Those Ivy League students sure can pull off some tricky math.
Harvard managed to write an equation in which half the shots equaled twice the number of goals, as the Crimson beat Boston University 2-1 in overtime despite being outshot 40-20 in front of a crowd of 5,325 at Agganis Arena tonight.
Sophomore Kyle Richter made 39 saves for the Crimson, while Doug Rogers buried a rebound at 3:52 of the overtime period. Jon Pelle scored the first goal for Harvard, while Pete MacArthur got the only Terrier goal.
As far as Terrier coach Jack Parker was concerned, BU’s effort was a turkey that arrived two days before Thanksgiving. “In general, I thought BU got what they deserved tonight,” Parker said “It looked like it was almost a good game: We outshoot them 40 to 20; everything looks all right but it isn’t … I’m concerned whether this team knows how to get up for a game. At 3-6-2 coming into this game, this should’ve been a game we had to have. But we let it slip it away because we weren’t ready to play.”
“Obviously, we’re excited about the win,” Donato said. “Certainly there were periods in the game when we were under a lot of pressure, but Kyle was huge for us in the net … We had two or three individual efforts that enabled us to stay in the game and win the game.
“After the first period, I thought we played much better. The first period I thought we kind of sat back, and they took the play to us.”
There were few shots but several great scoring chances in the opening minutes. Off a Harvard rush at 1:30 , freshman Michael Biega took a left-wing shot that resoundingly clanged off the far post. At 3:00 , a careless Crimson play behind their own net left the puck on the stick of Bryan Ewing, who teed it up for Peter MacArthur crashing the goal for a great chance. A minute later, Crimson senior Alex Meintel shot a six-footer over the net.
The period’s lone power play led to its solitary goal. BU enjoyed strong puck possession, working the puck around the perimeter of the zone. Ultimately Kevin Shattenkirk fed it from the right point to MacArthur at the left point, and the senior took a slapshot that trickled through Harvard netminder Kyle Richter at 8:34 .
BU winger Jason Lawrence looked great in the 17th minute. First Lawrence and Zach Cohen almost scored, then Dan McGoff made a great pass from the left point that Lawrence nearly converted on a one-timer at the far post. Terrier frosh Nick Bonino had a slick move off the boards for one more chance with seconds left in the period, capping off a period in which BU enjoyed a 15-4 margin in shots on goal.
“There were times when they were pressing us pretty good, but the D-men and the forwards did a good job of keeping them outside, letting me see the puck as they’ve been doing this year so far” said Richter, who has a 1.00 goals against average thus far season.
Harvard came out stronger in the second period, as strong play in the Terrier zone led to some solid shots and near misses. The teams played cautiously for a good stretch after that; the most noteworthy development was Lawrence suffering a shoulder injury when he was hit into the boards at the four-minute mark.
The Crimson tied it up at 11:51 on a great individual effort by senior right wing Jon Pelle. After a rush from his own blue line, Pelle got around a defender and deftly avoided Terrier goalie Karson’s Gillespie poke check before slipping in the low shot.
Colby Cohen rang a slapper off the post less than a minute later, but that was the last Terrier scoring chance for a long while, as BU had to kill off almost six straight minutes of penalties. Just as the last one expired, Chris Higgins won a battle with Chris Huxley in the neutral zone to race in for a great chance, drawing a penalty in the process.
The third period featured more cautious play in the early going. On a Harvard power play, Alex Biega had a shot that required a nice leg save by Karson Gillespie at 3:40 . Then, at 7:10 , Terrier wing Zach Cohen raced in on the left wing for a solid shot, only to have Richter make the pad save.
BU played hard in the last ten minutes but didn’t muster many scoring chances. In overtime, they had a good chance one minute in when Brandon Yip swatted at the rebound of a Matt Gilroy shot, but referee Tom Fyrer whistled the play dead to a Terrier high stick.
Harvard scored the game-winner off of a faceoff. “We went to the bench and designed up a play,” Rogers said. “Tried to get the faceoff back, got it back, and Alex Biega put a good shot on net. Happened to bounce out from the behind the net.”
Rogers felt that Gillespie lost track of the rebound off the back boards, as the netminder was slow to react before the subsequent shot. “I think he lost it because it banked off the back wall. I think he lost it there and maybe was scrambling to get back. I’m not sure; I was just looking at the puck.”
That sealed the win for a Crimson team that was more deserving than some of the number indicated.
“This is phony stuff here,” Parker said, waving the stat sheet. “This covers up the problem; this doesn’t relate to what actually happened out there tonight. What actually happened is Harvard played harder than we did. Harvard was more prepared to play; they were more willing to lay it on the line to get things done, and they finally won a hockey game on the road.
BU ( 3-7-2 ) travels to Madison Square Garden to play another ECAC rival in Cornell on Saturday night, while Harvard ( 5-2-0 ) is off until November 28, when they play at Yale.