Criscuolo's Second Goal
POTSDAM, N.Y. – The class of 2016 was the driving force for the Harvard men's hockey team Saturday night, as the group accounted for five goals in a 6-2 victory over Clarkson at Cheel Arena. The win ups the Crimson's record to 8-16-3 on the year and 5-13-2 in ECAC play, while Clarkson falls to 9-16-7 and 8-9-3 in league action. Harvard is now 3-1-2 in its last six games.
Both Kyle Criscuolo and Greg Gozzo netted a pair of goals in the game for the Crimson, with Gozzo's initial tally being the first of his collegiate career. Brayden Jaw notched his first collegiate point with a third-period goal and Brian Hart recorded a pair of assists in the game. Rookie Peter Traber made 29 stops to record his second collegiate win in goal.
Once again, the penalty bug bit the Crimson early as Harvard absorbed a penalty just one minute into the contest. Harvard was up to the task on the penalty kill, holding the Knights without a shot for the two-minute span. A second penalty just under four minutes later proved costly, however, as Ben Sexton stuffed a short-range attempt past Peter Traber at 5:24 to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Anxious to show of its power-play prowess, the Crimson got its chance just minutes later when Alex Boak was booked for tripping. Harvard took advantage of the man advantage with a great tic-tac-toe, all-freshman goal at 7:44. Jimmy Vesey sent a puck down low for Brian Hart just to the right of the Clarkson goal, and Hart redirected the puck to Kyle Criscuolo who slammed it home. 1:09 later it was Criscuolo and Hart at it again, teaming for the go-ahead goal at 8:53. A scrum near the Harvard blue line resulted in Hart poking the puck out and Criscuolo escorting it into the Clarkson zone. In a 2-on-1 with Marshall Everson, Criscuolo opted to take the shot himself and his wrister defied Greg Lewis for his second goal of the game.
In the closing second of the period, another freshman was heard from to give the Crimson a 3-1 cushion. Alex Fallstrom did well to gain control of the puck in the Clarkson zone and found a wide open Greg Gozzo in front of the net who blasted past Lewis at 19:36. The goal represented the first of Gozzo's collegiate career.
Clarkson picked up the pace in the second and its intensity resulted in a 15-3 shots advantage in the frame. Traber was on his game through most of the period, but a brief lapse with 18:31 gone resulted in Clarkson's second tally of the game. A turnover deep in the Crimson zone found the stick of Simon Bessette and the rookie drove one past Traber to cut the Harvard lead to 3-2 after two.
Harvard made it a point to extend its lead early in the third period, and 6:41 into the frame, the lone senior scorer on the night regained the two-goal lead for the guests. Conor Morrison controlled a lengthy pass from Tommy O'Regan in the Harvard zone, and Morrison evaded the lone defender chasing him and banged a shot off the outside post and in for a 4-2 edge. Less than a minute later, Gozzo netted his second of the game, sneaking in a puck through a confused Clarkson defensive corps off feeds from Vesey and Brendan Rempel.
The final goal of the night came off the stick of Jaw, who pounced on a floating clear by the Knights and fired true from the right point to ice the 6-2 final.
The Crimson will wrap up its regular season next weekend at home when it hosts No. 1 Quinnipiac Friday and Princeton Saturday at Bright Hockey Center.