Vesey led the way for the powerful Crimson attack, notching four points in the victory. (Zack Williamson)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Behind a five-goal opening period, the Harvard men's hockey team showed no signs of rust and took care of the visiting Russian Red Stars, 9-3, at Bright-Landry Hockey Center. Sophomore Jimmy Vesey led the way for the Crimson attack, notching a hat trick and adding an assist, while senior netminder Raphael Girard steered away 18 shots in just over a period of play to earn the exhibition victory.
Alexander Kerfoot started the scoring spree for Harvard at the 6:54 mark, collecting a power play goal off feeds from Patrick McNally and Jimmy Vesey. Not long after, Vesey took advantage of a 4-on-3 power play opportunity, knocking in a Kyle Criscuolo pass a mere 13 seconds before David Valek gave Harvard a quick 3-0 advantage.
Alexei Shamin broke up the shutout just under two minutes into the second frame, edging out Girard's pads on an unassisted shot. Not long after, Peter Traber caught his first action of the season in net, replacing his counterpart midway through the stanza. Traber would remain in the game to steer aside 12 shots in 31 minutes.
With just under six remaining in the second, Sean Malone took advantage of yet another power play, sinking one past Artur Khaniarova to put the Crimson up 6-1. Twenty-nine seconds later, Ryan McGregor followed up with a score of his own off a McNally feed in the zone to give Harvard a dominating 7-1 lead into the second intermission.
Harvard's scoring barrage continued a mere 49 seconds into the final frame as Vesey grabbed his second score of the evening to put the Crimson up 8-1. But Alexandr Timirev got one back, beating Traber to bring the Red Stars back to 8-2. Around the midway mark of the final period, Vesey attacked again, earning a hat trick after going top shelf off a Kerfoot feed to put Harvard up 9-2.
The Red Stars struck one last time, as Alexandr Kuvavev slid one across the goal line to move the score to the final 9-3 score in the ledger. After the exhibition, Harvard returns to the ice on Jan. 4 when Boston University visits Bright-Landry at 7 p.m.