BURLINGTON, Vt.--For nearly fifty minutes, it looked like the Harvard men's hockey team had finally established itself as a team to beat in the ECAC and one of the better squads in the country.
In the next ten minutes, it all fell apart.
Vermont handed Harvard its most bitter defeat of the season, rallying from a 3-1 deficit with just over ten minutes left to beat the No. 13 Crimson 5-3 Saturday night, in front of a sellout crowd at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
"They came at us in the third period and we didn't withstand it," Harvard Coach Mark Mazzoleni said. "We should have been able to without them."
With the victory, Vermont, which forfeited its entire season last year due to a hazing scandal, took command of the ECAC. While the Crimson technically remains in first place by a point, the Catamounts have four games in hand. The defeat will probably drop Harvard (6-4-1, 5-3-1 ECAC) out of the national rankings this week.
It was the second time this year Vermont (7-4-0, 5-0-0) rallied from a late 3-1 deficit to beat the Crimson. It was also the first time the Crimson has lost this season when scoring first.
Harvard, sitting on a two-goal lead, looked to be in control going into final minutes. The Crimson contained the Catamount up-tempo attacking style by keeping the puck in the neutral zone, limiting the Catamounts' scoring opportunities.
"For two periods, we played the type of game that we wanted to play," Mazzoleni said.
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