BOSTON — Junior co-captain Kyle Criscuolo scored two goals, including the game-winning goal in overtime, to propel Harvard to a 3-2 triumph against top-ranked Boston University at Agganis Arena on Tuesday night. The win is the first against the nation’s No. 1 team since Harvard topped Quinnipiac 2-1 in overtime on March 1, 2013. Harvard moves to 6-1-2 with the victory, and is 2-0-1 against top-10 foes.
The game-winning goal came at 3:10 of the extra frame when Jimmy Vesey dug the puck out of the corner and found Criscuolo crashing the net. The junior’s first shot hit off a BU defender in front of the net, but he was able to deflect the puck out of midair on the rebound past Matt O’Conner in net to start the celebration.
Steve Michalek made 40 saves manning Harvard’s goal, marking the second time this year he has reached the 40-save plateau. Vesey, Patrick McNally and Alexander Kerfoot also had multi-point nights for the Crimson, with Vesey scoring Harvard’s first goal of the game, while McNally and Kerfoot had two assists each. Tuesday marked the first time this season Harvard had four skaters record at least two points in a single game. Finding the box score once again, Vesey and Criscuolo extended their career-best point streaks to nine contests. In overtime contests, Harvard is now 1-0-2 this season.
The initial 20 minutes of the game passed without either team scoring. Michalek came up big with four saves on the lone penalty kill of the period to keep the game level. The goaltender stopped 13 shots in the opening stanza. Nine minutes into the period, Jake Horton had Harvard’s first scoring opportunity after swiping the puck from a BU defenseman, but was unable to convert the one-on-one as he was turned away by O’Connor.
Harvard earned its first power play with just over two minutes elapsed in the second period, but could not put one away despite firing five shots during the two-minute span. Michalek denied the Terriers on a pair of one-on-one attempts over the subsequent few minutes, but the Terriers broke through for the first goal of the game at the 8:57 mark after Matt Lane’s second-effort shot crossed the goal line.
The Crimson knotted the score at 1-1 with 8:14 remaining in the second period when Kerfoot won a faceoff from the attacking zone and pulled it back directly to Vesey who scored into the lower right side netting. The goal was Vesey’s eighth of the season. Kerfoot’s assist was his 10th of the season, giving him a point for the eighth time in the past nine games.
Criscuolo put Harvard on top, 2-1, with 1:36 left on the clock in the second period with a high-powered, power play goal to extend his point streak to nine. McNally and Kerfoot assisted on the winger’s fourth goal of the season. The assist was the second point of the night for Kerfoot, his 11th of the year, and the eighth helper of the season for McNally.
Out of the second intermission, Michalek stifled a strong Terriers’ attack, posting seven saves in the first six minutes. BU finally pulled even at the 6:43 mark of the third period when Ahti Oksanen wristed a shot into the upper left corner of the goal from the left wing during a 3-on-2 break. Both teams had multiple chances for a third goal in the final two minutes, but neither side could put one away and the game went to overtime.
After a pair of good scoring chances to open the extra period, Criscuolo added the game winning tally for his second goal of the game to clinch the 3-2 victory on the road. Vesey added his second point of the game on the play.