BOSTON — Harvard redeemed its first-round loss and shook this season’s tie demons with a 3-2 win over Northeastern in Monday’s Beanpot consolation game.
According to Harvard coach Ted Donato, a win like this can help gain momentum for the stretch run.
Semifinals, Feb. 6
Both teams started out the game rather sluggish and uninspired, skating in front of no more than 200 fans early on.
Alex Killorn converted one of his several shots in the first period to get the Crimson on the scoreboard first. The senior right wing had a quick sneak around the left leg of Northeastern goalie Clay Witt near the halfway point of the first to give Harvard the early lead. The tally inspired the Harvard offense, who ended up throwing 11 shots on Witt by the end of the first.
The shooting gallery continued at the start of the second period as Harvard flung six shots at Witt in the first four minutes of the frame. Witt stole a number of chances from Alex Fallstrom and David Valek.
Northeastern finally skated with some speed and Robbie Vrolyk had a shot bounce off the right shoulder of Harvard goaltender Steve Michalek and dribble right back into the net to even the game at one.
Michalek denied a flurry of shots by the Huskies in the second, including a Garret Vermeersch ice-length rush and a Braden Pimm shot that caught the tip of the goalie’s skate. Once Harvard got the activity back in the Northeastern end, Tommy O’Regan shot a long pass towards Fallstrom, who buried the shot past Witt to put the Crimson up 2-1.
The third period became much more physical, with a lot more play against the boards. Northeastern had the perfect opportunity to tie up the game as Valek went off for roughing at the 12:13 mark of the third, but it was the Crimson who found the net. Luke Greiner shot a beautiful slapper on the open left side of Witt to put Harvard up 3-1.
The Huskies answered a little over 20 seconds later with a Luke Eibler power-play goal off the right point to pull within one. The Huskies pulled Witt as the third ticked down, but Michalek stood tall.
The Crimson’s Danny Biega hit the post on a 150-foot shot as the final seconds ticked down.
“Getting the win was huge,” said Fallstrom. “Hopefully, we can use this win as a springboard for the remainder of the season like we did last year.”
Northeastern showed pure frustration post-game.
“We got out there and didn’t play with the effort or intensity we needed to,” said NU coach Jim Madigan. “Mature teams rise to the occasion regardless of the game and we didn’t.”