PROVIDENCE, RI – Harvard cashed in on two of its three first period power play chances and the Crimson (7-19-1, 5-14-1) held on for a 2-1 win over the Brown men's hockey team (8-14-5, 6-12-2) on Tuesday evening at Meehan Auditorium.
With the loss, Brown has a difficult path ahead in its hopes for home ice for the ECAC Playoffs. With just two games remaining, the Bears remain three points behind both Clarkson and Quinnipiac.
Playing their first game in nearly a month, the Bears came out with energy and had the early advantage going up on the power play just 3:28 into the game. However, Harvard would earn three straight power play chances over the final 14 minutes of the period and build a 2-0 advantage, scoring on its first and third opportunity.
The first one came after a series of tic-tac-toe passing that saw Chris Huxley find Conor Morrison back door on the right post for the easy tap-in at 7:27. Almost exactly 10 minutes later, at 17:37, Danny Biega fired a shot from the right point that deflected off a Brown player and into the back of the net just 32 seconds into the power play.
The two teams played a penalty filled second period, combining for 24 minutes in penalties, 18 of which went against Brown. However, neither team could cash in on their respective power play chances, as the Bears headed for the second intermission still trailing, 2-0.
Brown held a 12-11 advantage in shots for the period, including one particularly dangerous sequence in towards the middle part of the period where the Bears had several quality chances with goalie Ryan Carroll out of position. But, the Crimson was able to clear the puck away with each chance to escape the threat.
The Bears came out firing on all cylinders early in the third and built a 20-1 advantage in shots on goal during the final 20 minutes. Junior Bobby Farnham (North Andover, MA) finally got Brown on the board 8:08 into the period with his seventh goal of the year. Sophomore Chris Zaires (Aberdeen, NJ) played the puck through the neutral zone to Farnham, who squeezed through a pair of Harvard defenseman, and in on a semi-breakaway through the slot. After getting behind the defense, Farnham deked Carroll and slid the puck behind the goalie to bring Brown to within one.
Special teams continue to plague the Bears, who finished 0-5 on the power play, while Harvard scored both of its goals on the man-advantage, marking the third straight game that Brown has conceded at least two power play goals to its opposition.
The Bears had their best chance for the game-tying goal with just under five minutes left to play when freshman Jimmy Siers (Mt. Prospect, IL) crashed the slot and fired a rebound on net. However, Carroll made a game-saving glove-save to keep his team ahead by one.
Brown pulled junior Mike Clemente (Great Falls, VA) in favor of the extra attacker with 1:12 remaining, but Carroll and the rest of the Harvard defense were able to hold on for the 2-1 win.
Clemente finished with 18 saves, while Carroll made 40 for the Crimson, including 19 in the third period, during which Harvard was outshot, 20-1. Brown closes out the regular season this weekend when it hosts Cornell and Colgate in a pair of critical ECAC Hockey contests. The Bears still have a shot to clinch home ice for the playoffs, but will need at least three points this weekend and also get help from both Clarkson and Quinnipiac, who currently sit three points ahead of Brown.
HARVARD 2 0 0 x - 2
BROWN 0 0 1 x - 1
First Period – H, Morrison (Huxley, D. Biega), PP, 7:27; H, D. Biega (Huxley, Moriarty), PP, 17:37. Penalties – H, 1-2; B, 3-6.
Second Period – No Scoring. Penalties – H, 3-6; B, 5-18.
Third Period – B, Farnham (Zaires, Wahl), 8:08. Penalties – H, 1-2; B, 1-2.
H, Ryan Carroll (59:53) – 9-12-19-x – 40; B, Mike Clemente (58:48) – 6-11-1-x – 18.
Pictured: Bobby Farnham '12. Photo by DSPics.net.