Harvard fell to Rensselaer Friday in its eighth road contest in its last 10 games (Gil Talbot).
TROY, N.Y. – The Harvard men's hockey team was unable to find its first ECAC Hockey victory of the 2013 schedule, dropping a 3-0 final to Rensselaer Friday night at Houston Field House. The loss moves Harvard to 5-14-1 overall and 3-12-0 in ECAC action, while RPI improves to 9-11-5 and 4-6-3 in league contests.
The Crimson penalty kill was tested early when Brayden Jaw was sent off for a boarding call just 2:10 into the contest. Harvard was diligent with a man down, however, and saw just one shot reach Raphael Girard in goal over the two-minute stretch. Just past the 10-minute mark of the first Harvard gained a big opportunity to get on the board when a vicious hit on Alex Fallstrom saw the Crimson go on a five-minute power play. The special teams unit had trouble settling in the RPI zone, and the disruptive Rensselaer penalty kill limited the guests to just one shot in the extended power play.
Riding the momentum of the major penalty kill, the Engineers jumped on the board with 1:06 left to play in the first. Luke Curad put a shot on net and the rebound came to Mark Miller, who wheeled around the left faceoff circle and beat a screened Girard with a low, skidding shot. Girard closed the period with 11 saves.
The guests' power play looked sharper in the second period, when an RPI penalty gave Harvard another shot at a man-up tally. Six seconds into the power play, Harvard had its best look of the night to that point when Brian Hart and Kyle Criscuolo exchanged crisp passes down low and found Jimmy Vesey at the backdoor, but his shot clanged off the pipe and away from the crease.
The Engineers were the ones to strike on the power play in the second, stretching their lead to 2-0 5:03 into the frame. Just seconds after a returning a player following a four-on-four scenario, Mike Zalewski put home a short rebound for the man-up marker. The Crimson killed off the final penalty of the period and held the Engineers without a shot in those two minutes, but headed to the locker room with a 2-0 deficit after 40 minutes of play.
Just 2:55 into the third, RPI extended its lead to 3-0 when Miller one-timed home a threaded pass to the backdoor. The Crimson offense was unable to muster many good looks on goal down the stretch and RPI closed out the 3-0 victory after having one of its last shots ring off the post and out of the Harvard zone.
Up next for Harvard is the opening round of the 61st annual Beanpot. The Crimson will take on No. 5 Boston College in the 8 p.m. game at TD Garden.