Brian Hart had the game-tying goal for Harvard Tuesday (Gil Talbot).
TROY, N.Y. – Facing a stern road test in No. 10 Rensselaer, the Harvard men's hockey team rallied back with three unanswered goals to tie the Engineers, 3-3, Tuesday in Harvard's ECAC opener.
Trailing by two goals entering the final frame, the Crimson showed off their conditioning and poise, climbing back into the contest. Harvard drew within one of the Engineers at the XXX minute mark, when Sean Malone drew Diebold out of his net and fed a wrister across the crease where Greg Gozzo was waiting to put it home. Just past the halfway mark of the period, Harvard found the equalizer, taking the life out of the crowd and knotting the game at 3-3. An offensive push by the Crimson saw the puck moved towards the RPI net, and a funny bounce found the stick of Brian Hart who tucked it home with 9:12 to play in the game.
In the overtime period, it was all the Crimson could do to keep the puck out of its zone, and despite a barrage from the hosts, the Crimson managed to block a number of shots on top of what goalie Steve Michalek turned aside. Harvard had the final look in the dying seconds when Tommy O'Regan flicked a back-handed attempt on net, but Scott Diebold turned it aside to preserve the 3-3 final.
Facing a 3-0 deficit, the Crimson came out with renewed poise in the second period, getting a number of good looks on an early RPI penalty. Harvard finally broke through on a delayed penalty, taking advantage of a distracted Engineers group. Jimmy Vesey collected a puck below the left faceoff circle and fired a shot on RPI goalie Scott Diebold. The netminder made the initial save, but rookie Alexander Kerfoot swooped in to bury the rebound, cutting the host's edge to 3-1 7:07 into the middle frame.
After a shaky first period, Harvard goalie Steve Michalek found his bearings, making key stops on a number of close-range chances for the Engineers late in the period. The goalies ended two periods of play with 14 saves each.
The Engineers, donning special black uniforms, rode the energy of the crowd throughout the first period, and found their first tally of the game less than five minutes in. Johnny Rogic collected the puck near the blue line and drove hard towards the net, guiding the puck inside the far post before the goal was dislodged by the rush. The Crimson relinquished its first power-play goal of the season minutes later, when ECAC goals leader Ryan Haggerty blasted a shot past Steve Michalek from just inside the right faceoff dot. Brock Higgs capped the scoring in the first with 4:30 to play, giving the hosts a 3-0 edge at the first break.
It is a quick turnaround for the Crimson's next game, as it finishes the home-and-home with the Engineers Friday at Bright-Landry Hockey Center, followed by an ECAC bout with Union Saturday.