TROY, N.Y. — The Rensselaer Engineers took the early 2-0 lead, but it was the Harvard Crimson that controlled the next 40 minutes as they skated to a 5-2 victory and swept a weekend ECAC series in the Capital District.
“I told the guys we had to stay out of the box,” said Harvard head coach Mark Mazzoleni. “They’re a team that can play their two big kids a lot on the power play and four-on-four and we’ve become a much more disciplined team.
“We took a couple of penalties in the first and they made the plays.”
Said Engineer head coach Dan Fridgen, “A couple of things we wanted to do, capitalize on power play and limit turnovers, but as the game progressed, we turned the puck over and they capitalized and that was the difference in the game.”
The Engineers took the 1-0 lead when Matt Murley picked up a puck to the left of Dov Grumet-Morris and tucked it past him for the lead.
The Engineers increased the lead to 2-0 on the power play. Murley’s initial shot was saved by Grumet-Morris, but he carried the rebound to Carson Butterwick. Butterwick fed it across the slot to a waiting Marc Cavosie and an open net.
The Crimson scored three times in the second period to take the lead. A puck fed by Andrew Lederman to Tom Cavanagh was trickled past Kevin Kurk to cut the lead to 2-1.
The Crimson then tied it as Brett Nowak came in and took an initial shot, the rebound came right back to him and put it past Kurk.
As the second expired, the Crimson took the lead when Nowak found Dennis Packard alone in front for the quick tip.
“I didn’t think we played that badly in the first period,” said Mazzoleni. “Their two big players made two big plays and it was a key that we got the first goal in the second period.
“If they had made it 3-0, it would have been tough, but to get that first goal in the second period got us going.”
The Crimson increased the lead to 4-2 just 37 seconds into the third period when a giveaway on the power play in the Engineer end to Cavanagh led to him deking Kurk for the shorthanded goal.
“This is a team that got back into the game against Bowling Green last week by scoring shorthanded goals,” said Fridgen. “I wanted to remind the guys of it in the locker room before the third period, but I didn’t mention it and I was kicking myself as it was happening.”
The Crimson sealed it as Rob Fried took a shot that caromed off an Engineer defender past Kurk for the 5-2 lead and sent the fans scurrying like a potato chip was dropped on an ant hill.
“We had a lot of opportunities in the second period,” said Fridgen. “But we had the shots blocked, or they went wide. If we had capitalized we could have buried them.”
“We were doing a good job of forcing turnovers with the trap,” said Mazzoleni. “We got after the puck and shut down their options. Our guys did a good job of taking away space.”
The Crimson (8-5-3, 7-2-2 ECAC) will host Yale and Princeton next weekend while the Engineers (7-6-2, 2-3-2) will travel to take on Clarkson and St. Lawrence.