With two goals and an assist Saturday, Jimmy Vesey led Harvard to a 5-2 win over Brown (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – On a night in which Harvard announced the William "Bill" J. Cleary '56 Harvard Ice Hockey Endowment, honoring the most prominent figure in Harvard hockey's illustrious history, the Crimson faithful witnessed its home team defeat Brown, 5-2, Saturday at Bright-Landry Hockey Center.
The William "Bill" J. Cleary '56 Harvard Ice Hockey Endowment was established by the Friends of Harvard Hockey to celebrate Coach Cleary's six-decade association with Harvard Athletics as a student-athlete, coach and former athletic director. The endowment will go to support staffing, out-of-region travel, recruitment and hockey specific facility enhancements for the men's and women's programs.
For the 11th time in his career, senior co-captain Jimmy Vesey scored twice, a shorthanded tally in the first period and an even strength effort in the second. He also assisted on Kyle Criscuolo's third period goal. Criscuolo also had a multi-point game assisting on Vesey's second goal, while freshman Ryan Donato had the first multi-goal game of his young career with two scores. Classmate Michael Lackey earned his first career win in net, making 21 stops against the Bears.
Brown (0-3-0, 0-2-0 ECAC) was first on the board at the 2:27 mark with Tim Lappin scoring his first of the season. Lappin received a blue line-to-blue line pass from Josh McArdle, charged towards the net and slipped the puck past the outstretch leg pad of Lackey.
Harvard (3-0-1, 3-0-1 ECAC) responded with the next two goals, carrying a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. With Phil Zielonka sitting in the box for hitting from behind, the Crimson penalty kill unit was working to keep the Bears from extending their lead. On a pass from down low out to the blue line, Vesey was able to get his stick on the puck, skipping it out to center ice where he outskated the Brown point man and then went all the way to the other end, deking Brown netminder Tim Ernst for the backhander at 9:03. The goal was Harvard's first shorthanded strike of the year and Vesey's second of his career.
The Crimson took the lead at 16:29 when a strong effort to keep the puck in the offensive zone by Michael Floodstrand led to an initial scoring attempt by Tyler Moy that Ernst stopped, but the loose puck bounced to Ryan Donato who threw it back on net, deflecting it off Ernst and into the mesh. The goal was Donato's second this season.
Harvard's top line pushed the Crimson lead out to 3-1 in the second, with Vesey putting away his second of the contest at 13:31. Kyle Criscuolo carried the puck into the offensive zone dropping it back to Vesey, who worked a give-and-go play with Alexander Kerfoot before beating Ernst.
The Crimson put the finishing touches on the victory in the third period, with Criscuolo and Vesey teaming up once again. Sophomore defenseman Wiley Sherman blocked a Brown shot in the defensive zone that Vesey collected and started a charge the other way. Vesey carried the puck all the way to the face-off dot in the offensive zone before saucering a pass over to Criscuolo crashing the far post. The goal was Criscuolo's third of the season. Ryan Donato also tacked on an empty-netter at 1:44, with Colin Blackwell earning the assist to bring the final tally to 5-2.
Harvard hits the road next weekend, visiting No. 5/4 Quinnipiac on Friday, before continuing on to Princeton Saturday evening.