Senior goaltender Kyle Richter made 41 saves and junior wing Eric Kroshus scored two goals including an empty netter as Harvard University held off a late rally by St. Lawrence University for a 4-2 ECAC Hockey victory at SLU's Appleton Arena Friday night.
Harvard, 2-1-0 both overall and in league play, led 3-0 going into the third period, but the Saints, now 2-5-3 overall and 2-1-0 in the league, came storming back to cut it to a 3-2 game with a pair of third period goals before Kroshus sealed the victory with the empty net goal with 6.7 seconds to play.
Harvard scored the game's first goal at 13:37 of the first period when the Crimson turned around a Saint rush and defenseman Danny Biega found Kroshus with a lead pass at the Saint blueline sending Kroshus in on a breakaway. Kroshus scored his first of the season as he tucked the puck under Saint goalie Matt Weninger's pads from point blank range.
The Crimson, which was outshot by the Saints 17-9 in the first period, turned the tables in the second with a 20-7 advantage in shots on goal and increased its lead with a pair of goals just 1:37 apart. The first was scored by junior center Colin Moore as he snapped a tough-angle wrist shot just inside the far post from Danny Biega and Chris Huxley at 3:03 and junior center Alex Killorn made it a 3-0 game at the 4:40 mark when he tipped defenseman Dan Ford's shot from the point and the deflection snuck just under the crossbar.
"It was a game of momentum shifts," said Saint coach Joe Marsh. "I thought we played a very good first period, but Richter made a couple of big saves and we had a couple sneak just wide. Harvard took it to us in the second, but I was pleased with the way we came back out with good intensity in the third and battled our way back into it."
The Saints came out hard to start the third period and finally got one past Richter at the 9:12 mark of the third period as senior wing Nick Pitsikoulis put away a rebound for his second goal of the year in a scramble at the side of the Harvard net. Freshman defenseman Justin Baker started the play, setting up Mark Armstrong at the side of the cage and while Richter kicked out Armstrong's shot, Pitsikoulis was there to put back the rebound.
Junior defenseman Pete Child pulled the Saints to within a goal as he took a pass from defensive partner Jordan Dewey and his shot through traffic beat Richter inside the far post for Child's third of the year at 14:51. Kyle Flanagan also assisted on the play.
The Saints pulled Weninger, who finished with 32 saves, for an extra attacker with 52 seconds to go in regulation and had several good chances to tie the score, but Richter held them off and the Crimson came away with its second straight win.
"We've got another tough one on Saturday, but if we keep working the way we have worked the last three games, we will have our share of success," Marsh added. "We had solid efforts from all four lines tonight."