Men's Ice Hockey Falls 5-4 in OT to No. 10 Clarkson in ECAC Hockey Semifinal

Harvard battled Clarkson, but came up short in an ECAC Hockey semifinal contest on Friday night. 

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – In a back-and-forth battle between two of ECAC Hockey's best teams, Harvard (15-14-4) fell to Clarkson (23-9-6) in overtime, 5-4, in a conference semifinal at the 1980 Rink at Herb Brooks Arena.

Sophomore forward Ty Pelton-Byce had two goals and an assist, freshman Reilly Walsh and junior Lewis Zerter-Gossage each added a goal and an assist, and junior forward Ryan Donato added two assists for the Crimson, which was making its fourth straight appearance in Lake Placid for ECAC Hockey championship weekend.

For the game Clarkson outshot Harvard 36-33, with each team scoring two power play goals. Harvard finished the night 2-for-3 on the man advantage.

Harvard converted on its first power play chance of the game, when Clarkson's Greg Moro was sent off for tripping at 11:19 of the first period. Pelton-Byce made a great diagonal pass to Walsh, who beat Clarkson goaltender Jake Kielly with a low slap shot at 11:37 to put the Crimson up 1-0.

The Harvard penalty kill came up big in the period, killing off two minor infractions and part of a third to end the period and help the Crimson maintain the 1-0 lead at the break.

Harvard again converted on the power play early in the second period, as Zerter-Gossage beat Kielly with a wrist shot from a tight angle at 5:46 to make it 2-0 for the Crimson.

Then just over two minutes later, Donato split three Clarkson defenders, made a drop pass to Pelton-Byce, whose shot fluttered past Kielly at 7:58 to make it 3-0.

A goal by the Golden Knights at 13:57 of the second period cut the Harvard lead to two goals heading into the third period.

It appeared the Crimson would seize control of the game for good in the opening seconds of the third period, as Pelton-Byce forced a turnover and beat Kielly over the shoulder on a breakaway just six seconds into the period.

But Clarkson responded just nine seconds later, scoring on a rebound at the :15 to make it a two goal game. A power play goal at 1:11 by the Golden Knights was followed by the game-tying goal at 4:02 off the stick of Dylan Gareau from in close.

Harvard held off Clarkson and slowly turned the momentum in its favor. Donato's one-timer with 5:30 play was kicked away by Kielly, and the Crimson had several long shifts in the Golden Knights' zone to end regulation.

That trend continued in overtime, with Michael Floodstrand's wraparound attempt smothered by Kielly in the opening minute, and Adam Baughman's deflected shot from the point hitting the post at the 5:10 mark.

Then Clarkson's Sheldon Rempal won it at 11:38 of the extra frame.

Harvard Highlights
• Sophomore forward Ty Pelton-Byce recorded his first career two-goal game, and recorded a career high three points (two goals, assist) on the night.

• Junior forward Ryan Donato (two assists), finished his 2017-18 campaign with 43 points (26 goals, 17 assists), his best individual season for the Crimson.

• Harvard finished the night 2-for-3 on the man advantage and went 15-for-39 (38.5%) on the power play over its last nine games.

Game Notes
• Harvard made its fourth consecutive trip to Lake Placid and the ECAC semifinals. Harvard is the third team in the last decade to make four straight appearances at the league's championship weekend, joining Quinnipiac (2013-17) and Cornell (2008-12). The Crimson won the Whitelaw Cup in 2015 and 2017 and reached the final in 2016.

• Harvard and Clarkson last met in the ECAC playoffs in the 2011 first round, with the Crimson earning a series sweep (W, 2-1, 6-4) at Cheel Arena. Harvard is now 11-10-1 all-time against Dartmouth in the ECAC Hockey playoffs.