Marshall Everson netted Harvard's first goal Friday against Princeton (Gil Talbot).
PRINCETON, N.J. – The Harvard men's hockey team rallied from a two-goal deficit to knot the score at 2-2, but Andrew Calof's third goal of the game came 58 seconds into overtime as the Crimson dropped a 3-2 decision to Princeton Friday night at Baker Rink. Harvard dips to 4-6-1 and 3-4-0 in ECAC action while Princeton improves to 4-7-4 overall and 3-3-3 in league play.
Senior Marshall Everson started the scoring and Colin Blackwell added the game-tying tally for the Crimson, as Harvard's top line of forwards were responsible for both goals. Harvard goalie Raphael Girard made 33 stops in a gutsy effort, keeping a number of good Princeton looks out of the net.
Playing in just its second overtime game of the season, the Tigers didn't wait long to net the game-winner. Calof positioned himself behind the Harvard net and flicked a shot that ricocheted off Girard's back and into the net.
The Princeton offense was on point through most of the first period, pinning the Crimson in its own end for the majority of the frame. Raphael Girard was sharp through the entire first stanza, turning away 13 shots, including a number off odd-man rushes. The Tigers did eventually find a seam in the Crimson defense with 7:40 to play in the first, when Andrew Calof got a piece of a Tom Kroshus wrister, deflecting the puck past Girard for a 1-0 lead.
Harvard's best chance of the opening period came in the 13th minute, when John Caldwell controlled the puck behind the Princeton net and attempted a wrap-around to the goalie's stick side, but Princeton netminder Sean Bonar was good for the save. A big hit by the Crimson halted play at the 6:58 mark, but Harvard couldn't use the momentum to find the equalizer as the frame ended with a 1-0 Crimson deficit.
A big save by Girard to start the second on a point-blank chance by James Kerr kept the deficit at one and the game evened out a bit more with consistent action in both offensive zones. The first penalty of the game went Harvard's way 6:53 into the period, but Princeton neutralized the Harvard power play and took advantage of the penalized player's return. When the penalty time elapsed, Kyle Rankin jumped out of the box, took the puck down low and fed a wide-open Calof on the backdoor for a 2-0 Tiger lead at 8:59.
The goal served to rally the Crimson and the visitor chances increased through the end of the period. Harvard finally got on the board with 4:22 to play in the frame off a well-designed top-line goal. Alex Fallstrom led the charge of Crimson forwards and dished to Colin Blackwell who was gliding across the zone. Blackwell dropped it off for Marshall Everson and the senior blasted a shot past Bonar to cut the deficit to one.
While the shots in the third period went heavily in Princeton's favor, 15-4, the Crimson was able to make the most of their best look of the period. On just its second power play of the game, Harvard's top line showed its scoring prowess once again as Fallstrom fired a shot that Blackwell tipped to Everson and Blackwell just touched the puck, guiding it just over the goal line for the equalizer at 12:50. Harvard killed off a penalty down the back stretch of the frame, forcing the contest to go to overtime.
The Crimson will wrap up the weekend with another tough test in No. 5/9 Quinnipiac tomorrow at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live regionally on NESN.