Four Third-Period Goals Propel Men’s Hockey Past Princeton, 5-3

Tyler Moy picked up his first collegiate goal Saturday at Princeton (Gil Talbot).

A third-period flurry saw the Harvard offense come alive, powering the Crimson men's hockey team to a 5-3 victory over Ivy rival Princeton Saturday at Hobey Baker Rink. The Crimson (3-4-1, 2-4-1 ECAC) snaps a four-game losing skid with the win, scoring the most goals in any game so far this season. Princeton (2-7-1, 1-5-1 ECAC) takes its fifth loss of the season after winning its first league contest Friday over Dartmouth.

With Harvard holding a 1-0 lead heading into the third period, the game opened up considerably as the teams combined for five goals in the period. A big opportunity for Harvard to extend its lead came early in the third when two straight Princeton penalties gave the Crimson a five-on-three. While the guests possessed the puck well during the two-man advantage, an unfortunate bounce resulted in the game-tying goal for Princeton. A tipped shot slid up the middle of the ice just as the first Princeton skater left the penalty box, giving him an uncontested breakaway that he put home, knotting the score at 1-1.  

The response was swift and devastating from Harvard, as it would pour in three straight scores over the next two-plus minutes. Rookie Tyler Moy collected his first goal as a member of the Crimson, picking off a pass deep in the Princeton zone and beating goalie Sean Bonar five-hole with 12:26 to play. Next, it was sophomore Kyle Criscuolo with 11:59 on the clock, tipping home a Brian Hart attempt to stretch the lead to 3-1. Moments later it was 4-1, thanks to a heads-up play from Jimmy Vesey, who tucked home a lengthy rebound off the back boards glove side.

Princeton would not go quietly, however, and a goal with 8:22 to play off of a two-on-one situation against Michalek left the Crimson clutching a two-goal lead. Penalties mounted in the final minutes for Harvard and the final one of the evening bit them when, with a pulled goalie, Princeton bested Michalek again with just 37 seconds to play. The comeback threat was neutralized, however, when Vesey battled for a puck near the Princeton blue line and back-handed the puck into an empty net with four seconds on the clock, sealing the 5-3 final.  

The energy from the Quinnipiac game carried over noticeably for the Crimson with the guests dominating possession and scoring chances through the first period. Harvard had a great chance to take an early lead when Princeton's Ryan Siiro was sent off with a boarding minor, but the Princeton shot blockers kept the game scoreless with the kill. The Crimson posted a kill of its own passing through the midway point of the frame, and used the momentum to net the opening score of the game.

Tyler Moy dished the puck to Jimmy Vesey near Princeton's left faceoff circle. Vesey's shot was stopped by Sean Bonar, but the rebound came right to the stick of Sean Malone, to beat Bonar from a sharp angle for his first collegiate score at 13:37. Harvard looked poised on a second kill towards the end of the frame, and took a 1-0 lead into the locker room.  

The Tigers were not without their chances in the second stanza, riding a noticeable lift in urgency through the second 20 minutes. The hosts' best chances came on a power play, courtesy of a third Harvard penalty, this one to Danny Fick for a cross check. Three shots got through to Michalek on the man advantage, but the junior stayed cool under fire, coming up with a huge glove save on a slapshot through traffic near the end of the power play.

Harvard had its own surge of offensive pressure midway through the frame, highlighted by a shot off the stick of Phil Zielonka that banged off the Princeton pipe. A second Princeton penalty put the guests on a power play with 2:17 to play in the second, but the Tigers' kill was once again on point, keeping the deficit at one heading into the second intermission. The hosts held a narrow 21-17 shots advantage through 40 minutes of action.

Harvard has a quick turnaround for its next game, as it welcomes local rival No. 7 Boston College to Bright-Landry Hockey Center for a 7 p.m., showdown Wednesday.