BOSTON — Any matchup between perennial ECAC powers Cornell and Harvard is a sure bet to provide thrilling, heart-pounding hockey, some of the very best that Division I has to offer. Last night’s meeting between the two rivals lived up to expectations once again, as the No. 9 Red won its fifth-straight contest against the Crimson, 5-3, at the Bright Hockey Center.
Sophomore wingers Matt Moulson and Shane Hynes provided all of the scoring for the Red. Hynes scored twice to up his season total against Harvard to three goals, while Moulson recorded his second career hat trick en route to a four-point night.
After controlling play early, the Red took advantage of an excellent scoring opportunity for the first time on the night, as junior defenseman Charlie Cook found Moulson on the right circle, who took control of the puck and fired a wrister past Harvard goalie Dov Grumet-Morris at 10:23.
The Red doubled its lead five minutes later with a power play goal, as Hynes tapped home a Moulson rocket from the high point. Cornell continued its torrid pace at the start of the second period. Just 1:53 in, Hynes scored his second consecutive power play goal, taking a pass from senior captain Ryan Vesce from right in front of the net, and slipped the puck past Grumet-Morris to the back post.
However, the Red began to lose its command of the game shortly thereafter, allowing the Crimson to break the shutout three minutes later. Tim Pettit scored on freshman goalie David McKee’s stick side, as Tom Cavanaugh and Tyler Kolarik assisted at 4:54 in the period. Thirty-one seconds later, Moulson scored his second goal of the night on a nifty shot from Grumet-Morris’s kitchen. Bitz’s shot on goal was deflected back by Grumet-Morris. Bitz then collected the rebound, redirected the puck to Moulson on Grumet-Morris’s stick side, and Moulson fired the shot past the Harvard goalie.
However, with just under 90 seconds remaining in the period, Harvard cut the lead again to two goals as Kenny Smith scored his first goal of the season.
“We got up 3-1 just like last year. It didn’t keep the game simple. Give them a lot of credit, they kept on fighting which we knew they would,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “We knew what was coming, we just didn’t do a great job of protecting and we gave up a soft goal at the end of the second which kind of stung a little bit, but [we] found a way to get the job done down the stretch.”
The Crimson struck first in the final period, as Tom Walsh scored his first goal of the season at 4:21 in what was one of the game’s more controversial plays.
Walsh took a shot from the right face off circle, which smacked off the inside of the left post, past McKee’s extended glove. After referee Tim Kotyra originally waved the goal off, he later changed the ruling after consulting with linesman Chip McDonald. The decision raised Schafer’s ire.
“[Kotyra] waved it off and the linesman called it from the blue line. I don’t know what the camera angle showed, but the underneath pad doesn’t make that sound,” said Schafer. “He was in position, he was on the goal line, he waved it off. It’s a little frustrating that he allowed a linesman outside the blue line to overrule him. Weird game, weird goal, weird call.”
Moulson completed his hat trick less than five minutes later, finding an opening right in front of Grumet-Morris to provide the Red with crucial breathing room.
On the game, the Red outshot the Crimson, 27-22. McKee had 24 saves to Grumet-Morris’s 17. Since dropping the 2002 ECAC Championship game to the Crimson in double-overtime, the Red has gone undefeated against Harvard, improving its series record to 60-50-7.
Archived article by Owen Bochner