After narrowly losing to high-powered No. 3 Yale last week, Harvard men’s hockey team looked as though it had a good chance to upset unranked Northeastern in the first round of the 2011 Beanpot.
But nothing went the Crimson’s way, as the Huskies (9-11-6, 7-8-5 Hockey East) rolled to an easy 4-0 win over Harvard (4-18, 3-13 ECAC) in the tournament’s opener last night at TD Garden.
“[Northeastern] outplayed us in pretty much every facet of the game, from the net on out,” Crimson coach Ted Donato ’91 said. “Give them a lot of credit.”
Harvard kept it close at the beginning. In the first frame, the Crimson looked strong, applying consistent pressure on the Northeastern backline.
“We had some chances in the first period,” Donato said. “There were definitely some rebounds that were up for grabs.”
But despite outshooting the Huskies 17-10 in the first frame, Harvard failed to find the back of the net, thanks in large part to the play Northeastern goaltender, Chris Rawlings. Last month’s top netminder in the Hockey East conference, the 6’5” sophomore shut down every Crimson opportunity.
Holding Harvard scoreless in the two ensuing frames, Rawlings tallied 41 saves in all, registering his fifth shutout of the season.
“He played well,” said co-captain and defenseman Chris Huxley. “There were a lot of rebounds, but ... he made the first save, and he found the second.”
“It looked like anything that [Rawlings] saw he was going to save,” Donato added. “[He] got stronger as the game went on.”
On the Crimson’s defensive end, senior goaltender Ryan Carroll just couldn’t match up to his Huskies counterpart.
After shutting down the Bulldogs’ offense last Friday, Carroll had a tough time controlling Northeastern, stopping just 83 percent of shots that came his way.
His struggles began during a first period counterattack, when Northeastern junior Mike McLaughlin received the puck at the red line. Charging down the ice, McLaughlin split freshmen defenders Dan Ford and Danny Fick before hitting the puck past Carroll to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.
And it only got worse from there for the Harvard netminder.
Just 1:47 into the second frame, McLaughlin slapped a savable shot towards the Crimson goal. But Carroll failed to grab it, and the puck hit his stick before jumping over his head and into the net.
To Donato, Carroll’s miscue marked a turning point in the contest.