Men's Ice Hockey Defeats St. Lawrence, 5-3, In ECAC Hockey First Round Opener

Harvard earned a 5-3 win over St. Lawrence in Game 1 of an ECAC Hockey First Round series.
Harvard earned a 5-3 win over St. Lawrence in Game 1 of an ECAC Hockey First Round series.
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – First-year forwards Nick Abruzzese and Austin Wong each had a goal and an assist to help lead Harvard men's ice hockey (14-10-6) to a 5-3 win over St. Lawrence (4-26-5) in Game 1 of an ECAC Hockey First Round series at Bright-Landry Hockey Center.

Forwards John Farinacci and Henry Bowlby added first period goals, and sophomore defenseman Jack Rathbone helped seal the win with his third period goal.

Harvard outshot St. Lawrence 42-18 for the night, with St. Lawrence goaltender Francis Boisvert making 37 saves to keep the Saints in it.

The Crimson found itself in a tie game early in the third period after Aleksi Peltonen scored from just outside the crease at 2:48.

But Wong forced a turnover with a big hit in the offensive zone, then sophomore forward Jack Drury found him all alone in front for a tap-in goal at 7:05 to give Harvard the lead for good. Rathbone scored on a near end-to-end rush with a great shot from the right circle at 15:44 to make it 5-3.

Harvard trailed midway through the first period before two goals in a span of 2:11 helped put the Crimson in front after 20 minutes.

A faceoff win led to a shot from the point from junior defenseman Reilly Walsh that hit some traffic in front. The puck slid right to Farinacci, who fired a low shot past Boisvert to make it 1-1- at 12:04.

Minutes later, a long stretch pass from first-year defenseman to Bowlby led to a 1-on-1 down the left wing. Bowlby drove to the net, spun to his backhand and beat Boisvert at 14:15 to give Harvard its first lead, which it held after 20 minutes of play.

St. Lawrence evened the score early in the second period on David Jankowski's power play goal at 2:22 of the frame.

But Harvard responded with a late-period goal to take the lead back. Sophomore forward Casey Dornbach forced a turnover at the blue line, creating a 2-on-1 down low. He fed cross-ice to Abruzzese, who found the net with a low shot at 18:40 to make it 3-2 heading to the third. 

Game Notes
- First year forward Nick Abruzzese (14-27-41) has the second-most points of any Harvard freshman in a single season, surpassing Adam Fox's first-year (6-34-40) in 2016-17 by a point. Lane MacDonald '89 has the modern record at Harvard for points by a freshman with 52 (21-31-52) in 1984-85.
- Junior defenseman Reilly Walsh (0-2-2) and first-year defenseman Henry Thrun (0-2-2) each had multiple points.
- First-year goaltender Mitchell Gibson made 15 saves in net for the Crimson.