Steve Michalek made 21 stops in his first shutout of the season Friday (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After starting the game more than 90 minutes past the originally scheduled puck drop, the Harvard men's hockey team held the upper hand in a physical battle against Ivy foe Dartmouth, blanking the Big Green, 3-0, Friday at Bright-Landry Hockey Center. The win is Harvard's (7-12-3, 4-9-3 ECAC) second in a row against an ECAC opponent, while Dartmouth (4-16-3, 3-12-1 ECAC) picks up its 12th conference loss.
In a bizarre occurrence, the game was delayed nearly two hours when the Zamboni died during pregame ice maintenance, moving the opening puck drop close to 9 p.m. After the Crimson helped move the machine off the ice and the Zamboni was fixed, the teams went through a quick five-minute warm up and started play.
Both teams had trouble getting shots through each other's' defense through a good portion of the first frame, as Harvard ended the stanza with a 5-4 lead in shots on goal. The first penalty of the game proved costly for the visitors and Harvard struck on the power play 16:09 into the opening frame. Luke Esposito winged a pass from behind the net to Victor Newell at the blue line, and Newell one-timed a shot towards the Dartmouth cage. Kyle Criscuolo tipped the puck before it reached goalie James Kruger, and rookie Sean Malone was there to clean up the tip before anyone could react.
The physicality came to a crescendo in the second period with the two teams combining for 14 of the game's 18 infractions. The period featured a pair of five-minute majors, a game misconduct and a disqualification, and even with other minor infractions sprinkled in, neither team was able to tally a man-up marker. Dartmouth began to put a bit more pressure on Harvard netminder Steve Michalek, but couldn't figure out the junior even with a 9-7 shots advantage in the period.
It was 7:58 into the third period when Harvard doubled its lead, giving the Crimson some much needed breathing room. Freshman Tyler Moy worked the puck down low behind the Dartmouth cage, and senior David Valek managed to wrestle the puck free from a Dartmouth defender. Valek quickly located Moy in front of the cage, and a smooth backhand crossing in front of the Dartmouth net resulted in the rookie's third goal of the season. The final blow came with 4:44 left to play, when Devin Tringale put home his second score of the season, thanks to tips from Max Everson and Phil Zielonka.
The hosts finished the game with a 23-21 shots advantage and a perfect five-for-five performance on the penalty kill. Michalek earned his second win of the season, and first shutout, stopping all 21 shots that came his way. It marks the third time Harvard has blanked an opponent this season.
It's back to the Beanpot for Harvard in its next action, as it takes on Boston University in the tournament consolation game Monday at 4:30 p.m., at TD Garden. The Crimson took down the Terriers by a score of 7-4 earlier this year at the Bright-Landry Center.