As the game clock at Lynah Rink ticked under five minutes in the final period on Friday night, sophomore goaltender Troy Davenport looked up at the scoreboard. Harvard, up 2-1 after controlling play for most of the game, appeared on the verge of its second consecutive victory over the men’s hockey team in Lynah Rink.
Davenport, however, was not concerned.
“I thought we were going to win the game,” he said. “When we were down, I figured we were going to get a goal.”
He was right.
With 4:09 remaining in the third period, junior defenseman Doug Krantz tied the score for the Red with a wrist shot from the point to pull the Red even at 2-2. Just over two minutes later, sophomore forward Michael Kennedy made the building tremble when he gave Cornell a 3-2 lead after beating Crimson goaltender Kyle Richter on a breakaway. The No. 11 Red (5-0-0, 3-0-0 ECACHL) held off Harvard (1-4-0, 0-4-0) for the final minute of the game to seal the come-from-behind, 3-2, victory and preserve its perfect season record.
“It was a good college hockey game,” said Cornell head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “It’s a big win for us to go 3-0 in the league.”
Sophomore defenseman Taylor Davenport scored the Red’s first goal — his first point of the season — and Troy Davenport made 27 saves as the Crimson out-shot the Red, 29-18. Harvard captain Dylan Reese and senior forward Kevin Du added goals for the Crimson in the 124th meeting between the Ivy rivals.
“We’re disappointed and frustrated,” said Harvard head coach Ted Donato. “We felt like we carried the play for a lot of the game. The difference was in what we gave up.”
Both Crimson goals occurred while Harvard was on the power play, continuing Cornell’s struggles on the penalty kill this season. The Red is currently ranked 11th out of 12 teams in the ECACHL in killing percentage with a 78.1 percent success rate. out of 12 teams in the ECACHL in killing percentage with a 78.1 percent success rate.
Taylor Davenport opened the game’s scoring just over two minutes into the game when he slapped a loose puck in front of the net past Richter to give Cornell an early 1-0 lead. Junior assistant Topher Scott and senior Mark McCutcheon picked up assists on the goal, which came on a delayed penalty call against Harvard.
Harvard answered at the 4:14 mark of the first period when Reese lifted a one-timed shot from the right post over Taylor Davenport to even the score at 1-1. With Cornell sophomore Tyler Mugford in the penalty box on a hooking call, Reese scored his second goal of the season on a centering pass from Crimson rookie Doug Rogers. Junior Jon Pelle added the second assist.
Troy Davenport kept the game tied in the second period, turning aside 10 Crimson shots in the frame.
The Harvard forecheck prevented the Red form engineering many quality scoring chances as Cornell was held to only two shots during the period.
“[Davenport] really held the fort for [Cornell],” Donato said.
After 10 scoreless minutes in the third period, the Crimson took a 2-1 lead with 9:32 remaining when Du recorded Harvard’s second power-play goal of the game. Cornell rookie Tony Romano’s penalty for goaltender interference set the stage for Crimson freshman Chad Morin’s cross-ice pass to Du, who beat the sprawling Davenport with a quick shot.
Krantz tied the score at 2-2 at the 15:51 mark of the third period with a wrist shot from the high point. Senior captain Byron Bitz won a clean face-off in the Crimson zone back to Krantz, whose shot through traffic beat Richter high to the glove side.
“We knew we were down and we needed to take some chances,” Krantz said. “[Bitz] made a perfect draw right to my stick. It was a great team goal.”
Under a minute later, Bitz was called for a tripping penalty to give Harvard its eighth power play of the contest. Just after time on the penalty had expired, Kennedy replaced Bitz on the ice and corralled a pass from senior Mitch Carefoot in the neutral zone. The 6-2 sophomore then raced past the Crimson defenders before dekeing Richter for the game-winning goal.
“Carefoot made a great play,” Kennedy said. “The pass was right on my stick. It was the biggest [goal] I have ever scored in my life.”
The Crimson pulled Richter for the extra attacker with 50 seconds remaining in the game, but its bid for a tying goal came up short.
The loss kept Harvard winless in the ECACHL and gave Cornell a five-game winning streak to open its season.