No. 9/9 Men’s Hockey Rallies Past No. 14/14 Cornell, 4-1

Luke Esposito had two assists against the Big Red (Gil Talbot).
Luke Esposito had two assists against the Big Red (Gil Talbot).
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ITHACA, N.Y. – The ninth-ranked Harvard men's hockey team (13-5-2, 9-4-2 ECACH) scored four times over the final 20 minutes, driving it past No. 14/14 Cornell (12-5-2, 7-3-2 ECACH), 4-1, at a sold out Lynah Rink Friday night.

Trailing 1-0 heading into the final period, Jake Horton scored 2:20 in, followed by goals from Clay Anderson, Ryan Donato and Lewis Zerter-Gossage. Merrick Madsen turned away 19 of the 20 shots he faced to pick up the win in net.

Horton's third of the season came from right in front of Cornell netminder Mitch Gillam. Wiley Sherman wound up on a slap shot, but his stick broke, sending the puck drifting through the zone. Ty Pelton-Byce tipped enough of it to direct it towards Horton parked in front. The junior collected the puck and then slid it around an outstretched leg pad with just enough force for it to slip over the goal line.

Harvard's offense continued to put pressure on Cornell and grabbed the lead at 8:29 when Anderson notched his first of the season. Luke Esposito passed the puck along the right boards from the corner to Anderson at the point, quickly lining up a shot that deflected off a Big Red skate and into the back of the net.

Esposito tallied a second assist at 16:38, helping Harvard extend its lead to 3-1. Rushing up the right boards, Esposito flicked a saucer pass over two sticks of Cornell defenders to Donato skating through the center of the zone. Donato settled the puck and then went top shelf with a backhand for his 11th of the year.

Zerter-Gossage's eighth of the year came via an empty-netter with less than 10 seconds to play, bringing the final score to 4-1. Cornell has surrendered four goals just twice this season, both to the Crimson. The win was also the first for Harvard when entering the third period trailing.

The win moves the Crimson into first in the Ivy League standings with 11 points, two ahead of the Big Red. Harvard is also third in the ECAC Hockey standings with 20 points, three shy of Union and St. Lawrence, each with 23. Harvard visits Colgate Saturday evening in its first game at the Class of 1965 Arena.