he came from behind the net to sneak the puck into the right corner of the net past Girard.
“The third goal was a clever play,” Donato said. “[Calof] threw it out from behind the goal line off our skate and he’s a talented enough guy that he did that by design. When you play against a guy that’s creative and scores goals, you have to limit his chances and we didn’t do enough of that tonight.”
The contest was Harvard’s second to continue past regulation this season. The Crimson has yet to win an overtime game this year.
Harvard found its first goal with under five minutes to go in the third period. After a quick save by Girard against Tiger freshman forward Jonathan Liau, the Crimson first line was able to effectively penetrate Princeton’s offensive zone. Forwards Alex Fallstorm and Colin Blackwell raced down the ice to pass to Everson, who drilled the puck past Tigers goaltender Sean Bonar.
Harvard was given just two opportunities for man advantage and was able to capitalize on one for a goal. During the second power play, 12 minutes and 50 seconds into the third period, two misses by Fallstorm allowed the senior, along with Everson, to assist Blackwell for Harvard’s second goal. Power plays have been problematic for the Crimson this season. Harvard has converted just four attempts out of 41 total this season, for a percentage of 9.8, the lowest in the ECAC.
Conversely, the Crimson was only short-handed twice through the game. The first penalty came on high sticking by sophomore forward Petr Placek while the second was off of hooking by freshman forward Greg Gozzo. The penalty kill unit continued to be consistent, denying Princeton during both attempts. The Tigers have only converted two of their last 18 opportunities on the power play. Harvard is now at 82.9 percent in penalty killing.
“Ultimately we’re trying to win hockey games,” Donato said. “We want to create more offensive chances. We have no excuses…. Our guys really fought back being down two-nothing. [They] came back and had a chance to get at least a point.”
--Staff writer Cordelia Mendez can be reached at email@example.com.