Although the Crimson’s third-period surge narrowed Boston College’s lead to one, the Harvard men’s hockey team (1-8-2, 1-5-2 ECAC) was not able to overcome the No. 10 Eagles (9-3-2, 6-3-2 Hockey East) Wednesday night, giving up a 3-2 loss at Bright Hockey Center. The defeat extends Harvard’s winless streak to 10 games.
The Crimson outshot BC, 27-26, and Harvard’s special teams went 1-for-3 on the power play while killing all of the Eagles’ man-advantages.
“I’m proud of the way our guys battled—they stayed with it,” said head coach Ted Donato ’91. “There were no heads down in between periods. We kept coming, and we had a chance to tie the hockey game.”
Junior Michael Biega paced the Crimson offense, scoring the final goal of the game, tallying an assist on Harvard’s first score, and leading the squad with five shots.
Halfway through the third period, after a BC blueliner gave up the puck right outside the crease, Biega pounced, seizing control of the puck and launching a shot between Eagle goaltender Parker Milner’s legs to narrow BC’s lead to 3-2.
And at 14:34 into the first period, Biega launched a quick shot through traffic, which sophomore Daniel Moriarty redirected into the right corner of the net to put Harvard on the board, 2-1.
“Michael was excellent tonight,” Donato said. “He was a going concern every time he had the puck, and he’s a guy who’s taken a big leap this year. I think he’ll be a real key player to us as we hopefully surge to a better second half.”
But by that point, the Eagles had already established a solid lead. In the first frame, BC hammered out two goals in three minutes. Sophomore Cam Atkinson found the net after picking up a pass from defenseman Philip Samuelson to put the Eagles on the board at 8:39. And sophomore Paul Carey ripped it high from the left side to send the puck past Crimson netminder Kyle Richter just two minutes later, giving his squad a 2-0 lead.
Though Moriarty’s goal cut BC’s lead in half, just after time ran out on a Harvard penalty early in the second period, Eagles sophomore Jimmy Hayes gave his team some breathing room. Winger Steven Whitney took a hard shot from the center that ricocheted off the right post, but Hayes was at the corner to stuff it in, boosting the score to 3-1.
“The first three goals, none of them were I would say [Richter’s] fault, but I think that all six guys could’ve done some things differently,” Donato said. “At that point, we needed a change, and sometimes you do that just as much for the rest of the guys as to change the pace of it a little bit. [Junior] Ryan [Carroll] came in and played very well and gave us a chance to come back.”
Backup netminder Carroll took over for Richter midway through the second and made 17 saves in 36 minutes to shut out the Eagles’ offense for the rest of the match.
The Crimson had some solid chances in the final period, firing 14 shots to BC’s 11.
Michael Biega skated the puck up the left boards and centered it to sophomore Alex Killorn, who passed it over to freshman Danny Biega in the center of the slot, but the rookie’s attempt was blocked by the BC defense. And Killorn, who laid up four shots on goal, fired a final shot in the last minute, when Donato took out Carroll for an extra attacker.
But Harvard’s offensive efforts were not rewarded.
“We’re doing a lot better job in the offensive zone,” Michael Biega said. “We got more guys in front of the net, more shots through…our forecheck was much better. We got in our zone and put pressure on them, so in that respect, our offense was a lot more effective. We just have to work on getting more shots on net, but we did a good job.”
The Crimson will have a three-week break for the holidays before facing off against No. 7 Quinnipiac back at the Bright on Dec. 29.
—Staff writer Courtney D. Skinner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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