Steve Michalek stopped 25 shots for the Crimson Friday against Cornell (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In front of a sellout crowd of 3,095 at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center, the Harvard men's hockey team relinquished a goal in the final 20 seconds of the first and second periods, allowing rival No. 12/12 Cornell to escape Cambridge with a 3-2 win Friday night. The loss puts Harvard (5-9-3, 2-7-3) with seven ECAC defeats this year, while Cornell (9-4-3, 5-3-2) picks up its fifth league win.
In the first period Cornell outshot the Crimson 11-5. Sophomore forward Christian Hilbrich and junior forward Madison Dias each notched goals in the frame with Joakim Ryan assisting on both. Cornell's first was a short-handed effort at 6:22, and the second came with just four seconds remaining in the period.
Freshman Tyler Moy nearly got Harvard on the board in the first when a diving Luke Esposito delivered him the puck, but Cornell goalie Andy Iles stuffed Moy's back-hand attempt. The period closed with the guests holding a 2-0 edge.
The Crimson came into the second period recharged and ready to fight. The Crimson's first goal of the night came in at 9:43 from rookie Sean Malone. A Cornell breakout attempt was foiled by Harvard's Clay Anderson, and after Jimmy Vesey took the puck through the middle, he found Malone on the backdoor for the score.
With just less than five minutes left in the period, Kyle Criscuolo saw time in the penalty box for goalie interference, but the Crimson used the infraction to catch Cornell sleeping. A clear went the length of the ice midway through the penalty kill, and the freshman tandem of Malone and Devin Tringale were in hot pursuit. Malone challenged the puck on a forecheck and managed to flip it backwards to a charging Tringale, who buried the game-tying strike for his first collegiate goal.
However, just before the end of the second, Cornell senior Dustin Mowrey broke the tie notching his fourth goal of the season with just 20 seconds to play in the frame. The tic-tac-toe goal was assisted by Christian Hilbrich and Boston Bruins' prospect Brian Ferlin to put Cornell in front 3-2.
A determined Crimson squad took to the ice in the third, and despite outshooting the Big Red, 11-7, could not find the equalizer. The Crimson had a multitude of good looks throughout the period, including six shots on net on a pair of power plays. Harvard pulled goalie Steve Michalek with 55 seconds remaining on the clock, but Cornell stood tall to secure the 3-2 final.
Michalek ended the night with 25 saves compared to 22 for his counterpart Iles. On the evening, freshmen were responsible for four of the five points recorded by Harvard.
The Crimson wraps up its home weekend Saturday with a 7 p.m., contest against ECAC foe Colgate at the Bright-Landry Center.