Raphael Girard posted 45 saves, his second-highest saves total of his career (photo by Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In its second straight overtime the roles reversed for the Harvard's men's hockey team as Princeton's Andrew Calof netted an extra skater goal with just 37 seconds remaining to hand the Crimson a 2-1 decision on Saturday night at Bright Hockey Center. Harvard finishes the regular season with a 9-17-3 overall record and 6-14-2 ECAC mark while Princeton closes out the regular season at 10-14-5 overall and a 8-10-4 conference mark.
Princeton called a timeout with just 1:09 remaining in the extra frame. The Tigers pulled their goalie out of the time to give them an extra skater advantage, but Kyle Criscuolo stole the puck and sent a shot from Harvard's blue line toward Princeton's net. Criscuolo shot just missed the goal on the left and was the last scoring opportunity for the Crimson.
Alex Fallstrom netted the lone Crimson goal of the night to extend his game-point streak to eight games, the longest of his career. Raphael Girard turned down 45 Princeton attempts, which marks the junior's second-highest number of saves in his career.
Princeton came out with a full head of steam to start the game, firing a number of shots towards the Harvard cage with the Crimson unable to respond. Between the blocked shots and saves from Raphael Girard, however, the hosts were able to keep the Tigers off the board, despite an early 5-1 deficit in shots. The break the Tigers needed looked to arrive at 11:15 when Brian Hart was booked for tripping, but it was the Crimson that took advantage of the opportunity.
Greiner won the ensuing face-off in his own zone and then followed the puck out past the blue line and into Princeton territory. The senior dished to classmate Fallstrom who deked and backhanded home a short-handed strike at 11:24 to give Harvard the 1-0 edge. Two more Harvard penalties gave the Tigers room for some offense, but the Crimson penalty kill managed to keep the guests at bay through the end of the frame.
The flurry of shots from Princeton continued into the second period, with the Tigers ending the frame holding a significant 27-14 edge in shots in goal. Harvard had limited looks on offense, but Girard stood tall through most of the period to secure the Crimson lead. The Tigers finally broke through at the 8:41 mark, leveling the score with an even-strength effort. Kyle Rankin won a faceoff and Tyler Magueri slid the puck back to Michael Sdao, who centered the puck near the blue line and shot through a crowd past Girard for his eighth of the season. In the period, Princeton outshot Harvard, 14-6.
Harvard's offense upped the ante in the final period of regulation as the Crimson registered double-digit shots on goal for the first time in the contest. Condon turned away Harvard's 11 attempts while at the other end of the ice the Crimson defense aided Girard to keep Princeton off the scoreboard. Out of the Tigers 35 total shot attempts Harvard's defense blocked 12 and Girard turned away 16 to force the overtime.
Harvard will travel to Hanover, N.H., to face Dartmouth in the ECAC quarterfinals.