You can’t count the Crimson out until the last whistle is blown. On Wednesday, the Harvard men’s hockey team orchestrated one of the finest comebacks in recent memory, coming back from a 5-2 deficit entering the third period to defeat No. 8 Boston University, 6-5, and snap a five-game losing streak.
In light of Harvard’s remarkable upset win, The Back Page takes a look back at some of the most memorable Crimson comebacks of the 21st century—so far.
The Game 2009: Harvard 14, Yale 10
After blanking their opponent for the first three quarters, the Bulldogs were in striking distance of an upset victory. But the Crimson—frustrated by a number of missed opportunities throughout the game—was not prepared to go quietly. With seven minutes left to play, Harvard quarterback Collier Winters found wideout Matt Luft with a 41-yard pass straight down the middle, putting the Crimson on the board and bringing the score to 10-7. Up by three, Yale chose a risky fake punt play on fourth and 22, leading to Harvard gaining possession at the 40. In crunch time, the Crimson would not falter. Winters found wide receiver Chris Lorditch on a 32-yard touchdown toss less than a minute later, cementing Harvard’s eighth win over Yale in nine years.
Baseball 2002: Harvard 13, Brown 12
Down 9-2 in the fifth inning, the game was all but over. Even after battling back to tie the game at 12 in the ninth, the Crimson’s chances of victory seemed slim. With a runner on second and one out, the Bears faced captain Ben Crocket, who was brought in as a reliever after throwing 140 pitches the day before. Crocket, who had limited relief experience, picked up back-to-back strikeouts and brought the Crimson to the plate. That’s when senior first baseman Josh San Salvador—previously sidelined with a partially torn ACL—stepped in, blasting a solo homerun to clinch the walk-off victory and keep the Crimson in the Ivy League title hunt.
Men’s Basketball 2011: Harvard 85, Brown 78
Looking at the score of the February matchup, some might think it was a comfortable win for the Crimson, but the players will tell you a different story. After falling behind by 22 points in the first half, Harvard had nowhere to go but up. In the opening minutes of the second frame, the Crimson’s shots started falling, and dominant performances by Kyle Casey and Keith Wright helped Harvard methodically chip away at the Bears’ lead. The Crimson took the lead for good when Brandyn Curry—who had assisted on the previous play to narrow Brown’s lead to two—nailed a trey, and Harvard never looked back.
Women’s Basketball 2009: Harvard 54, Princeton 50
After dominating Harvard and taking a 34-15 lead by the end of the first half, the Tigers never saw it coming. The Crimson team that took the court in the second very well could have been comprised of entirely different players. Gone were the harried shots, the defensive missteps, and the sloppy ball handling as Harvard crawled back to take a one-point lead with five minutes to play, but the Crimson’s work was not done. The Tigers tied up the score at 50 with under a minute on the clock, but riding Harvard’s newfound momentum, Emma Markley hit a layup to regain the lead and then grabbed a rebound on the Tigers next possession, drawing a foul. Her back-to-back free throws were the icing on the cake.
Women’s Hockey 2005: Harvard 5, Mercyhurst 4
Harvard hadn’t led throughout the entire game, but Nicole Corriero’s game tying goal in the opening seconds of the third period turned this NCAA quarterfinal into a war of attrition. Locked in a 4-4 tie, the Crimson and the Lakers battled through the rest of the third period and two scoreless overtime periods before Harvard finally found the back of the net in the third overtime frame—72 minutes after the tying goal. Corriero found Julie Chu in front of the Mercyhust goal, and the forward found net with a quick, backhanded shot to hand the Crimson a hard-fought victory.