“Friendly” rivalry still gets chippy on the ice, as teams skate to 2-2 draw
Allston, MA. – On a rainy, cold Tuesday night during the winter break, a 97 year old rivalry drew 1902 spectators to Bright-Landry Arena on the banks of the Charles River. Their devotion to their teams would be rewarded with a classic BU vs Harvard tilt.
BU is in the midst of a 6-8-2 season that sees them slowly climbing back from an 0-4 start to the season. This was the Terriers first game since beating Dartmouth 4-1 on December 14. Harvard is also overcoming a slow start, winning 4 of their last 5.
The Terriers didn’t look rusty when Ryan Cloonan set up Matthew Quercia for his first career goal @ 2:05. Cloonan took a Jack DeBoer pass and raced down the right side of the Harvard zone drawing two defenders which left Quercia alone in front of goalie Michael Lackey for the easy tap in. A half minute later BU’s Dante Fabbro would be called for Tripping putting the Nation’s #1 Power Play a man up. The Crimson mustered a few quality shots on Jake Oettinger but were unable to take advantage of the situation. BU got it’s first crack on the Power Play @ 10:04 when Frederic Gregoire went to the penalty box for slashing. A revamped Harvard penalty kill was able to hold BU shot-less for the duration. The Crimson had one more crack at it in the first period when Patrick Curry was whistled for Holding the Stick @ 17:54. The Terriers once again successfully killed off the Crimson man advantage. The period would end with Harvard outshooting BU 9-8 and winning the face-off battle 18-8.
The 2nd period seen BU get 2 Power Plays. The first @ 8:56 for a Cross Check by Jacob Olsen. BU’s Fabbro would hit the post with a shot. The second came @ 12:45 when a bad pass in the Harvard zone by Colton Kerfoot led to Adam Fox being called for Tripping. Harvard held BU scoreless on both. The Crimson got the equalizer @ 16:57 when Adam Fox wristed the puck over the shoulder of Oettinger into the top left corner. The play was set up beautifully by the patience of Jack Badini, who drew 3 BU defenders towards him just above the left circle then saucered the pass to Fox who did the rest. Another penalty on BU’s Curry, for Slashing, @ 19:49 would give Harvard a Power Play to close out the second. BU outshot the Crimson 13-8.
The 3rd opened with Harvard a man up on a fresh sheet of ice. Lewis Zerter-Gossage put Harvard up 2-1 when he knocked home a Casey Dornbach shot @ 1:36. Dornbach and Jack Drury were credited with the assists. The Crimson lead wasn’t to last long. Baker Shore was called for Hooking @ 5:15 giving the BU PP unit another man advantage. This one would prove costly. Joel Farrabee streaked into the Harvard zone, catching a Patrick Harper cross ice pass that he snapped past Lackey for the tying goal. Once again Harvard outshot BU 9-8.
The 5 minute overtime seen each team have a decent chance to win but both Lackey and Oettinger were up to the task of keeping it even. 2-2 is how it would end, with each team getting 2 shots a piece in the OT frame. BU outshot Harvard 31-28 for the game, the Crimson would win the face-off battles 40-23. Overall this was a fitting score for the game as each team had stretches of dominance, but it was a back and forth affair.
After the game BU coach Albie O’Connell, in his first season as BU Head Coach said “It’s a good rivalry, it’s a friendly rivalry. We like each other, we respect each other, we respect each other’s programs. It’s fun.” O’Connell spent 3 seasons as Harvard’s Assistant Coach under Ted Donato from 2011-14. Current BU Assistant Coach Paul Pearl also spent 4 seasons as Donato’s assistant from 2014-18. Donato was complimentary of his former colleagues saying “that’s a good hockey team, very well coached by Albie, Paul Pearl, Lenny Quesnelle, those guys are all excellent coaches.” Both coaches seemed content to have come away with a tie.