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Harvard Looks Past Loss Against Quinnipiac, Prepares for 71st Annual Beanpot

The Harvard men's ice hockey team will look to bounce back after its loss to Quinnipiac for its game against Northeastern at the 71st Beanpot Tournament.
The Harvard men's ice hockey team will look to bounce back after its loss to Quinnipiac for its game against Northeastern at the 71st Beanpot Tournament. By Dylan J. Goodman
By Nate M. Bolan, Tommy Branca, and Owen Butler, Crimson Staff Writers

Harvard men’s ice hockey (4-13-3, 4-8-3 Ivy) lost 2-1 against one of its most difficult opponents of the season, No. 1 ECAC and No. 7 NCAA-ranked Quinnipiac, on Friday. The loss marked its second to the Bobcats this season, with the first coming from a decisive 6-0 shutout at Bright-Landry.

The Crimson, similar to its performance last weekend, found itself in a 2-0 hole through two periods, but was ultimately able to weather the storm and keep the 4.2-goal-averaging Quinnipiac team at bay until the third

Goaltending was a highlight for the squad, with sophomore goaltender Aku Koskenvuo recording 15 saves with a .938 save percentage in the first period. Koskenvuo has posted several stellar performances in the last four games, tallying a .942 save percentage.

“[I’ve] been just going game by game. … Nothing crazy, and hope it works.” Koskenvuo said. “[They] did a good job of blocking a lot of shots.”

Defense was not the only bright spot for Harvard. The offense, too, quietly chipped away at Quinnipiac before striking pay dirt. In the final 25 seconds of the first period, Harvard was gifted a three-on-two opportunity coming down the ice, which didn’t result in an initial shot until sophomore left wing Marek Hejduk knocked the puck free of a Quinnipiac player to then pass it into the slot for sophomore right wing Joe Miller. Despite the crafty take by Miller, the shot was stopped and held by Quinnipiac’s senior netminder, Vinny Duplessis.

First-year right wing Michael Callow got the action started for the Crimson on a wrap-around attempt at 16:47. The offensive pressure continued to build over the next four minutes, leading to another Miller shot off sophomore center Casey Severo’s pass. The puck, deflecting off Duplessis’s pads and into the left board, was then taken up by first-year defenseman Matthew Morden. Jack Bar received the puck after a scuffle at the opposite side of the zone and fired a slap-shot low into Duplessis for the whistle.

A 12:02 minor penalty against Harvard for a faceoff violation would put the offensive surge to a halt. Junior forward Luke Khozozian served the penalty. Although Quinnipiac was unsuccessful on the powerplay, Quinnipiac junior forward Cristophe Tellier netted a goal with 2:34 remaining in the second. Harvard’s defense began to slack, and the lack of discipline continued through the next period, as it would pick up another minor penalty, this time for interference at 16:05 by Marek Hedjduk. After another unsuccessful power play for the Bobcats, Harvard battled hard and drew a penalty on Quinnipiac. This time it was a minor for hooking at 7:00. Although this opportunity did not yield any points, the Crimson gave it one last shot in an empty net situation with an extra skater. A Hedjduk goal in the final five minutes would ensure that the rematch did not end in another shutout.

“Certainly good teams are going to put you in some spots to get you in trouble,” Head Coach Ted Donato said. “But I thought some of our hard decisions under pressure magnified … as opposed to minimiz[ing] that.”

The squad will take on Northeastern, the reigning Beanpot champions, for the first time this season.
The squad will take on Northeastern, the reigning Beanpot champions, for the first time this season. By Dylan J. Goodman

The game on Friday night also saw the return of junior captain and defenseman Ian Moore. This marked his first action since the Nov. 24 Thanksgiving contest against UMass Amherst. When asked about the impact Moore is expected to have now that he is healthy, Donato was hopeful that his presence would provide a much needed boost on the ice.

Tonight, Harvard will take on Northeastern (11-12-2) in the 71st annual Dunkin’ Men’s Beanpot Tournament held at TD Garden. The Crimson plays in the first of the two games Monday night, and if it wins will advance to the finals the following Monday night where it will play the winner of the second game between No. 1 Boston College and No. 3 Boston University.

After falling just short of a Beanpot title in last year's final in a 3 -2 shootout loss to Northeastern, Harvard is looking for its first Beanpot title since 2017. Harvard currently holds 11 Beanpot titles, the third most of the programs involved in the tournament. Boston University leads with 30, followed by Boston College with 20. Northeastern holds 7 following its victory last season.

“I think it's a special opportunity. As everybody knows, we only get four cracks at it, and it goes by quickly, so I think my message there was just to enjoy it,” said Harvard captain Zakary Karpa. “But with that being said, we got to come out hard, play our game, and it's a great opportunity for our team this late in the season.”

Tonight’s contest will take place at TD Garden at 5:00 p.m. EST, and will be streamed on NESN, ESPN+, and TSN+ in Canada.

—Staff writer Nate Bolan can be reached at nathan.bolan@thecrimson.com

—Staff writer Tommy Branca can be reached at tommy.branca@thecrimson.com

—Staff writer Owen Butler can be reached at owen.butler@thecrimson.com

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