Danny Biega scored his second goal in three games (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).
CANTON, N.Y.-St. Lawrence scored three goals in the second period and held off a Crimson rally in the third to defeat the Harvard men's hockey team, 4-3, in the Crimson's regular-season finale, Saturday night at Appleton Arena. The loss prevented the Crimson from clinching a home ECAC playoff series and set up a first-round matchup between Harvard and Princeton.
Louis Leblanc, Danny Biega and Chad Morin scored to for the Crimson (7-19-3, 7-12-3 ECAC Hockey) after St. Lawrence (15-13-7, 9-8-5) built a 4-0 lead late in the second period. Conor Morrison logged two assists. Kyle Richter and Ryan Carroll made 32 and nine saves, respectively, for Harvard, while Alex Petizian stopped 19 shots for the Saints. Neither team scored in the final 15 minutes.
The Crimson enters the ECAC Hockey tournament as the No. 9 seed and will visit the eighth-seeded Tigers Friday and Saturday, with a deciding game Sunday, if necessary.
Harvard had the first three shots of the game, including a nifty redirection by David Valek that forced a tough save by Petizian. Richter made a nice save on the first SLU shot, off the stick of Alex Curran in the slot. Valek, however, was soon issued a five-minute penalty for hitting from behind, and on the ensuing power play, Aaron Bogosian picked up a loose puck in front and gave the Saints the lead. Led by Richter, the Crimson killed the rest of the penalty. St. Lawrence killed a penalty of its own to end the period and took the 1-0 edge to the intermission.
The Saints took control with three straight goals in the second period, as Mike McKenzie, Brandon Bollig and George Hughes found the net. Hughes' power-play tally at 18:05 gave the Saints a 4-0 edge, but Leblanc got the Crimson on the board nine seconds before the intermission. He pushed the puck past Petizian at the left post after Alex Killorn chipped the puck ahead to Michael Biega, who passed across the crease to Leblanc on the rush. Richter was pulled after 24 saves and three SLU goals, in favor of Ryan Carroll, who stopped nine of 10 shots to come his way.
The Crimson quickly made a game of it in the third period. Following passes from Ryan Grimshaw and Morrison, Danny Biega shot from wide on the right side past the blocker of Petizian less than two minutes into the period. Morin cut the lead to 4-2 at 4:35, scoring on a deflected shot from the left side after Morrison took the puck to the net and Daniel Moriarty shot wide. Richter returned to the Harvard goal to start the third period and stopped all eight SLU shots. However, Petizian and St. Lawrence held off the Crimson the rest of the way.