Killorn brought Harvard within a goal in the third period (photo courtesy Patrick Shanahan).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—No. 18 Merrimack held the Harvard men's hockey offense in check and defeated the Crimson, 3-1, Tuesday night at Bright Hockey Center in the second all-time meeting between the Massachusetts neighbors.
Alex Killorn scored his team-leading fourth goal to halve a third-period Merrimack lead, but the Warriors (6-3-4) sealed the win with a late empty-net goal. Kyle Richter made 34 saves for Harvard (2-7-0), while Merrimack's Joe Cannata logged 14.
Stephane Da Costa scored the eventual game-winner on a rush at 8:34 of the third period. He took the puck from Chris Barton at center, carried it to the goal line to Richter's right and banked it in off a body in front.
Killorn answered with a shot between Cannata's legs on a delayed penalty at the period's midpoint. Brendan Rempel cleared the puck from his defensive end. Eric Kroshus redirected it from the right boards ahead to Killorn, who skated around the top of the offensive zone before moving in to score from the left. The assist was the first point of Rempel's collegiate career.
Under a new rule to college hockey this season, Harvard got a power play despite the delayed-penalty goal, but Cannata stopped shots from Danny Biega and Daniel Moriarty on the man advantage. The Crimson got possession in the Warriors' zone with Richter pulled late, but Karl Stollery blocked a Biega shot and scored on the empty net from his own zone.
Harvard finished 0 for 4 on power plays, while Merrimack was 1 for 2.
The early part of the game flew by with very few whistles, as neither team scored and neither committed a penalty in the opening period. Merrimack held a 14-6 edge in shots in the frame, but the Harvard defense held most of them to the outside, and neither team had many great chances.
The scoreless play continued for much of the second period, but each team took two penalties. The Warriors got on the board on their second power play, as Brandon Brodhag grabbed the rebound of a Mike Collins shot and then took two shots of his own, scoring on the second at 15:34 of the period. Merrimack committed consecutive penalties but killed a 57-second two-man advantage for Harvard.
Ryan Flanigan stepped out of the penalty box and collected a long pass at the offensive blue line, but Richter stoned his breakaway attempt with a left-pad save. The Crimson's senior goalie finished with his second straight 14-save period, while Merrimack's Joe Cannata stopped five Crimson shots. The Warriors held a 10-4 edge in third-period shots.