By Carley Crain
For the first time in 635 days, the Springfield men’s ice hockey team took to the ice for a showdown vs Harvard. With a buzzing white-out crowd, the energy was high on Friday night at Smead Arena. Springfield would come out on top, as they took their first win of the season, beating the Crimson, 5-2.
The game opened with both teams playing strong defensively, as Harvard got a power play within the first five minutes, but was unable to score. Springfield did not shy away from playing an aggressive, fast game. Harvard responded with almost an identical strategy.
Junior goalie Greg Lucente had an impressive first quarter defending the net, despite Harvard’s strong offensive front. The Pride would score first at about the 17-minute mark, with a long hit from Matt Herrmann and assisted by Joe Manning. The Pride came into the game wanting to set the tone of their season and did just that.
“Early on we were just trying to put shots on net,” explained junior Casey Cormier. “Our goalie made a lot of saves and we kept putting pressure on the net.”
Harvard opened the second quarter immediately with a shot on net but wasn’t able to score, which continued to be their theme of the game: close but not close enough. Springfield responded however by adding their second goal of the game at the start of the second by Joey Partridge, with the crowd erupting in excitement. Shortly after, the Pride would make it 3-0 after a goal by Calin Carvalho. Fans were quick to get on their feet and rushed to the glass, sharing and celebrating the goal by Carvalho, as the Pride strengthened their lead over Harvard.
“The fans definitely motivated us to keep pushing because we have not had a game in almost two years, so the fans definitely helped tonight,” said Cormier.
The Pride struggled with penalties and had multiple players see the penalty box within the second quarter, but Harvard still wasn’t able to score, as it would remain 3-0 going into the last 20-minute period.
The last 20 minutes resulted in some speedy breakaways for Springfield, as the Pride was able to capitalize on a power play after a Harvard penalty. Carvalho then added his second goal of the night, to extend the Pride’s lead to 4-0 over the Crimson. Harvard added their first goal of the night late in the last period, but once again Springfield responded fast with their fifth goal, scored by Ryan Roskey. After going back and forth all throughout the last period, Harvard scored again within the last minute.
Springfield claimed its first win of the year, as the game concluded with a 5-2 final score. The Pride will now hit the road on Sunday for a matchup vs Coast Guard at 3 p.m., as they look to continue the momentum from tonight’s game.
Photo: Gillian Dube/The Student