CAMBRIDGE, MA – #13 Harvard (2-0-0, 1-0-0) used a three-goal spurt during a stretch of five minutes in the middle of the second period to erase a 1-0 deficit and grab a 3-1 lead en route to a 3-2 win over the Brown men's hockey team (1-2-0, 0-1-0) on Friday evening in the ECAC and Ivy opener for both teams.
After falling behind, 3-1, following Harvard's scoring spree, Brown attempted a comeback late in the second period on a goal by sophomore Matt Lorito (Oakville, Ontario). However, Harvard was able to hold on during the third period to earn the two points.
"We battled pretty hard and worked very hard to get that one-goal lead," said head coach Brendan Whittet. "We came out really strong in the second period and the problem stemmed from the fact that we were playing with a lot of poise and emotion until that point. Then we get a power play and it deflates us for no reason. That 1-0 lead turned into a 3-1 deficit within four minutes and that to me, is unacceptable. We'll get better from it. We got that second goal which gave us some life going into the third period and I thought we had a pretty good third period."
The two teams played a scoreless first period with Harvard outshooting Brown, 13-8, due in part to skating on three separate power play chances to Brown's none.
The Bears were without two promising freshmen for the majority of the game, as defensemen Nate Widman (Naperville, IL) left the game just 6:20 into the first period and forward Nick Lappin (Glencoe, IL) didn't play after about the midway point of the first period. Both were due to injuries.
Brown came out with urgency to open the second period and grabbed a 1-0 lead just 3:24 into the frame on a deflection by senior Chris Zaires (Aberdeen, NJ). Junior Dennis Robertson (Fort St. John, British Columbia) sent the puck from the left point over to freshman Brandon Pfeil (West Vancouver, British Columbia) on the right. Pfeil one-timed a shot through traffic, and stationed in front of the crease, Zaires deflected the puck over Raphael Girard's right shoulder for his first goal of the season. The goal was briefly reviewed, but held to give the Bears the lead.
Brown went up on its first power play of the game at 11:18 of the second, but the Crimson won the defensive zone faceoff and just 13 seconds later Colin Blackwell tied the score, converting a two-on-one shorthanded bid to tie the game at 1-1 at 11:31.
The tie was short-lived though, as Harvard grabbed a 2-1 lead 2:12 later when Kyle Criscuolo tucked the puck behind junior Marco De Filippo (Auronzo Di Cadore, Italy) from the left side of the crease. Brendan Rempel scored Harvard's third goal in just over five minutes when he fired a shot from the right point, beating Di Filippo stick-side.
Lorito got one back for the Bears before the end of the period, beating Girard from the bottom of the left faceoff circle. Sophomore Matt Harlow (Bridgewater, MA) send the puck down to Lorito and he wristed a high shot to the far side of the net for his second goal of the year. Robertson also assisted for his second point of the game.
With the score still 3-2 in favor of the Crimson, head coach Brendan Whittet '94 called a timeout with 2:42 remaining. With the faceoff in the Bears' offensive zone, De Filippo vacated the net in favor of the extra attacker.
With 31 seconds remaining, Harvard's Alex Fallstrom was whistled for high-sticking, giving the Bears a six-on-four advantage. However, the Crimson were twice able to ice the puck out of the zone to hold on for the victory.
For the game, Harvard outshot Brown, 42-29. De Filippo finished with 39 saves, while Girard made 27 saves for the Crimson. Brown's penalty kill finished 4-4 though the power play was 0-3, allowing a short-handed goal.
Brown returns to action tomorrow evening when it travels to Dartmouth to face the Big Green in a 7:00 p.m. ECAC and Ivy League contest.
BROWN 0 2 0 x - 2
HARVARD 0 3 0 x - 3
First period – No Scoring. Penalties – B, 3-6; H, 0-0.
Second period – B, Zaires (Pfeil, Robertson), 3:24; H, Blackwell (unassisted), SH, 11:31; H, Criscuolo (Vesey), 13:43; H, Rempel (O'Regan, Hart), 16:37; B, Lorito (Harlow, Robertson), 18:14. Penalties – B, 0-0; H, 2-4.
Third Period – No Scoring. Penalties – B, 1-2; H, 1-2.
B, Marco De Filippo (58:44), 13-14-12-x – 39; H, Raphael Girard (59:55), 8-7-12-x – 27.