CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — College hockey’s oldest active rivalry was revived tonight, as the Harvard Crimson (11-11-3, 9-7-2 ECAC) took on the Brown Bears (4-17-4, 4-11-3 ECAC) at the Bright Hockey Center. The Crimson’s Jimmy Fraser missed a penalty shot, but came back to score the game-winning goal as the Crimson, who posted back-to-back wins last weekend, continued their unbeaten streak, out-shooting their opponents 35-17 in posting a 2-1 win.
“It was a battle.” said Fraser. “Brown always plays us tough. They played us tough a month ago down in their rink and they smoked us pretty good 4-1, so we knew coming in that it was going to be a battle tonight. We just wanted to stay positive tonight for 60 minutes and fortunately we were able to come out with a win.”
Harvard’s Matt McCollem opened the scoring 6:51 into the first when he buried the rebound of a Mike Taylor shot right by Brown goaltender Dan Rosen.
Brown responded on a power play with 1:45 left in the first as their alternate captain, Jeff Prough, capitalized on a pass from Sean Hurley to net the Bears only goal of the night.
The Crimson offense dominated control of the puck for the majority of the second period.
After a Harvard breakaway was interrupted by an offsides call, the Crimson regained control in the Bears’ zone and Fraser got a breakaway opportunity. His chance was cut short however, as Brown’s Scott Van der Linden tripped Fraser. Fraser, awarded a penalty shot, started movement with the puck at center ice, cut to his left, then to his right and released a shot low to the ice.
“I think I’d try to zone out the crowd if I could do it over again,” explained Fraser after the game. “I knew my move before I got down there, maybe I’d wait a split second longer for his legs to open up, but I don’t have to much experience in that department so I figured I just put a good shot on and hope it went in.”
Both teams came out fighting early in the third, but after a Brown breakdown in the neutral zone, Fraser scored the final goal of the night just fifty seconds into the third. Fraser beat two Brown defensemen, faked Rosen on the forehand, and beat Rosen with the backhand the other side of the net.
“I had a feeling Jimmy Fraser was going to come back and make a play after not scoring on the penalty shot,” explained Harvard coach Ted Donato. “To me, that’s very defining of not only Jimmy but our team. We haven’t exactly made it easy on our selves, but we’ve found ways to keep going, and to find a way to get things done.”
“I think after the exam break, guys were just real excited to get back on the ice and get back to the ECAC schedule,” explained Fraser when asked about his team’s impressive play. “It’s nice having the Beanpot too, especially making that championship game. It put a lot of confidence back in the guys and back in the team and ever since then we’ve just used that in motivation to come out with some big wins down the stretch.”
Next weekend, the Bears will play their final regular season home series against RPI and Union. As for the Crimson, they take on Colgate Friday night and face top rival Cornell on Saturday.