The Union hockey team found itself in a 4-0 hole for the second straight night.
But unlike Friday’s game against Dartmouth, there wouldn’t be an amazing come-from-behind victory for the 16th-ranked Dutchmen.
Harvard scored three times in the second period and once more in the third, and then held off a furious rally by the Dutchmen late in the game to earn a 4-3 ECAC Hockey victory on Saturday at Bright Hockey Center.
The loss ended a four-game unbeaten streak for the Dutchmen (10-4-4 ECACH, 16-8-6 overall), who dropped into a second-place tie with Cornell after it lost to Yale, 2-1, in overtime. All three teams entered the night tied for first. Cornell has a game in hand on Union and Yale, and it will play that contest Tuesday at Colgate. Then, everyone will have four games left in the regular season.
Union overcame the 4-0 deficit against Dartmouth, scoring five unanswered goals over the final two periods to pull out a 5-4 win, which clinched home ice at least in the first round of the ECACH tournament.
Against Harvard (7-8-3, 7-15-3), the Dutchmen scored three times in a 5:29 stretch late in the game. Mario Valery-Trabucco scored a power-play goal with 5:33 left. Mike Schreiber got two goals in 27 seconds with goalie Corey Milan out for an extra attacker. But the final one came with 3.4 seconds left, giving the Dutchmen little opportunity to get a crack at a game-tying goal.
Union coach Nate Leaman wasn’t impressed by this comeback attempt.
“I didn’t think we played desperate enough,” Leaman said. “We toyed around with that game. We had the puck a lot in the first period, so we got comfortable, thinking it was going to be an easier game than it was. Give them credit, they put pucks on the net in the second period. We wouldn’t put any pucks on the net. We had a lot of possession time.”
The Dutchmen know they wasted a chance to stay in a first-place tie.
“It seems like the same thing that happened yesterday, you just get behind the 8-ball a little bit,” Schreiber said. “Once we are put in a desperate situation, it seems like we’re waiting a bit too long.”
The Dutchmen’s downfall started on a bad goal 1:41 into the second. Alex Fallstrom fired a shot from a bad angle along the right-wing boards. Milan was off balance as he moved to his left, and the puck bounced off his skate and into the net.
“That was a lazy play by our goaltender,” Leaman said. “That’s part of not being desperate.”
David Valek made it 2-0 at 6:57, and Alex Killorn got the first of his two goals with 5:10 left. Killorn scored a power-play goal midway through the third. No one knew at the time that it would turn out to be the game-winning goal.
“We had our game plan, but we clearly didn’t execute it,” said Valery-Trabucco, who has 17 goals on the season and is three away from tying Chris Ford’s Division I team record of 20 goals, set in 1993-94. “We knew what they were going to do, we knew what they were going to bring and we didn’t follow our game plan. That’s why they beat us.”
Union 0 0 3 — 3
Harvard 0 3 1 — 4
First Period — None. Penalties — Rogers, Har (hooking), 4:27; Valery-Trabucco, Uni (hooking), 18:12.
Second Period — 1, Harvard, Fallstrom 4 (Greiner, Bozoian), 1:41. 2, Harvard, Valek 2 (Michaud, Coassin), 6:57. 3, Harvard, Killorn 8 (M. Biega, Tallett), 14:50. Penalties — Christian, Har (tripping), 8:02; Wakita, Uni (interference), 16:02; A. Biega, Har (interference), 17:26; D. Biega, Har (hooking), 19:33.
Third Period — 4, Harvard, Killorn 9 (Fallstrom, Morrison), 10:35 (pp). 5, Union, Valery-Trabucco 17 (Presizniuk, Zajac), 14:27 (pp). 6, Union, Schreiber 7 (W. Simpson, J. Simpson), 19:29. 7, Union, Schreiber 8 (Walters, Valery-Trabucco), 19:56. Penalties — Valery-Trabucco, Uni (holding), 9:57; Rogers, Har (hooking), 14:12; M. Biega, Har (boarding), 16:53.
Shots on Goal — Union 9-9-16 — 34. Harvard 5-14-7 — 26.
Power-play opportunities — Union 1 of 6; Harvard 1 of 3.
Goalies — Union, Milan 7-4-3 (26 shots-22 saves). Harvard, Richter 3-10-2 (34-31).
A — 2,056. T — 2:13.
Referees — Bryan Hicks, Chip McDonald . Linesmen — Leo Boylan, David Brown.
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: College Sports