Harvard Men’s Hockey, RPI Tie, 2-2; Crimson Equals NCAA Ties Record

Greiner scored his fourth goal in the last six games (photo courtesy Gil Talbot). Buy Now
Greiner scored his fourth goal in the last six games (photo courtesy Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The Harvard men's hockey team tied Rensselaer, 2-2, Friday night at Bright Hockey Center, matching the NCAA record with its 10th tie of the season.

Brock Higgs scored an extra-attacker goal with 63 seconds left in regulation to rally Rensselaer (7-19-3, 4-10-3 ECAC Hockey) after Luke Greiner gave the Crimson (7-7-10, 6-4-8) a third-period lead. The draw kept Harvard unbeaten in its last seven league games.

Alex Fallstrom also scored for Harvard, erasing RPI's 1-0 lead in the first period. Raphael Girard made 27 saves, while Rensselaer's Bryce Merriam logged 29, as the Crimson owned a 31-29 shots advantage. CJ Lee notched a goal and an assist for the Engineers.

Higgs assured RPI of one point in the standings by banging the puck in from in front of the goal after Patrick Cullen fired in a shot from the right wall and Lee got a stick on the puck. The Engineers outshot Harvard, 4-2, in overtime. Merriam stopped Greiner's stuff attempt in front after an Eric Kroshus centering feed. Girard matched him with a save on Ryan Haggerty on the next RPI rush.

The Crimson's 10 ties match the totals posted by Minnesota State in 2002-03, Colorado College in 2008-09 and Western Michigan last season.

Harvard took the puck right at the net on its first shift of the game, with Danny Biega putting one shot on Merriam and Fallstrom forcing a pair of consecutive saves. Neither team broke through until the final five minutes of the frame, when Lee banged in the puck for a 1-0 RPI lead after Max Everson blocked a shot in front of Girard.

Fallstrom answered before two minutes had elapsed. This time it was Max Everson's shot getting blocked, but Marshall Everson centered to Fallstrom, who punched in his ninth goal. Each team had seven shots in the first period.

The shots picked up in the second period, but the score stayed at 1-1. Merriam stopped 11 Crimson shots, including one on Kroshus alone at the right post after getting the puck from Biega. Girard made seven saves on the other end and got help from the goalpost on a shot from Nick Bailen.

The Crimson started out strong in the third period, registering the first three shots of the frame, but it was not until midway through that Greiner gave Harvard a 2-1 edge. Kroshus stripped an RPI player of the puck along the right boards at the Engineers' blue line, carried in and waited for his opening to Greiner. The junior scored his seventh goal on a one-timer.

Both goalies made big stops the rest of the way, as each team registered 11 third-period shots. Three of Girard's saves came on two RPI power plays. The Crimson killed all three man-advantage chances for the Engineers, who in turn held Harvard scoreless in its two opportunities.