Coming into the Beanpot consolation game, the Harvard men’s hockey team was in shambles. The Crimson held an abysmal 4-18-1 record, and just a week earlier, the team had been steamrolled by unranked Northeastern, showing no life in a 4-0 loss.
Against No. 15 Boston University for third place, victory—let alone a close contest—seemed like a longshot.
But suddenly, after a season of frustration, everything clicked.
In a back-and-forth game at TD Garden, Harvard came out on top, coming back late to shock the Terriers, 5-4, in a Valentine’s Day thriller.
The game didn’t begin the Crimson’s way. Less than six minutes in, the Terriers slapped the puck past senior goaltender Ryan Carroll to get on the board. It looked like Harvard was headed for yet another loss.
“When [BU] scored, we got a little déjà vu feeling,” sophomore forward Alex Fallstrom said. “But we didn’t want a repeat of the Northeastern game. Losing against Northeastern was the worst thing ever.”
And so, the Crimson responded with its most impressive 73-second span of the 2010-2011 season.
Junior forward Daniel Moriarty’s game misconduct penalty at the end of the first period gave the Terriers a one-man advantage for five minutes, but Harvard did more than just kill the power play. Four minutes into the second period, Fallstrom passed to junior forward Alex Killorn, who put the puck in the back of the net to tie the score at one apiece. Just 54 seconds later, from the slot, junior defenseman Ryan Grimshaw added another goal to the Crimson’s total, giving the underdogs the one-goal advantage.
Nineteen seconds after Grimshaw’s score, Fallstrom found Killorn, who beat the BU goaltender once again.
“Between the first and second [periods], it really just felt like this was a game for us to win,” sophomore forward Marshall Everson said. “I thought that confidence showed right away when we scored those three goals.”
Harvard’s lead proved to be short-lived. At the 12:24 mark in the same period, the Terriers notched a power play goal to cut the lead in half. Less than a minute later, BU found the back of the net once more, tying the score at three. Neither squad managed a goal for the rest of the period.
The stalemate reigned through much of the third frame until the Terriers took advantage of another power play at the 14:05 mark.
The Crimson answered quickly. Just 1:52 later, sophomore defenseman Danny Biega, the team’s leading scorer throughout the season, snuck a shot from the point through a host of players and past the goaltender.
But Harvard wasn’t finished quite yet.
With just 2:08 left on the clock, co-captain forward Michael Del Mauro grabbed the rebound off of a shot by sophomore forward Conor Morrison and hit the puck past the goal line, giving the Crimson the important lead with little left on the clock.