Michael Biega's sixth goal of the season gave the Crimson a 2-0 lead (photo courtesy Patrick Shanahan).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-Rensselaer scored four of the game's final five goals to overcome a fast start by the Harvard men's hockey team and defeat the Crimson, 5-4, Friday night at Bright Hockey Center. The loss was Harvard's first in 20 February home games since Ted Donato '91 took over as the Crimson's head coach in 2004-05.
Jack Christian, Michael Biega, Alex Fallstrom and Conor Morrison scored for Harvard (6-15-3, 6-8-3 ECAC Hockey), with Morrison adding an assist. After Morrison gave the Crimson a 4-3 lead four minutes into the second period, Chase Polacek tied the score less than three minutes later with his second goal from deep on the left side of the ice. Brandon Pirri put the Engineers (16-12-3, 9-6-2) ahead to stay with a big shot from the right point on the power play at 9:31.
All nine goals came in the first half of the 60 minutes, as Allen York buckled down to stop Harvard's last 23 shots after allowing four goals on the Crimson's first 10 shots. Harvard held an overall shots edge of 33-23 and was 1 for 3 on the power play. Rensselaer was 1 for 5. Starter Ryan Carroll made four saves for the Crimson, while Kyle Richter logged 14.
Jack Christian gave Harvard the lead with a slap shot from the right point that found its way inside the left post just 18 seconds into the game. Following a conference, the officials ruled Christian's goal to be good, but they later denied a would-be second tally from Daniel Moriarty for deflecting the puck with a high stick. Biega, however, made it 2-0 before the game was two minutes old, finishing from the slot after a pass out of the right corner by Louis Leblanc.
Jerry D'Amigo converted a breakaway following a four-on-four faceoff in the defensive zone at 11:05, but Fallstrom answered with a deflection of Morrison's point shot less than two minutes later, with Alex Killorn also assisting. Another two minutes had not elapsed before goals nine seconds apart by Bryan Brutlag and Polacek tied the game at 3-3.
Morrison tucked the puck inside the right post after shots from Alex Biega and Doug Rogers on Harvard's second shot on goal of the second period. The Engineers rallied and withstood Harvard's 10-2 advantage in third-period shots. The Crimson pulled Richter for an extra skater with 72 seconds remaining, but York made consecutive shots on Killorn and Fallstrom on Harvard's best chance of the final minute.