By: Pat Salvas
BOSTON – Fourth-seeded Harvard scored 2:06 into the overtime period to give the Crimson a 4-3 win on Saturday and a 2-0 series victory in the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals against the fifth-seeded Dartmouth men’s hockey team.
The Big Green thought they had scored the go-ahead goal in the final seconds of the second period, but it was called back for goaltender interference. That ended up proving costly as the tie remained through regulation before the Crimson scored the winner to secure a fifth-straight berth in the league’s semifinals.
The winner came off the stick of Nathan Krusko, his third of the season.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow losing here again,” Koenig Family Head Coach Bob Gaudet ’81 said. “I thought we were the better team tonight and we just didn’t get the result we thought we deserved.
“They (Harvard) played well, but I thought our guys were playing with energy and passion all night,” Gaudet continued. “With a late goal in the second and a one-goal lead heading into the third, I would’ve liked our chances. But it didn’t play out like that and they made the last play and we didn’t.”
Dartmouth had a 2-0 lead in the opening minutes on goals from Brendan Demler at 1:03 and then Drew O’Connor just 1:32 later. For O’Connor, it was his 17th of his rookie season, the most by any first-year player in ECAC Hockey and second most by any rookie in the nation this season.
The 17 goals also rank as the third-best single-season total by a rookie in Dartmouth history.
Harvard made it a one-goal game after 20 minutes and then scored twice more in the second to take a 3-2 lead. Quin Foreman’s 13th of the season came on the power play with 7:30 remaining in the middle frame to make it a 3-3 game.
Then, in the final seconds in the middle stanza, Foreman made a great play, but it was ruled that he interfered with Harvard netminder Cameron Gornet and the Carl Hesler rebound goal was waved off. From a Dartmouth perspective, it was disappointing because a replay appeared to show a Crimson defender push Foreman, causing the contact.
The play was reviewed and ruled no goal, setting up a scoreless third period and the overtime period that went the way of the home team.
First-Team All-Ivy League goaltender Adrian Clark made 36 saves as did Gornet.
The season ends in Cambridge for the second straight year as Harvard also knocked off Dartmouth in last season’s quarterfinals