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Men's Hockey Tops Northeastern in Beanpot Consolation

Some Consolation
Steven A Soto

Despite dropping its first-round Beanpot matchup against top-ranked Boston University, the Harvard men’s hockey team secured its second victory in as many years in the Beanpot consolation round Monday night, taking home a tight contest against crosstown rival Northeastern.

BOSTON, Mass.—Scoring at TD Garden is something Alex Fallstrom hopes to be doing a lot more of in the future.

At the home of the Boston Bruins—the NHL team that acquired him via trade three years ago—the junior forward scored the go-ahead goal in the second period to help give Harvard (8-7-10, 6-4-8 ECAC) a 3-2 win over Northeastern (11-14-3, 7-12-2 Hockey East) in the Beanpot consolation game Monday night.

It was Fallstrom’s first goal on the ice he one day aspires to call home.

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“Hopefully it’s one of many to come,” the junior said.

Though the contest, played in front of a sparse crowd, merely served as an appetizer for the main course of the 60th annual Beanpot—No. 2 Boston University vs. No. 3 Boston College in the championship match—Harvard avoided finishing at the bottom of the city’s collegiate hockey pecking order with the win.

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“Coming into the game, there’s just not many fans in the stands, [so] it's kind of a tough game to get up for,” senior forward Alex Killorn said. “But we realized this game’s not only huge for the win, but also going into this weekend.... It’s definitely a momentum swing for us.”

Fallstrom’s goal, his tenth of the season, came with 1:47 to go in the second period. The junior got loose on a breakaway, took a cross-ice pass from freshman Tommy O’Regan, and fired a shot from outside the circle over Huskies goaltender Clay Witt’s left shoulder.

“Tommy was filling in for Marshall Everson, who has played in that position most of the season,” Crimson coach Ted Donato ’91 explained. “We needed somebody to step up and play on that line, and I think he did a good job.”

The goal came just a minute after Crimson freshman goalie Steve Michalek made a diving stop to prevent Northeastern from scoring off a rebound. The rookie netminder would continue his strong play early in the third, making back-to-back kick saves at the eight-minute mark to keep Harvard ahead.

“Steve’s really been huge for us,” Fallstrom said. “He’s come into a real tough position, being a freshman starter. He’s really worked hard, and he’s really grown this year. It’s nice to see.”

Moments later, Harvard junior forward David Valek was called for holding, giving the Huskies a power-play attempt. But it was the Crimson that would score once again.

On a two-on-one, senior Colin Moore sent a perfect cross-ice pass to junior forward Luke Greiner, who ripped a shot from the right side through Witt’s legs to put Harvard up, 3-1. It was the Crimson’s first shorthanded goal since Killorn scored in last season’s Beanpot consolation game.

Still on the power play just 23 seconds later, Northeastern would cut the deficit to one.

Luke Eibler scored his first goal of the season, firing a shot that Michalek attempted to catch but which instead bounced off his glove and into the net behind him.

Now down just a score, Northeastern began to attack the net during the contest’s final six minutes. But despite a number of close calls in the final seconds, Michalek held firm to give the Crimson the win.

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