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Late Push Can Not Lift Men's Hockey Past Colgate in 4-2 Final

Kyle Criscuolo netted both goals for the Crimson Saturday against Colgate (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. –
A late power-play goal cut the deficit to one, but the Harvard men's hockey team could not protect an empty net in the final minute of action, falling to ECAC foe Colgate, 4-2, Saturday at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center.

With 2:08 remaining in the game, Colgate was called for slashing to give the Crimson a power play chance. After a timeout, the Crimson pulled net minder Michalek to make it a six-on-four extra skater advantage. After working the puck around, Jimmy Vesey fired a shot towards the net, and Kyle Criscuolo stuck his stick out and redirected the shot into the back of the net to make it a one goal game.

With one minute to go, the Crimson pulled Michalek again in hopes of forcing overtime, but Colgate's Ryan Johnston stole the puck and passed it into the back of the net to give the Raider's a two-goal lead.

The Raiders got things going early in the game, firing four shots on net and taking a 1-0 lead just 2:54 into the contest. Mike McCann slapped a shot from the right faceoff circle that beat goalie Peter Traber on the far post for the quick edge.

It was Colgate again at the 9:10 mark as Tylor Spink wrestled the puck off a Harvard defender and shuffled the puck past Traber from close range to give the guests a 2-0 advantage. The Crimson saw a handful of good chances off a power play midway through the period, but Colgate keeper Charlie Finn kept the Crimson at bay. The guests extended their lead to 3-0 when Daniel Gentzler redirected a Ryan Johnson shot at 16:07 to close the opening stanza with a commanding 3-0 lead.

The hosts refocused to start the second stanza and solid pressure in the Colgate zone resulted in the Raiders picking up an elbowing penalty, giving Harvard its second power play of the game. Alexander Kerfoot did well to keep the puck in the offensive zone, and dished to Luke Esposito just off the goalie's stick side. Esposito one-timed a pass to Kyle Criscuolo in front of the net and the sophomore buried his shot for his ninth goal of the season.

The Raiders continued to put pressure on new goalie Steve Michalek in the back half of the period, but the junior stood tall to keep the deficit at 3-1 after 40 minutes of action.  

The Crimson will compete in its first ECAC road game since Dec. 7 in its next time out, traveling to No. 6/6 Union Friday to take on the Dutchmen in a 7 p.m., showdown.