HAMILTON, N.Y. — In their 67th meeting, the Colgate Raiders and No. 18 Harvard Crimson battled to a draw, as the Crimson battled back from an early deficit.
The first period got off to a relatively slow start, with neither team holding a distinct advantage in the offensive zone.
Colgate got on the board first at 13:40 of the first when Austin Smith blasted a shot past Harvard goalie Matt Hoyle off a rebound from an unsuccessful deke by David McIntyre.
Colgate’s second goal came just 38 seconds later when Jason Williams capitalized on a scrum in front of the net to land a backhand goal.
The Raiders’ lead was somewhat unexpected given Harvard’s relatively solid play early in the period.
Harvard coach Ted Donato commented, “I thought for the first eight to ten minutes we played pretty well, but we made a couple of mistakes and let them get behind us.” Donato noted in particular the aggressive offensive play of McIntyre and Smith, saying that the Harvard defense was constantly concentrating on keeping the two at bay.
The second period saw increased ferocity of play, with both teams pushing and shoving in frequent scrums in front of the net. Although the Raiders had an 8-5 advantage in shots during the period, Harvard was able to capitalize on a face-off win with a quick backhand shot by Daniel Moriarty from the hash marks slipping by Colgate goalie Charles Long.
Despite three power plays during the period, Harvard kept Colgate silent during the second, surprisingly spending much of their penalty kill time in the Colgate defensive zone.
Donato said of Harvard’s penalty kill, “We tried to be aggressive, but they had some skill and speed when they did get in the offensive zone and made opportunities.”
Colgate coach Don Vaughan said of the Harvard penalty kill, “We didn’t have a lot of opportunities [on the power play]; they pressured us more than any team this season.”
The Crimson managed to even the score in the third with a slow shot on goal by Alex Killorn slipping by Long.
“I don’t know how that last shot went in, but it went in,” said Vaughan.
Both teams failed to score for the rest of the third period and the overtime period, despite a dangerous breakaway by Smith, who nearly pulled a spectacular fake on Hoyle for the goal, but Hoyle managed some last second acrobatics for the save.
“Hoyle made some great saves,” Donato noted. “That last save was nothing short of spectacular.”
Smith, who came into this season as a scoring threat early, has gained attention as an explosive player.
“Austin was our best player tonight,” Vaughan said. “He had a lot of jump.”