Comeback Falls Short as Clarkson Tops No. 12/12 Men’s Hockey, 2-1

Brayden Jaw and the Crimson will host an ECAC quarterfinal series beginning March 11 (Elan Kawesch).

POTSDAM, N.Y. – The No. 12/12 Harvard men's hockey team (15-9-4, 11-7-4 ECAC) scored a goal with 47 seconds remaining to close the deficit to 2-1, but Clarkson (18-13-3, 10-9-3 ECAC) held off the last charge by the Crimson for the victory Friday night at Cheel Arena.

Despite the loss, the Crimson received a bye in the first round of the ECAC playoffs and the right to host a quarterfinal series with Rensselaer losing to Colgate, 2-0. Harvard is in third place with 26 points, one ahead of St. Lawrence, which it faces in the regular season finale Saturday night.

Offensive opportunities were limited in the opening period, as Clarkson held a 5-3 shots on goals edge until the final minutes when Harvard's offense came alive with multiple attempts. Putting together a lengthy shift in the Clarkson zone, Kyle Criscuolo and Jimmy both had good looks at the net, but the leg pad of Clarkson goaltender Greg Lewis turned away each.

With less than two minutes to play in the opening period, a scuffle in front of the Crimson bench led to Harvard's Wiley Sherman and Clarkson's Christian Powers sitting for two minutes for hitting after the whistle. On the ensuing four versus four, Clarkson's Troy Josephs had a clear attempt at the Harvard goal on a redirection play, but the puck hit the nearside post and dribbled back out into play. It was as close as either team came to scoring in the first 20 minutes, as they headed to the locker rooms scoreless.

The scoreboard would not remain 0-0 for very long into the second period, as Clarkson Jeff DiNallo scored 53 seconds in. DiNallo's fourth of the season assisted by Troy Josephs put the Golden Knights up 1-0. Clarkson added to the lead at 15:01 when Ben Dalpe's fourth of the season came when he jammed home a loose puck in front of the Crimson net.

Harvard had a prime opportunity in the final minute of the period, earning a 5-on-3 situation that produced shot after shot that peppered Lewis, but the frame ended with Clarkson killing off the first penalty and heading to the second break with a 2-0 lead and 46 seconds of penalty kill remaining on a 5-on-4.

The Crimson was unable to get on the scoreboard through the first 19 minutes of the period, but with its goalie pulled, Harvard cut the gap in half with Kyle Criscuolo's 18th of the season. The goal was set up from behind the net with Jimmy Vesey sending a pass up the boards to Kerfoot. The junior then slung a pass through a mess of sticks to Criscuolo at the far post where he buried it. His 18 goals this season is a new career-best.

Harvard continued to pressure the Clarkson net for the final seconds, but was unable to score the tying goal, as the Golden Knights clung to the 2-1 win.

Harvard and St. Lawrence take the ice at Appleton Arena Saturday night at 7 p.m. A win or a tie ensures Harvard the three seed in the ECAC playoffs, while I loss would move St. Lawrence into the third spot and drop Harvard to fourth.