The Takeaway: St. Lawrence Takes Down Harvard 4-3 In Overtime

Posted by: Ryan Hannable

BOSTON— The Harvard Crimson, now losers of six straight, cannot catch a break. In a 3-3 tie they couldn’t convert on a two-minute, five-on-three man advantage with 2:48 remaining in regulation, and then lost in overtime on a George Hughes blast from the point as St. Lawrence (11-10-3 overall, 4-5-3 ECAC) defeated Harvard (5-13-1 overall, 3-11-0, ECAC) 4-3 in overtime Saturday night.

St. Lawrence was led by forward Jeremy Wick, who tallied a goal and an assist while being all over the ice all game long, logging a game-high 10 shots. Harvard got a good effort from freshman forward Jimmy Vesey who scored two goals — one late in the first and the other early in the second to tie the game at two at the time. Both goaltenders were impressive, especially Harvard’s Raphael Girard who finished with 39 saves, while St. Lawrence’s Matt Weninger had 27.

What I saw:

– After coming out of the gates extremely sluggish, falling behind 2-0 and getting outshot 11-1 midway through the first period, Harvard coach Ted Donato used his time out, which seemed to light a fire into his players. The Crimson controlled the rest of the period, earning a power play moments after the time out, and capitalizing on it with freshman Jimmy Vesey’s ninth goal of the year. Harvard ended up by being outshot 14-7 in the period and trailed 2-1 on the scoreboard.

– Having not played much of a factor in regulation, recording just one shot in the first 60 minutes, St. Lawrence defenseman George Hughes picked a good time to record just his fourth goal of the year. The senior, from Westwood, Mass, playing in front of many family and friends, unleashed a bomb from just inside the left point, with 1:23 remaining in overtime beating Harvard goaltender Raphael Girard sending the visiting Saints and their fans into a frenzy. For Harvard it was a heartbreaking way to lose their sixth straight game.

What I Learned:

– In Harvard’s six-game losing streak, scoring goals has been their biggest problem. In fact, Saturday was the first time since Nov. 16, besides their upset win over Boston University, that the Crimson scored more than two goals in a game. Although Harvard got three goals Saturday, it wasn’t enough. They are lacking consistent scoring from all three of their lines, as their first line of Jimmy Vesey, Colin Blackwell and Brian Hart can only carry them so far.

– Saturday night was a game of missed opportunities for both teams, but especially Harvard. St. Lawrence dominated play for the majority of the first two periods, and should not have gone into the third period tied at two. Going into the final period, St. Lawrence was outshooting Harvard 27-13. Harvard too, had plenty of chances to get the goal to put them on top, but couldn’t get it. They hit three posts over the course of the game, finished just 1-for-4 on the power play, and not to mention not scoring on the crucial two-minute, five-on-three at the end of regulation. The power play has been an issue all year long for the Crimson, as after Saturday’s game they are now 8-77 overall, and 4-59 in ECAC play on the man-advantage.

What They Said:

“The loss is heartbreaking after battling back. We battled back from 2-0, and 3-2, and hit three posts in the third. I think in the first shift in the third we had two or three open nets, but there are certainly no moral victories. I thought our guys really battled and worked hard. I think that is the teamwork and the effort we know we’re going to need to make the rest of the way, so that’s a big positive to take out of it.” — Harvard coach Ted Donato.

“It’s definitely frustrating (losing six straight). It seems like all of these losses are blending together. It’s not that fun to lose. I think tonight was a step in the right direction. We played really hard and St. Lawrence is a very good team and we were right there with them until the end.” — Harvard forward Jimmy Vesey

What Else You Should Know:

– With the win St. Lawrence has moved up to a tie for sixth in the ECAC standings with 11 points, while Harvard is in last place with six points. Harvard is next in action Friday night when they travel to Rensselaer, while St. Lawrence will next take to the ice Friday as well, in a weekend home series against Colgate.

– The two teams will conclude their two-game season series next month, Feb. 22 at St. Lawrence.

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