Engineers burned, settle for tie

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute scored a goal in each of the first two periods and appeared to be h
PHOTOGRAPHER:

A grinder turned into a shootout in less than three minutes.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute scored a goal in each of the first two periods and appeared to be headed for a weekend sweep until a couple of defensive breakdowns in a crazy third period burned away the mom­entum and allowed Harvard to pull out a 3-3 tie in their ECAC hockey game Saturday afternoon at Houston Field House.

After Harvard pulled goalie Kyle Richter with 1:01 to go and RPI leading, 3-2, Louis Leblanc scored his ninth goal of the season with just 2.3 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. RPI goalie Allen York, who was brilliant during the first two periods, was prone after stopping a shot by Alex Killorn. But Leblanc saw the loose puck near the far post and swatted it into the goal. Although the net was dislodged, officials looked at the replay and ruled it a legal score.

Neither team could break through in an overtime period played conservatively by both teams.

RPI is 6-5-1 and 13-11-2, Harvard 5-5-3 and 5-10-3.

“I thought we played well for most of the third period,” said RPI coach Seth Appert. “We had ind­ividual breakdowns but not team breakdowns. We had a chance to grind out a 2-0 or 3-0 win, but we gave up a goal on a turnover early in the third period, and that changed the momentum. That last Harvard goal was a bad play by our defense.

“Principle No. 1 when the other team pulls their goalie is to protect the back post. We reminded the players about that. Allen made a nice save on that first shot, but one of our defensemen decided to play goalie and hover around Allen instead of putting Leblanc on his butt.”

The Engineers dominated the first period, outshooting the Crimson, 9-4.

Jerry D’Amigo’s shot from the boards across from the left faceoff circle skipped past Harvard starting goalie Ryan Carroll for his seventh goal of the season at the 9:28 mark.

RPI kept the pressure on with a four-shot power play, but Carroll kept Harvard in the game.

RPI opened up a 2-0 lead when Paul Kerins streaked down the left wing and fired a wrister off Car-

roll’s glove with just seven seconds left.

York was brilliant for RPI in the period. He turned back Leblanc’s breakaway chance with nine minutes left and stood tall during a couple of Harvard power plays, including a brief five-on-three.

RPI’s Chase Polacek had a breakaway of his own with five minutes left, but he was stoned by Carroll.

Harvard lit the lamp on a Killorn goal following an RPI turnover just 20 seconds into the final period. Harvard coach Ted Donato had just replaced Carroll in net with Richter.

RPI bounced back quickly on Marty O’Grady’s seventh goal of the season when he backhanded the rebound of Brandon

Pirri’s shot from between the circles.

Just a minute later, Doug Rogers scored to cut RPI’s lead to 3-2. There were four goals in a span of 2:38, starting with the last goal of the second period.

“It was a little bit frustrating not getting the win,” said D’Amigo, who was rammed hard along the boards with four minutes left in regulation. Danny Biego was given a boarding penalty, but the Engineers couldn’t cash in on the power play. “We didn’t come out in the third period, and we gave up a couple of quick goals.”

“I thought we played very well in the second period, and we had some good intensity,” said Donato. “Earlier in the year, I’m not so sure we could have come back from that 2-0 deficit.”

Harvard 0 0 3 0 — 3

RPI 1 1 1 0 — 3

First period — 1, RPI, D’Amigo 7 (Polacek), 9:28. Penalties — Cullen, RPI (holding the stick), 2:34; Rogers, Har (hooking), 16:31.

Second period — 2, Kevins 8 (O’Grady, Pirri), 19:52. Penalties — Greiner, Har (contact to the head/elbowing), 1:31; Malchuck, RPI (contact to head/elbowing), 3:52; Burgdoerfer (cross-checking), 5:45.

Third period — 3, Har, Killorn 6 (Leblanc), 0:20. 4, RPI, O’Grady7 (Pirri, Kerins), 1:11. 5, Harvard Rogers 3 (Morin), 2:30. 6, Har, Leblanc (Killorn), 19:57. Penalties —. Del Mauro, Har (slashing), 7:17; Kennedy, RPI (high-sticking), 7:17; Biega, Har (boarding), 15:58.

Overtime — None. Penalties — Greiner, Har (holding), 3:10; Pirri, RPI (high-sticking), 4:54.

Shots on goal — Harvard 4-8-14-3 — 29; RPI 9-4-9-2 — 24 .

Power-play opportunities — Harvard 0 of 3; RPI 0 of 4.

Goalies – Harvard, Ryan Carroll (13 shots —11 saves); Richter (11-10)RPI, Allen York (29-26).

Referees — Bryan Hicks, Andy O’Brien. Assistant referees — Leo Boylan, Dan Taggart.

A –2,705. T – 2:22.

Categories: College Sports

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