Men's Ice Hockey Clinches Playoff Bye With 4-1 Win at Rensselaer

First-year forward Casey Dornbach had a goal and an assist to lead Harvard past Rensselaer. (Gil Talbot)

TROY, N.Y. –
First-year forward Casey Dornbach had a goal and an assist, and junior goaltender Cameron Gornet made 19 saves to lead No. 15/16 Harvard men's ice hockey (17-8-3, 13-6-2 ECAC Hockey) to a 4-1 win over Rensselaer (10-20-3, 7-12-2 ECAC Hockey).

Sophomore forward Henry Bowlby added a pair of assists, and first-years Jack Rathbone, Jack Drury, and R.J. Murphy each added goals to help lead the Crimson to the win.

With the victory, Harvard clinched a first-round bye in the ECAC Hockey playoffs as a top-4 seed for the fourth straight year.

With Harvard trailing 1-0 after one period of play, which included a 15-minute delay during the first intermission due to a fire alarm in the building, the Crimson got things going in the second period.

Dornbach put in a rebound chance on a good rush for the Crimson, as sophomore forward Henry Bowlby drove the net for the initial shot, and puck fed out to the right side. Dornbach found the open net at 11:26.

Then just over a minute later, junior forward Colton Kerfoot found Jack Rathbone skating toward the left circle. The first-year defenseman hit the top corner with a beautiful shot at 12:55 to give Harvard its first lead of the night.

Harvard continued to carry to play in the third period, and finally took a two-goal lead at 14:23 on a pretty passing play between Bowlby and Drury. On an odd-man rush, Bowlby beat his man on the left wing and fed cross-ice to Drury to a tap-in goal to make it 3-1.

Murphy sealed the win for Harvard at 16:29, beating RPI goaltender Owen Savory (29 saves) over the shoulder to make it 4-1.

Harvard Highlights

  • First year defenseman Jack Rathbone scored for the second straight game and has points in six of his last seven games (two goals, four assists).
  • Junior goaltender Cameron Gornet (19 saves) earned his third straight win in net, and has allowed two goals or less in each of those starts.
  • First year forward Casey Dornbach (goal, assist) leads all NCAA freshmen with 1.00 points per game. He has 28 points (seven goals, 21 assists) on the season.

Game Notes

  • Harvard has won 13 of its last 17 ECAC Hockey contests (13-4-0).
  • The Crimson has clinched a top-4 seed in the ECAC Hockey playoffs, and can finish anywhere from 1-4 in the ECAC Hockey standings.
  • The Crimson earned its first win at Houston Field House since 2014.