By Darin MacEacheron
SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield College men’s club hockey team took on Harvard University in their home opener Friday night in a game the Pride will look to quickly forget as they fell by a final score of 9-2.
Entering the third period, the Pride were tied with Harvard 2-2 and outshooting them 31-25. The first period went scoreless for both teams. Springfield looked a little slow out of the gate offensively but were able to hold Harvard in check early with some solid penalty kills and good stick positioning.
The Pride took to the scoreboard first with a goal by Nick Demaoi. On a two-on-one, the forward snapped a shot high glove side past the goalie to put the Pride out front. Harvard quickly answered with two of their own but the Pride were able to respond. Casey Cormier flung a wrister off the left pad of the Harvard goalie James Blanchfield and Liam Whitman was right there to put away the rebound to tie it up.
Later in the period, Springfield goalie George Matteo made two remarkable saves within 30 seconds of each other to keep the Pride in the game for the time being. The first was on a two on one in which he stretched out his right pad to deny the Harvard attack and the second was a glove snag off of a cross
Harvard came out of the locker room in the third period firing on all cylinders. Along with sound goaltending from Blanchfield the rest of the way, the Crimson tacked on three goals in the first four minutes and 23 seconds of the frame. The Pride quickly called timeout but Harvard continued to pile it after the stoppage.
Although the Pride were by far the more physical team, that ultimately came back to hurt them on a few occasions as they took some undisciplined penalties that Harvard was able to capitalize on. The Crimson ended up totaling 12 shots in the last period and were able to score on seven of them.
“We are a young team that hasn’t had a lot of work together as a unit,” stated Coach George Johnson. “These are the type of games we need to use to grow and get better.”
This loss drops the Pride to a 1-1 record and after a disappointing loss, the season is still young.
“I think everything needs to be a little bit better obviously,” added Johnson. “Our execution, positioning, and of course effort are some of the main things but hopefully our guys will be ready to go for Sunday.”
The Pride will look to put this one away as they host New Haven at 4:30 this Sunday at Smead Arena.
Featured photo courtesy of Joseph Sottile