Men's Hockey Knocks Off No. 1 Quinnipiac, 2-1, In Overtime Thriller
Alex Fallstrom netted the game-winning goal for Harvard against No. 1 Quinnipiac Friday (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Alex Fallstrom scored with 18 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Harvard men's hockey team a 2-1 comeback upset over No. 1 Quinnipiac Friday night at Bright Hockey Center. It is Harvard's (9-16-3, 6-13-2 ECAC) biggest upset since Nov. 17, 2004 when the Crimson defeated No.1 Boston College at home, 3-1.
Late in the overtime Quinnipiac (23-5-5, 16-2-3 ECAC) attempted to clear the puck from its zone behind their net, but Greg Gozzo knocked the puck away from the Bobcats player to keep possession for Harvard. Gozzo dropped the puck to Jimmy Vesey who went hard into the Quinnipiac zone. Vesey sent a shot towards Eric Hartzell and Fallstrom was alone on the back door to tip home the game winner.
Fallstrom extended his career-long point streak to seven games when the senior netted his seventh goal of the season. Kyle Criscuolo kept the Crimson alive when he netted his third goal in the past two games to force the overtime. It marks Harvard's second overtime victory this season since a 6-5 comeback over then No. 8 Boston University on Jan. 9.
Both teams played a controlled game through the first period, with Quinnipiac having slightly better looks through the opening 20 minutes. Harvard's best chance came just shy of the 12-minute mark when Luke Greiner collected a puck right on the doorstep, but his short -range attempt was stuffed by goalie Hartzell. The Crimson went on a power play just over a minute later, but a poised Quinnipiac penalty kill held Harvard without a shot. The Bobcats had a man-up look of their own with 2:20 remaining in the period, and a shot by Matthew Peca rang off the post to keep the score tied at 0-0. Quinnipiac finished the frame with a slight 10-8 edge in shots.
A cross-checking penalty early in the second sent the Bobcats on another power play, but Harvard was once again up to the task, keeping the look sot a minimum, save a blocked shot by Brenden Rempel on a Peca attempt. While the Harvard chances improved through the period, it was the guests that jumped onto the scoreboard first. Jordan Samuels-Thomas was lurking near the Harvard net as the Crimson was setting up for a breakout, and the junior swept behind the cage, wrestled the puck towards the front of the net and slid it to Ben Arnt, who shot past Raphael Girard for the game's first goal. The Crimson managed 10 shots in the period, but went into the locker room with a 1-0 deficit.
It was do-or-die for the Crimson in the third, and offense showed its grit with a bevy of shots on Hartzell. Marshall Everson picked off a Quinnipiac pass and drove down to the Bobcats zone. Everson passed to lineman Criscuolo who was on a 2-on-1 with Brian Hart. Criscuolo kept the puck for himself and netted the equalizing goal at the 5:38 minute mark in the final period. The Crimson's defense and Girard denied Quinnipiac's five attempts on net to force overtime.
The Crimson wraps up its regular season schedule tomorrow when it takes on Ivy rival Princeton in a 7 p.m. contest.