Jimmy Vesey netted his eighth goal of the season Friday against Brown (Gil Talbot).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Two first period goals proved to be too much to overcome as the Harvard men's hockey team dropped a 2-1 decision to Ivy foe Brown Friday night at Meehan Auditorium. The loss drops the Crimson to 4-7-1 on the season and 2-6-1 in ECAC action while Brown improves to 4-6-1 overall and 2-4-1 in league play.
Fast ice and heavy bounces off the boards made for a quick pace of play right out of the gate and the teams traded early looks on each other's goals. A counterattack from the hosts produced the first goal of the game 5:35 into the contest when a shot from the right end of the blueline got redirected in front of the Harvard net and trickled past Raphael Girard for a 1-0 edge.
Harvard was not without its opportunities in the first 20 minutes, as Brown got booked for penalties at 11:03 and 7:51 of the first. While Harvard maintained sustained possession during its man-up chances, Brown shut down shooting lanes and quelled the Crimson snipers on both occasions. Brown, however, made the most of its lone man-up chance in the frame, striking just 17 seconds into the power play when Dennis Robertson put home a lengthy ricochet off the back boards before Girard could recover.
Brown maintained its intensity into the second frame, stifling shots from Harvard and keeping pressure on Girard. As the teams approached the midway point of the second, it looked as though Brown extended its lead to 3-0 when a tip from close range clanged off the inside of the far post before Girard could sweep it out of the crease. The play was reviewed and it was confirmed that the puck never crossed the line.
Out of the play came Harvard's second penalty of the evening, but the Crimson killed the Brown power play with ease, and did it again later in the frame with 6:44 on the clock. The Crimson's best chance of the stanza came when Luke Esposito flung a pass to Jimmy Vesey in front of the net, but the sophomore's backhand attempt was snagged by Tyler Steel to maintain the shutout through two.
The Crimson finally found its finishing touch just over a minute into the final frame, cutting the deficit to 2-1 with 18:41 showing on the clock. Brian Hart charged into the right side of the zone and chased the puck around the back boards, fending off Brown defenders along his way. Hart was able to tip the puck to Vesey, who dragged past a sprawled out Brown defender and lifted Steel's water bottle with a smooth backhand for his eighth goal of the season.
After killing another penalty at the 14:23 mark, the Crimson gained a power play beginning at 9:14 and while Vesey mustered a good look on Steel's stick side, the hosts were able to hold their lead. Another great look for Vesey came later at even strength, one-timing a pass from Kevin Guiltinan, but Steel's glove was up to the task. Harvard pulled Girard with 1:12 to play, but the guests were unable to find the equalizer in the 2-1 final.
Harvard wraps up its Ivy road swing tomorrow evening with a showdown against archrival Yale at Ingalls Rink. The contest will be a preview of the first-ever Rivalry On Ice event, which pits the Crimson against the Bulldogs Jan. 11 at Madison Square Garden in front of national television audience.