Overtime Goal Lifts No. 2/1 Quinnipiac to 5-4 Win Over No. 5/4 Men’s Hockey at Madison Square Garden

The opening face-off from the Rivalry on Ice (Athletic Communications).

NEW YORK – No. 5/4 Harvard men's hockey rallied from a 4-0 first period deficit to force overtime, but a slap shot by Quinnipiac junior Derek Smith 2:55 into overtime gave the No. 2/1 Bobcats (19-1-3, 10-0-2 ECAC) a 5-4 decision over the Crimson (8-3-3, 4-2-3 ECAC) in the Rivalry on Ice at Madison Square Garden Saturday night.

Goals by Alexander Kerfoot, Tyler Moy and Ryan Donato in the second period and the equalizer by Colin Blackwell in the third period helped Harvard recover from a forgettable first frame and sent the game into extra time. Michael Lackey started in goal for the Crimson and made 28 stops, while his counterpart, Michael Garteig, finished with just 17 saves.

Quinnipiac controlled the opening period, putting Harvard in an early hole when it scored three times in a 36-second stretch. The Bobcats first goal came at 7:29 when Alex Miner-Barron forced a turnover in the neutral zone and then took it the other way for a top-shelf wrister. Twenty-three seconds later T.J. Tiefenwerth made it a 2-0 Quinnipiac lead with his fifth of the season and on the following face-off, Sam Anas finished off a feed from Travis St. Denis at 8:05 for the Bobcats third tally. It was St. Denis who would give Quinnipiac a 4-0 lead at 12:43, scoring his 12th of the year from an Anas helper.

The second period saw a shift in scoring as the Crimson found the back of the net three times to close the deficit to just one goal after 40 minutes. Harvard's first goal came from Kerfoot at 7:11 when Jimmy Vesey hit him with a pass in the center of the offensive zone and he fired a wrister over the left shoulder of Garteig. The power play came through with Harvard's second goal at 10:53, as Moy took a Desmond Bergin drop pass from the defensive zone, wheeled through the Quinnipiac players in his way and finished with a deke of Garteig. With less than three minutes left to play, Donato scored his fifth of the season to make it a 4-3 contest. Luke Esposito did a great job to clear out the Quinnipiac defense in front and then Donato, falling to the ice, slapped the puck past a sprawled Garteig.

Harvard completed the comeback midway through the third period when Colin Blackwell found himself with open space at the faceoff dot to the right of Garteig where he laced a wrister into the top corner. Bergin earned his second assist of the night on the play.

The 4-4 score held up until the end of regulation, sending the game to overtime, a first in the three years of the Rivalry on Ice. In the extra period, Smith's third of the season from a similar spot as Blackwell's tying goal gave the Bobcats the victory.

Harvard will be in action next weekend when it hosts St. Lawrence and Clarkson at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center. Both games will be shown live on ESPN3.