ECAC Semifinal: Harvard (3) vs. Cornell (1), Final

Posted by: Avash Kalra

3rd period notes

9:21pm: And that’s it. Harvard advances to face Princeton tomorrow in the battle of the top two schools in the country (if you’re going by US News’ rankings of universities, that is). Richter made 31 saves on 32 shots for the Crimson, while Donato wins another against Cornell. Harvard is 7-1 in its last eight games against its archrivals from Ithaca. Headed down to the press conferences now. We’ll be blogging for tomorrow’s games too.
9:19pm: Just 17.5 seconds remaining, as Harvard leads 3-1. Mike Schafer calls timeout, as the Big Red needs a miracle. Now, more on Harvard junior Jimmy Fraser: he scored two goals in the 2006 ECAC title game (against Cornell), a game in which Harvard went 5-for-10 on the power play. In that game, Fraser — then a freshman — was stepping in for an injured Jon Pelle. Now, against Cornell, Pelle scores two on the power play. Funny how these things work out. Special teams the difference tonight.
9:17pm: Now Cornell goes on the power play. And Scrivens heads for the bench so the Red has a 6 on 4 advantage. Jimmy Fraser for Harvard is in the box (more on him in a moment).
9:15pm: And the Crimson cash in. It’s 3-1 Harvard with 2:36 to play. A very nice power play goal by senior forward Jon Pelle, with a tip in front of the net after a shot from the point. It’s Pelle’s second of the game, and all three Harvard goals have come on the man-advantage.
9:12pm: 2:57 remaining and there’s a slashing call against Cornell’s Michael Kennedy. Harvard goes on the power play as it tries to put this one away and head to tomorrow’s ECAC championship game against Princeton.
9:10pm: Cornell’s Blake Gallagher misses from the doorstep after a nice setup by freshman phenom Riley Nash. 3:43 remaining in the third period, as the Big Red power play opportunity expires.
9:07pm: Harvard’s Steve Rolecek made a nice move while in all alone on Ben Scrivens, but slid the puck through the crease, missing the net. Moments later, Crimson defenseman Jack Christian takes a tripping penalty, and the Big Red will go on the power play with 5:46 remaining. Thanks to a TV timeout, Cornell coach Mike Schafer gets to draw up a play.
9:01pm: The picture below is of Topher Scott’s easy tap-in goal in the second period. The goal cut Harvard’s lead to 2-1, and the Big Red is still trying to even the score of this one. 7:56 remaining in the third period, and the Crimson lead in shots on goal, 28-25. Richter, who won the Ken Dryden Award last night for the ECAC’s best goaltender, is playing well.
8:57pm: Indeed, right after I type the last post, the Greening-Nash-Patrick Kennedy line puts on a cycling show in the Harvard offensive zone. However, they can’t put one in the net, as Kyle Richter makes a nice save at the end of the flurry. 9:58 remaining in the third period.
8:52pm: 11:55 remaining in regulation. It’ll be interesting to see how Cornell coach Mike Schafer uses his top dynamic duo of Colin Greening and Riley Nash this period (first and second on the team in scoring). The Big Red’s hopes may rest on the sophomore and freshman here.
8:50pm: About 7 minutes gone by in the third period. Harvard has the edge in shots, 24-20. Play has been even so far this period, with each team getting a couple of decent chances.
2nd period notes
8:27pm: Period ends, with Harvard on top 2-1. The Crimson had a nice chance on its power play with a couple minutes left in the period, but freshman forward Matt McCollem fanned on an empty net.
8:19pm: Another penalty committed by Cornell, this time by senior defenseman and assistant captain Doug Krantz. 4:08 to go in the period.
8:16pm: To his credit, Ben Scrivens has tightened things up after giving up the weak second goal, stopping some solid Harvard chances. A moment ago, he made a point-blank save on Harvard sophomore center Doug Rogers, who was left alone between the has marks.
8:14pm: Pardon the delay between posts. Having some technical difficulties here at the TUC. Anyhow, at 5:02, Harvard extended its lead to 2-0, on another power play goal. This was a bad goal given up by Ben Scrivens, who dipped his right shoulder too early, and Jon Pelle lifted a short side goal. Soon after, Cornell senior captain Topher Scott tapped in a puck from Richter’s left to cut the lead in half. Classmate Raymond Sawada made a nice pass across the crease. So, Harvard leads 2-1. All three goals have been on the man-advantage. And all three goal-scorers have been seniors. 8 minutes left in the second period now.
7:56pm: Harvard given its third power play opportunity of the game, and this time they cash in, at 3:35 of the period. Brendon Nash was in the box for holding. Dave Watters was screening Ben Scrivens and tipped a shot from the point by junior defenseman Brian McCafferty.
1st period notes
7:44pm: The first period ends, and Cornell and Harvard are tied at 0-0. The Big Red has the advantage in shots, 10-8. You get the feeling that the first goal will be huge in this game. When scoring the first goal, Cornell is 16-2-1. But when giving up the first goal, the Red has struggled, going 2-11-1. Harvard swept the regular season against Cornell, winning in Cambridge, Mass. early in the season and in Ithaca, N.Y. on the final night of the regular season. In each game, the Crimson struck first.
7:30pm: Crimson forward Dave Watters takes an interference penalty with about 5 minutes remaining in the first period, giving the Big Red its first power play opportunity of the game. Richter makes a nice save sliding post to post on Topher Scott, who was set up by Brendon Nash. Richter then stones Red assistant captain and leading scorer Colin Greening at the doorstep.
7:15pm: Harvard goaltender Kyle Richter stones Cornell’s Blake Gallagher on a quick turnaround shot. Moments later, Big Red forward Evan Barlow takes a penalty, and the Crimson is headed to its second power play chance of the game. Only 6 minutes gone by in the first period.
7:10pm: The puck has dropped, as archrivals Cornell and Harvard battle for the right to play Princeton in tomorrow’s ECAC Championship game.

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