Kyle Criscuolo helped Harvard tie New Brunswick, scoring one goal and providing two assists Saturday (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In its first official competition of the season, the No. 9/9 Harvard men's hockey team skated to a 3-3 tie against visiting New Brunswick in an exhibition.
The game progressed into a physical and aggressive matchup, with UNB taking 11 penalties for 44 minutes, with a pair of Varsity Red players earning game misconducts for erroneous on-ice actions. Conversely, Harvard was charged with five penalties for 10 minutes. Both teams did take advantage of the man-advantage when they had it, with Harvard scoring all three of its goals on the power play, while UNB netted two of its three when a man-up.
Despite it being the Crimson's first official appearance on the ice this season, it was right in stride with the Varsity Reds, who played their 12th game (regular season and exhibition) Saturday. Harvard maintained a 12-6 shot advantage, as well as a 10-7 lead in the face-off circle, after the first 20 minutes.
UNB was the first to get on the board though, at 3:13. Philippe Halley worked the puck into the offensive zone before drifting a drop pass back to Stephen Anderson at the point for a one-time blast that found the top corner of the goal. The squads traded penalties throughout the opening period, each taking two, but it would be UNB's second that gave the Crimson its chance to tie the game. Kyle Criscuolo won a draw in the offensive zone which Jimmy Vesey collected, and then deked to the far post where he lifted the puck past UNB goalie Etienne Marcoux to knot the score, 1-1, at 18:16.
Penalties continued to haunt UNB in the second stanza, as the Crimson capitalized twice on the power play to take a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes. With Halley serving two for slashing, the Crimson worked the offensive zone on the man advantage, culminating with freshman Ryan Donato ripping a one-timer over Marcoux's shoulder to give Harvard the one-goal lead at 4:57.
The intensity picked up as the period neared it midpoint, coming to a head with a scrum in the UNB offensive zone. When the dust settled, Vesey and UNB's Alex Wall went away for roughing and Halley was issued a major and game misconduct for grasping the face mask, giving Harvard a five-minute power play. Harvard peppered Marcoux for the first four minutes of the advantage before the familiar names of Vesey and Alexander Kerfoot set up Criscuolo for the snipe from in front of the net at 14:03. The 3-1 lead held until the second intermission.
Much of the chippy play that caused UNB to be whistled for five penalties in the second period carried over to the third where the Varsity Reds received four more penalties for a total of 19 minutes in the box. UNB was able to hold off the strong Harvard power play in the third period and eventually turned the tables, scoring two man-up goals of its own. Rob Mignardi scored the first at 8:24 and Cameron Critchlow earned credit for the next at 18:32 to even the score at 3-3 and force overtime.
In the extra period, each team managed just two shots on net and the 3-3 tally held until the final buzzer.
Harvard opens its regular season slate Saturday, Oct. 31, traveling to Dartmouth for a 7:30 p.m. contest. The team head back to Bright-Landry Hockey Center the following night for Harvard's home-opener at 7 p.m.