CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Harvard and Boston College were two of the most potent offensive teams in college hockey entering Friday night, so one likely would have expected a high-octane contest right from the start at Bright-Landry Hockey Center.
The first period was anything but offensive, but the 11th-ranked Crimson staged a furious rally over the final two periodd and skated away with a 5-2 win over the No. 3 Eagles in front of a sellout crowd of 3,095.
“We’re happy with the win and I thought the guys played very hard,” Harvard head coach Ted Donato said. “Boston College is a great team, and they had us on our heels early in the game, but I thought we stuck with it and were able to score some power-play goals.”
Senior Tyler Moy led the hosts’ offensive charge with his second two-goal game of the season, while junior Merrick Madsen stopped 14 shots in the first period and ten more in the third to propel Harvard to its fifth win in seven games.
Harvard went 3-for-7 on the power play en route to its first win over BC since Nov. 11, 2014. It had not previously defeated the Eagles on home ice since Nov. 7, 2006.
Before Friday’s 125th all-time meeting between the Beanpot rivals, BC had won 12 of the last 13. “They’ve been the best team in college hockey over the last 15 years, so anybody that’s not had their struggles with them I’d like to meet,” Donato said.
The Eagles actually drew first blood 10:23 into the second period as sophomore Christopher Brown beat Harvard’s Merrick Madsen to a rebound for his fifth goal of the season, following up classmate Michael Kim’s shot.
It was a rather fitting result for BC to crack the scoreboard first as it held a territorial advantage in the first period, with a 14-9 shot count.
However, things spun in favor of the hosts fast as the middle frame continued.
“First period, we had three power plays and moved the puck a lot,” BC head coach Jerry York said. “We did some really good things, and then we got in the penalty situation in the second and third. But, they were good, I was impressed with Harvard’s team.”
Harvard took a 2-1 lead before the second break, but broke the game wide open with three goals in 49 seconds – two of which came on the power play in a 33-second span – before the third period was five minutes old.
“That proved to be the difference, but I thought we did some good things throughout the game,” Donato said. “They forced us to do a better job defending than we’ve had to for the most part this year, but there were a lot of good signs.”
Alexander Kerfoot scored the first Crimson goal at 13:52, picking up a puck that squirted loose off a pretty pass from freshman defenseman Adam Fox at the top of the left circle to the far post.
Junior Seb Lloyd got a touch on it, but it was the senior captain who finished off the play at an open side of the net for his second goal this season.
From there, Moy scored two of the next three goals, first pushing a puck from Woll’s pads into the back of the net at 16:36 of the second. After senior Luke Esposito gave the Crimson a 3-1 lead 3:50 into the final frame, Moy whistled one past Woll form the top of the right circle at 4:23.
“I think (Fox’s pass) changed the momentum and kind of gave some life into the bench,” Donato said. “After that, I thought we started moving the puck around better and were able to get some shots and some second and third opportunities.”
Senior Sean Malone closed Harvard’s scoring at 4:39, beating Woll past his near post on a shot from just outside the crease. Defenseman Casey Fitzgerald scored the fifth goal of his sophomore season to give BC some life at 7:09, stepping in from the point to shoot a puck classmate Colin White left on the right side.
The Crimson out-shot BC for the contest, 38-35. Nineteen shots came in the second period as Harvard scored twice to take full command of the game.
“It’s a bitter taste in your mouth when they ended our season last year (in the NCAA Tournament), but we were coming back with a vengeance,” Moy said. “I think we put together a good effort and everyone knew what was on the line.”