The score last night at Bright Center was freshman Phil Falcone and sophomore Greg Olson, 7. University of St. Lawrence, 3.
Falcone, with four goals on the night including three in the third period, and Olson, with a nifty hat trick that included his third shorthanded tight-rope walk of the season, blasted the Crimson icemen past the Lauries, for the Crimson's second straight win.
Olson now has a team-leading 11 goals and 23 points, while Falcone's bonanza doubles his season goal output. The win places Harvard's ECAC record at 5-9 (7-11 overall); St. Lawrence drops to 5-7-1 ECAC (11-11-2 overall).
Perhaps the best way to classify last night's game is as a "tweener," coming after the icemen's 10-2 shocker against Northeastern last Monday in the opening round of the Beanpot, but before Monday's Beanpot final with Boston College. And for Falcone and Olson, last night was all between the posts.
St. Lawrence got on the board first at 1:09 of the opening period, when Laurie Mark Bonneau picked up a loose puck right behind the Harvard net and centered it to linemate Chris Kirkwood, who simply pushed the puck past a helpless Wade Lau and into the net.
But after 16 minutes of up-and-down-ice action, it was shorthanded show time, produced, directed by and starring Olson.
With the Lauries on power play after Alan Litchfield went off for interference at 17:09, a pass to the point trickled through a St. Lawrence defenseman's legs and just over the blue line. Olson picked up the puck and wheeled in on Laurie netminder Bob Goodwin, bringing the goaltender to his knees with a fake slapshot from about ten feet out and bringing the crowd to its feet with a backhander into the top of the net at 17:48, as he whizzed over the goal line.
The Crimson waited 18 minutes to score in the second period as well, grabbing a 2-1 lead when Falcone flipped the puck over a pile of defenders at 18:10. Almost everybody on the ice had a shot at the puck, and the ref even gave the goal to Mark Fusco, but when the mess in front of the St. Lawrence net unscrambled, it was Falcone from Rick Benson and Dave Burkc.
At 9:21, Kirkwood took the puck off a faceoff to Lau's right and wristed it into the net, for his second score, momentarily knotting the score at two.
The Lauries then tried to take the lead by employing an illegal six skaters for approximately 20 seconds surrounding the 11 1/2 minute mark, but Lau, who played his fourth straight excellent game, went unchallenged during the Laurie "power play."
Burn, Baby, Burn
Falcone sent Harvard into the lead for good at 12:03, taking a beautiful centering pass from Burke and flicking the puck off Good win and into the net. Olson added an insurance tally exactly three minutes later, when he caught an errant Litchfield slapshot behind the net, skated up, and jammed the puck back behind Goodwin for a 4-2 Harvard lead.
That was all for Goodwin, a Cambridge native. Enter back-up goaltender Grey Weicker. Then, at 18:30, exit back-up goaltender Grey Weicker, as St. Lawrence gambled with six skaters and an empty net.
Olson, seeing the gift, stole the puck at center ice, drifted into the Laurie zone unhindered, and flipped in an insult-to-injury empty-netter at 18:56, for his second unassisted goal of the evening.
In the last minute, the red light barely had a chance to blink. Before you could say "Jeff Robinson, Falcone, Falcone," the Lauries' Robinson knocked a goal at 19:22, Falcone scored an empty-netter at 19:28, unassisted, and then tallied his fourth with just 19 seconds left in the game, knocking a Burke cross out of the air and into the net.