Feb. 15, 2009

Courtesy of Cornell

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Special teams provided the difference as the Cornell men's hockey team dropped a 4-2 contest to Harvard on Saturday night at the Bright Hockey Center in Cambridge, Mass. Cornell falls to 15-6-4 with the loss and 10-5-3 in ECAC Hockey, while Harvard improves to 7-14-4 overall and 7-7-4 in league action.

The Crimson converted on four of its six power play attempts on the night, including an empty netter with 12 seconds to play. Cornell, meanwhile, went 0-for-7 on the man advantage, despite putting 12 shots on goal while on the power play.

Colin Greening scored a pair of goals for Cornell, while Joe Devin added a pair of assists. For Harvard, Alex Biega, Chris Huxley and Doug Rogers had a pair of assists, while Matt McCollem and Daniel Moriarty had a goal and an assist each. Ben Scrivens stopped 20 shots in picking up the loss, while Harvard's Ryan Carroll made 42 saves in his second victory of the season.

The two sides came out firing, putting a combined 29 shots on goal in the first period, but the two goaltenders were up to the task early. Scrivens stopped 15 shots in the period and Carroll had 14 saves as the two teams went to the first intermission deadlocked at zero.

Harvard broke the scoreless tie with a power play goal at the 7:04 mark of the second period as Alex Killorn shoveled the puck inside the near post past Scrivens following an elbowing penalty on Cornell's Joe Devin.

Devin made amends for the penalty that resulted in the Harvard goal by setting up Greening for his ninth goal of the season and second of the weekend. Towards the end of a productive shift that saw Greening play the role of an absolute menace to the Harvard defensive zone, the puck came out to the corner to the right of Carroll. Blake Gallagher corralled it and sent it behind the goal to Devin, who then roped a pass to Greening, stationed between the circles, and the junior co-captainone-timed a shot over the blocker of the sophomore netminder, knotting the score at one.

Harvard went back on top with another power play goal, this time with Matt McCollem breaking in behind the Cornell defense in transition, taking a pass from Rogers and sliding the puck underneath Scrivens with 5:15 to play in the second period. Daniel Moriarty also had an assist on the play, tipping the puck to the oncoming Rogers in the neutral zone.

The Crimson went up by two with 6:56 gone in the third period on a Harvard power play as Moriarty roofed a shot over Scrivens after collecting the puck from Chris Huxley on the half wall, the third power play tally of the night.

Cornell kept pressing to close the gap, however, and finally did so with just 3:30 to play as Greening struck for his second goal of the night. Greening took a puck from Joe Devin and jammed home a shot from the stick side of Carroll to close the margin to one.

With 1:30 to play, Scrivens went to the Cornell bench for the extra skater, and Cornell narrowly missed the tying goal with a pass across the crease, but could not tap the puck in. Harvard iced the puck with 41.6 seconds left in the period, setting up a faceoff to Carroll's right. Harvard won the faceoff but Barlow kept the puck in the zone, sending the puck behind the goal. Unfortunately, there Greening was whistled for cross-checking with 27.9 seconds left, putting Scrivens back on the ice for the faceoff in the Cornell end. Cornell won the draw and Scrivens went to the bench as Cornell cleared the zone. Harvard's Alex Biega chipped the puck out of their defensive zone to Nick Coskren, who skated in and slid the puck into the empty net for the final difference.

Cornell returns home for the final regular-season series of the year, taking on Rensselaer and Union in a pair of games at Lynah Rink. Friday's game against Rensselaer will feature the Big Red wearing special pink and black jerseys as part of ECAC Hockey's Pink at the Rink program, while Saturday's game will find the Big Red back in the traditional red and white for Senior Day festivities. Both games will start at 7 p.m.