PRINCETON, N.J. (11/16/13) - A goal-laden third period went in Harvard's favor as the Crimson took a 5-3 game from Princeton in men's hockey in the team's homecoming game on Saturday, Nov. 16 at Hobey Baker Rink.
Harvard (3-4-1, 2-4-1 ECAC) held a 1-0 lead headed into the third period. Princeton, (2-7, 1-5 ECAC) sporting throwback Hobey Baker-era jerseys, tied it up early before the Crimson rattled off three straight goals to take a 4-1 lead. The Tigers chipped away, scoring twice to get within one but an empty-net goal with four seconds left sealed the win for Harvard.
"We started to battle back but too little too late," head coach Bob Prier said. "We tried to make it dramatic and it didn't work out. We have to keep the game a little more boring than we have been. I'll take full responsibility for that and find a way to have these guys use the boards and tight areas and talk to each other more out on the ice. We just somehow have to find a way to do it."
Harvard scored the game’s first goal at 13:37 of the first period as Sean Malone and Tyler Moy teamed up for give-and-go. Moy centered for Jimmy Vesey who had a shot rebound out to the left to Malone who put it between the blocker and the left pipe.
The second period was scoreless and after 40 minutes Princeton held a 21-17 edge in shots and trailed by just one.
The Crimson had a 5x3 edge at the start of the third but a blocked Harvard shot just as Princeton’s Tucker Brockett was released from the box set up a short-handed breakaway situation. Junior Aaron Ave fed Brockett the puck and skated up ice, getting the puck back to bury it top shelf on netminder Steve Michalek at 3:08.
A turnover in front of the Princeton net crushed the Tigers’ momentum as Moy scored on the intercepted and started a three-goal run for the Crimson.
"We got the momentum all in our favor there and we were coming and then all of a sudden we just have these turnovers," Prier said after the game. "I thought we played a responsible game for 90% of the game, but we've got to learn to play a responsible game all the time."
Kyle Criscuolo and Vesey both scored within three minutes of Moy’s goal as Harvard took a 4-1 lead with 10 minutes left in the game.
Junior Aaron Kesselman scored the Tigers’ second goal with a great play between he, sophomore Mike Ambrosia and senior captain Jack Berger. Ambrosia grabbed the puck at the blue line and dished off to Berger on the right side once in the neutral zone. Berger sent it back to Ambrosia as he reached the slot and to slipped it to the left side for Kesselman who shot over the glove of Michaelek.
With 2:46 remaining, Princeton pulled goalie Sean Bonar for the extra skater and when Harvard’s Malone was called for a charge the Tigers’ had a 6x4 advantage. Michalek had a big stop on Ambrosia with 1:30 to play before junior Tom Kroshus got one by him. Sophomore Jonathan Liau won a draw back and Kroshus backpeddled to the right side and nailed the goal with 37 seconds left.
The Tigers wouldn’t be able to get any closer as Harvard’s Malone scored an unassisted empty-net goal with four ticks on the clock.
Bonar finished the game with 24 saves while Michalek stopped 32 shots.
Princeton plays a home-and-home series with travel partner Quinnipiac next weekend, Nov. 22 & 23. The teams meet first on Friday at 7 p.m., at Hobey Baker Rink.