CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Junior Merrick Madsen made 30 saves and four different skaters scored, as the No. 3/3 Harvard men's hockey team (21-5-2, 15-4-2 ECACH) defeated Clarkson (14-14-5, 9-9-3 ECACH), 4-1, Friday at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center.
The win was the ninth in a row for the Crimson and extended its unbeaten streak to 11 games (10-0-1) dating back to Jan. 20. The victory also keeps Harvard in striking distance of the regular season ECAC Hockey crown and the Cleary Cup. Harvard is one point behind Union, 33-32, after the Dutchmen defeated Colgate in overtime, 4-3, Friday. Harvard hosts St. Lawrence on Senior Night Saturday, while Union visits Cornell. Harvard would earn the top spot in the conference with a win and a Union loss or tie. Puck drop in Cambridge is set for 7 p.m. with senior festivities following the conclusion of the game.
It took just 4:11 for the Crimson to get on the board Friday, as Alexander Kerfoot buried his 13th goal of the season on a feed from Lewis Zerter-Gossage. Fellow linemate Ryan Donato nudged the puck away from a Clarkson skater along the right boards to Zerter-Gossage who collected and headed toward the Golden Knight's net. Lifting a quick pass through the sticks of two defenders, Zerter-Gossage found Kerfoot at the opposite post for the tap in. The remainder of the period passed without either team scoring and just two Harvard penalties being whistled.
The second period almost mirrored the first, as Harvard found the back of the net in the early minutes once again. At 5:42, Clay Anderson ripped a shot from the point that deflected off a Clarkson skater in front and found the back of the mesh. Two Clarkson penalties and one on the Crimson were the only change to the scoresheet the rest of the frame.
Harvard's penalty came with 31.1 seconds left in the frame and carried over to the start of the third. The shortage of skaters did not stop the Crimson from once again scoring at the beginning of the period, as Luke Esposito stole the puck in the Clarkson zone and beat Jake Kielly over his right shoulder into the top right corner for the 11th shorthanded goal of the season for Harvard. Esposito matches Donato with three shorthanded strikes this season and Harvard leads the nation as a team with 11.
Clarkson scored at the 7:41 mark, a rebound effort from Terrance Amorosa, but Harvard extended its lead back to three goals, 4-1, when Adam Fox netted an empty-netter from the full length of the ice. Defenseman John Marino and goaltender Merrick Madsen earned the assists on the play. The assist was the second of Madsen's career with his other coming Nov. 14, 2015 at Princeton.