In Battle of ECAC Hockey's Top Teams, No. 9/12 Men's Ice Hockey Falls, 3-1 to No. 2/2 Cornell

No. 9/12 Harvard fell 3-1 to No. 2/2 Cornell on Friday night at Bright-Landry Hockey Center. (Gil Talbot)
No. 9/12 Harvard fell 3-1 to No. 2/2 Cornell on Friday night at Bright-Landry Hockey Center. (Gil Talbot)
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – First-year forward Nick Abruzzese scored a power play goal, but No. 9/12 Harvard men's ice hockey (6-3-0, 6-1-0 ECAC Hockey) suffered its first conference defeat at the hands of No. 2/2 Cornell (10-0-0, 7-0-0 ECAC Hockey). 

First-year goaltender Mitchell Gibson made 29 saves in net, and Harvard's penalty killing went 3-for-3 on the night to help keep the Crimson in the game. Cornell outshot Harvard 32-24 for the night.

The Big Red got off to a fast start, outshooting the Crimson 17-4 in the opening period of play, and holding a 2-0 advantage on the scoreboard.

Jeff Malott scored at 5:18 of the first period to give Cornell a 1-0 lead, then late in the frame, Brenden Locke put in his own rebound at 18:06 to make it 2-0.

In the second period, Travis Mitchell scored for Cornell at the 5:07 mark, prompting a timeout from the Harvard bench.

The Crimson responded shortly thereafter, as Abruzzese scored on Harvard's first power play chance of the night just over two minutes later.

Sophomore defenseman Jack Rathbone made a great cross-ice pass to find Abruzzese alone at the left circle, where he found the open net at 7:18 to make it a 3-1 game.

In the third period, Harvard outshot Cornell 15-4, but goaltender Matt Galajda (23 saves) stopped point blank chances at the beginning and end of the frame, from senior forward Justin Szeto at the 2:30 mark and senior forward Colton Kerfoot at the 15:11 mark, to help preserve the win for the Big Red. 

Game Notes
- Junior defenseman Reilly Walsh (assist) has points in seven straight games.
- Harvard has scored a power play goal in seven straight contests and is 8-for-28 (28.6%) on the man advantage in that span.
- Harvard fell to 1-2 against ranked opponents this season.