Comeback Push For No. 11/12 Men's Ice Hockey Falls Short in 5-2 ECACH Semifinal Loss to No. 9/9 Clarkson

John DiGiacomo / ECAC Hockey
John DiGiacomo / ECAC Hockey
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A comeback effort for Harvard fell just short against Clarkson in the ECAC Hockey semifinals.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – A comeback effort fell just short for No. 11/12 Harvard men's ice hockey (19-10-3) in its ECAC Hockey semifinal against No. 9/9 Clarkson, as the Crimson fell, 5-2, to the Golden Knights at Herb Brooks Arena.

Junior defenseman Adam Fox, and first-year blue-liner Jack Rathbone scored for the Crimson, nearly leading Harvard back from a three-goal deficit.

Harvard trailed 3-0 just over midway through the contest after Nick Campoli's goal at 13:14 of the second period, chased goaltender Michael Lackey (19 saves) from the game in favor of Cameron Gornet (seven saves). But just under a minute later, Harvard cut the lead back to two goals, as Fox's shot from the point deflected off the leg of a Clarkson defender past goaltender Jake Kielly (26 saves) at 14:13.

Then early in the third period, Fox made a fantastic backhand pass to Rathbone in the high slot, who fired a wrist shot over the glove of Kielly at 1:13 to make it 3-2.

Moments later, senior captain Michael Floodstrand found Frederic Gregoire alone in front, but his shot was smothered by Kielly.

Clarkson sealed the win on two tough bounces for Harvard, a goal from Jack Jacome at 8:08 that went off the Clarkson forward's skate, and another score from Jordan Schnieder that deflected off the stick of Reilly Walsh past Gornet at 15:54 to make it 5-2.

Clarkson seized the momentum early on in the game to force Harvard to play catch up.

The Golden Knights scored twice in the opening six minutes to take an early two-goal lead with Haralds Egle (2:59) and Anthony Callin (5:13) the goal scorers for Clarkson in the first period.

Harvard had a power play opportunity midway through the frame, with the best chance coming off the stick of Adam Fox in the high slot, but Kielly turned it away to keep Clarkson ahead by two.

The Crimson will await its NCAA Tournament fate, with the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Selection Show taking place on Sunday (March 24) at 7 p.m., airing on ESPNU.

Harvard Highlights
• Junior defenseman Adam Fox (goal, assist) has a career best 48 points (10 goals, 38 assists) on the season, breaking the school record for points by a Harvard defenseman in one season, set by Mark Fusco '83, who had 46 points (13-33-46) in 33 games in 1982-83.

• First-year defenseman Jack Rathbone (goal) has points in his last seven games and has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in his last 11 games.

• Senior goaltender Michael Lackey made his first start in net since Feb. 16.

Game Notes
• Harvard made its fifth consecutive trip to Lake Placid and the ECAC semifinals, becoming the third team in recent history to make five straight appearances at the league's championship weekend, joining Quinnipiac (2013-17) and Cornell (2008-12). 

• Harvard finished the night 0-for-2 on the power play, while holding Clarkson scoreless on its sole power play chance.