Cambridge, MASS. - The first period was played to a scoreless tie, but the second period would be much different as both teams combined to put on an offensive showcase. Harvard began the scoring as Alex Fallstrom put in a rebound just 43 seconds into the period. Not to be outdone Colgate would score on the power-play five minutes later to tie the game at one apiece. But Harvard would get two goals by Marshall Everson four minutes apart to give them the 3-1 second intermission lead.
Harvard would add an empty-netter in the third period to make the final 4-1 in favor of the Crimson. Harvard improves to 7-15-2 on the season, 4-12-1 in ECAC play while Colgate falls to 13-12-4, 5-9-3. Colgate will remain in tenth place in the ECAC standings with the loss, but both Harvard and Cornell pulls closer to them, at four and one points respectively. Harvard remains in last place, but remain three points behind Cornell for eleventh and four points behind Colgate for tenth. The loss will move Colgate even further away from an at large spot, according to the Pairwise.
What I Saw
- Colgate is a very quick team, but struggles to gain consistency on the defensive side of the puck. They controlled the play along the walls, they were a hungry team and they used their speed to their advantage. But they were unable to get consistent enough defense and goaltending to make noise in the game.
- Harvard was the more opportunistic of the teams, as they exited the second period with a 3-1 lead. Colgate had many golden chances, but Harvard got great goaltending from Raphael Girard and used sticks in the lanes the break up many grade-A Red Raider chances. Harvard may not have been the better team on this night, but they definitely took advantage of their chances in the second period. They just weathered the storm and bent but didn’t break throughout.
- The Crimson played a great defensive game in the third to hold onto their lead. They were able to hold Colgate to just one shot in the first 13 minutes of the period and four total in the 20 minute stanza. No question the star of the first two periods for Harvard was Girard, but in the third it was the Crimson defense. Might be a scary thought for other ECAC teams, but Harvard has finally put together consistent defensive performances together in consecutive league games. First on Sunday in a 1-1 tie with Dartmouth, and then tonight in a win.
What I Thought
- Everything that Harvard hasn’t been doing in the past three months, they are doing now. Blocking shots, getting consistent and opportunistic goal scoring and handling adversity was something that Harvard did well on this night. They might not have out-chanced the Red Raiders, they just played the more consistent defensive game. A consistent game in front of Girard was something that Harvard struggled with in November, December and January. The difference in the game was defense; Harvard played great defensively and in net, Colgate did not, especially in the second period.
- Colgate was probably one of the quickest, better teams I have seen in the offensive zone and along the walls. The game was uptempo and it seemed to be playing to their advantage, but it was Harvard that took advantage. Colgate’s movement on the power-play was phenomenal in their two second period power-plays. They scored on the first one, but Girard came up big in the second. Colgate in some ways just seemed snake-bitten by their own way of playing the game.
What They Said
Harvard coach Ted Donato said,
“I didn’t think we played especially great in the first, turning over pucks but Raphael played really well for us. The second period we came out from the very first shift with great energy. Fallstrom got the first one and Everson going to the net led to two goals for us.”
“They are a team that has some dangerous offensive players. I thought our goaltending, defense and compete level was just outstanding.’
Harvard forward Marshall Everson said,
“We started slow in the game, so in between periods we had to start to taking control. I think when we started doing that stuff and simplifying the game, I think we saw the success come right away with Fallstrom’s goal and it continued throughout the period.”
What Else You Should Know
Harvard will play Cornell on Saturday night. Cornell is coming in off a huge road win over Dartmouth on Friday night. after a rough stretch with just one win in 15 games, the Crimson are now 2-0-1 in their last three games. With wins against Boston University and Colgate, and a tie to Dartmouth.
Colgate continues to struggle as they are on a three losing streak. Colgate will make the short trip to Hanover, NH to take on the Big Green Saturday night. Consistency on defense will be what they are looking for. It needs to come together fast or they will find themselves in bad positioning come playoff time.
Harvard picked up their first win in ECAC play since November 16, when they defeated Cornell.
Marshall Everson picked up two goals in the contest, leaving him with nine goals on the season. The nine goals leave him one behind Jmmy Vesey for the team lead. Vesey missed his second consecutive game for the Crimson, but practiced this week. He is missing time with a knee injury.