Brendan Rempel's second-period goal proved to be the difference in Harvard's ECAC and Ivy League opener Friday night (Photo courtesy: Kevin Burns).
Game Highlights: Nov. 2, 2012 vs. Brown
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's hockey team used a three-goal spurt in the second period then held off a third-period onslaught by Brown to knock off the Bears, 3-2, in both teams' ECAC and Ivy League opener Friday night at Bright Hockey Center.
Colin Blackwell, Kyle Criscuolo and Brendan Rempel all recorded their first goals of the season in just over a five-minute span for the Crimson, while Jimmy Vesey earned his second assist of the season. Tommy O'Regan and Criscuolo also picked up helpers to aid in the Crimson improving to 2-0-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the ECAC and Ivy League.
The Crimson had a bevy of opportunities to score in the first period, including three power plays. However, Harvard failed to get any of its 13 shots in the period to find the back of the net. Brown, on the other hand, was held to just 17 shots in the period and only eight on goal.
In the second frame, it was the Bears that drew first blood as Chris Zaires redirected Brandon Pfeil's shot from the point in front of the goal past Harvard netminder Rafael Girard to break the scoreless draw at the 3:24 mark.
It looked like Brown would have a chance to extend the lead when it went on the power play; however, it was the Crimson that took advantage of the opportunity. Sophomore Colin Blackwell intercepted a Brown pass in his own zone then weaved his way down the ice before flicking it into the bottom left corner from right in front of the net for the equalizer and his first goal of the season. It was Harvard's first short-handed tally since Luke Greiner picked one up against Northeastern Feb. 13.
Harvard claimed its first lead of the game just over two minutes later on Criscuolo's first career tally. Classmate Vesey forced a turnover in the neutral zone and skated into the Brown zone before feeding him a pass just to the left of the crease. Criscuolo carried the puck to the center of the night before before trickling a wrist shot just past junior Marco De Filippo to increase the advantage.
The barrage of Crimson goals continued three minutes later as the squad extended its lead to two. Senior Rempel blasted a shot from the right point into the top left corner of the net off passes from O'Regan and Criscuolo at the 16:37 mark.
It looked like Harvard would head into the second intermission with all the momentum, but the Bears struck again late in the period. Matt Lorito took a centering pass from Matt Harlow and buried it in the top right corner to draw Brown within one.
In the final 20 minutes, Brown had a bevy of opportunities to tie up the game, but Girard was there to deny every time, making 12 saves in the final frame. The Bears' best opportunity came in the waning moments after Alex Fallstrom was called for a high stick with just 31 seconds remaining. Harvard was able to hold off the six-on-four advantage to skate away with its second win in as many tries this season.
The Crimson will continue with ECAC and Ivy League play Saturday night against archrival Yale at Bright Hockey Center for game three of its five-game homestand to begin the year. Puck is slated to drop at 7 p.m.