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Riding a two-game undefeated streak into the weekend, Harvard men’s hockey looked to gain momentum with the playoffs approaching.
But after stretching its streak to three games by defeating Cornell (11-7-2, 13-11-3 ECAC) on Friday in Ithaca, the Crimson (6-19-1, 4-14-1) could not finish a weekend sweep, falling at Colgate (7-23-2, 4-14-2) on Saturday.
Sophomore forward Danny Biega continued his recent strong play, scoring a total of two goals and recording two assists on the weekend. Biega has notched three goals and five assists in his last four games.
Both games proved to be close, but late goals were the deciding factors in the matches for Harvard.
“Friday we played pretty well...We got the win,” co-captain Chris Huxley said. “Saturday, we didn’t play as good of a game.”
COLGATE 2, HARVARD 1
On Saturday night at Starr Rink, the Crimson and the Raiders faced off in a defensive struggle, but Colgate found a way to squeeze out the victory.
“I thought it was a good game, although we didn’t play a full game like the night before against Cornell,” senior goalie Kyle Richter said.
Though Harvard struck first with a power-play goal from Biega, the Raiders responded a little more than three minutes later with a goal of their own. After the first two goals, the game stayed knotted at 1-1 for the entire second period and for most of the third.
The Crimson tried to break open the match early in the third frame, but the players could not find the back of the net.
Just as overtime seemed to be imminent, Colgate forward Robbie Bourdon fired a shot that bounced off a defenseman and past Richter for the score.
“The last goal was not a lack of execution but miscommunication,” Richter said. “Their guys got an open lane in our zone.”
Harvard was not able to respond, and the game ended in a disappointing loss for the Crimson.
Richter played a solid game, saving 26 out of 28 shot attempts by the Raiders and keeping Harvard competitive. The defense also played well enough to keep Colgate from getting the go-ahead goal until the end.
“It was a good effort by everyone in our own zone,” Richter said. “I thought guys did a good job of cleaning rebounds out.”
HARVARD 4, CORNELL 3
Against the Big Red at Lynah Rink, the Crimson netted a late goal to secure a victory over Cornell, one of the better teams in the ECAC.
The Big Red jumped out to an early lead with a goal from defenseman Nick D’Agostino in the first minute, but Harvard responded quickly with scores by junior forward Alex Killorn and senior forward Michael Biega later in the frame.
Cornell outshot the Crimson in the period, but Harvard headed into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead.
Midway through the second frame, the Big Red evened the score, but Killorn responded with a backhander off a rebound just over four minutes later that gave the Crimson a 3-2 lead.
Senior goalie Ryan Carroll made crucial saves in the game and finished with 27 stops. The Harvard penalty kill was also effective, as the team kept Cornell from scoring on three power play chances.
The final frame began with another game-tying Big Red goal, but the Crimson broke through once again on a cross-ice pass from the elder Biega to his younger brother, who sent a one-timer into the back of the net.
Cornell was unable to tie the game, and Harvard left Ithaca with a 4-3 victory.
Both Biega brothers finished with a goal and two assists, and Killorn recorded two goals of his own.
The power play was especially effective in the game, as the Crimson went 3-for-4 with the man-advantage.
“We moved the puck as quickly as we could, getting shots to the net,” Huxley said. “It was one of the goals going into the weekend.”
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