Valek was one of four Harvard goal-scorers (photo courtesy Gil Talbot). Scroll down for video of postgame commentary from Huxley and Killorn.
BURLINGTON, Vt.—The Harvard men's hockey team scored four unanswered goals and held Army to 15 shots on goal in a 4-2 win to open play at the Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup Saturday afternoon at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Michael Biega, David Valek, Alex Killorn and Luke Greiner scored after the Black Knights (5-11-1) took a 2-0 lead to the first intermission. Kyle Richter made 13 saves, Biega added an assist and Danny Fick logged two helpers to help the Crimson (3-8-0) snap a seven-game skid. Harvard completes the tournament Sunday against host Vermont.
Harvard held a 25-15 shots advantage, and Army's Ryan Leets made 21 saves. The Crimson won 31 faceoffs to Army's 25. Daniel Moriarty led the way with a 9-4 record.
Coming in off a 23-day layoff, Harvard dominated the first three minutes of the game, recording the first five shots and using a series of hard hits to keep the puck deep in the offensive zone. The momentum turned with an Army power play, leading to a goal by Marcel Alvarez on a shot from the right point, the Black Knights' first shot on goal.
Mike Henderson found space all alone in front of the Harvard net and made it 2-0 at 7:58 of the opening frame. The Black Knights carried that advantage to the first intermission, despite being outshot, 9-5, in the period.
The Crimson again controlled the shot count in the second period, this time also owning the scoreboard with a pair of goals. Michael Biega got Harvard back in the game four minutes into the frame. After Fick passed left-to-right across the point to Brendan Rempel, Biega deflected Rempel's blast past Leets.
Meanwhile, Harvard held Army without a shot for the first seven minutes of the period and tied the score just before the game's midway point. Rence Coassin got the puck from Dan Ford and threw it from the right corner to the front of the net, where Valek redirected it into the top of the net.
Kyle Richter made three second-period saves as the Crimson held a 7-3 shots edge. Another save came from Ford, who dove to get a stick on Mike Santee's shot from the right post after a shot wide and bounce off the back boards left the Army forward with an open net.
Killorn put the Crimson on top at 4:30 of the third period. Biega and Matt McCollem battled in front, and Killorn skated in from the slot to backhand the rebound of a Biega shot into the net for his third game-winning tally.
The fourth goal came less than five minutes later. Fick got the puck from Eric Kroshus and recorded his second point of the game and his collegiate career when his shot from the right point found Greiner for a deflection at the right post. Richter and the Crimson withstood nearly two minutes of six-on-four play after Army pulled Leets. Harvard outshot Army, 9-7, in the final period.