The third time is supposed to be the charm, but things didn’t turn out that way for Colgate Friday night.
And while that old line might not have worked out for Colgate, Harvard captain Dominic Moore enjoyed the three in his stat line.
The Crimson defeated Colgate by the score of 7-0, aided by a Moore hat trick and a shutout by sophomore goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris, and moved one point behind Cornell for a share of the ECAC regular-season crown.
The Raiders ran across a Harvard team looking for a tuneup before Cornell and the result was ugly. But it has been that way all year, with Harvard winning over Colgate 7-1 in Hamilton and 8-1 over Christmas break in the consolation game of the Badger Showdown.
“We’ve had a tremendous amount of success against [Colgate],” Harvard coach Mark Mazzoleni understated.
But few, the Crimson included, thought the victory would turn out as easy as it did. Colgate had won three of its last four games, including a 2-1 overtime win against Cornell, and entered Bright with Steve Silverthorn, the hottest goalie in the ECAC and winner for the last two weeks of the conference’s goalie of the week honors.
Silverthorn lasted but a period against the Crimson, stopping 11 shots of the 15 the faced.
The scoring began three and a half minutes into the first, when Harvard junior forward Tim Pettit, positioned at the top of the crease, got his stick on a loose puck and knocked it, fluttering, past Silverthorn.
Harvard got a power-play goal five minutes later when Tyler Kolarik slapped the rebound from a Noah Welch shot by a stunned Silverthorn to make the score 2-0.
The next Harvard goal, the second of its four power-play goals in the game, came off the stick of Moore.
Starting to set up its offense with the man advantage inside the Colgate zone, Pettit fired the puck around the boards where forward Brett Nowak, covered closely, lightly redirected the puck to Moore. He fired a slapshot the Silverthorn couldn’t catch up to. It was a deft display of stickhandling by Nowak, who helped the puck traverse the entire Raider end without breaking momentum.
Moore added another power-play goal in the middle frame, aided again by the skillful passing of Nowak and Pettit. Holding the puck in the zone, Harvard was shuttling the puck around the perimeter until Nowak directed a cross-ice pass to Pettit at the point. Pettit caught the puck and hesitated not a second before firing it across the ice again, this time down low to Moore, situated on Raider replacement David Cann’s doorstep.
That goal, at 9:46 of the third, made the score 5-0.
Unlike Colgate, for Moore the third one was a charm. Easily the smoothest of the three goals, Moore and forward Dennis Packard were on the penalty kill and in control of the puck. Pushing the tempo, the two rushed into the zone side by side, Moore drew the defender and passed to Packard. Despite having a good look at the net, Packard dropped the puck behind him to Moore, securing the hat trick for his captain.
“That was a really nice play by Dennis, tremendously unselfish too,” Moore said. “He had a clear shot there himself, and he dished it back to me.”
The hat trick was the second of Moore’s career, and his five-point night represented a career high. Marking another milestone, though not quite as significant as Moore’s, was Grumet-Morris, who recorded his first shutout of the season and the second of his career.
Despite the impact of his captain and his goaltender, Mazzoleni attributed the Crimson’s success to special teams.
“When you look at it, [Colgate] is 0-7, we’re 4-9 on the power play. That’s a decisive factor in the game.”
“Tonight we worked the puck well and had a lot of poise on the power play, ” Moore added. “We waited, we were patient, we moved it around and guys were unselfish and we eventually found a weakness and we capitalized on it.”
Colgate coach Don Vaughan was unavailable for comment after the game.
The Raiders will face Brown in Providence Saturday night, but most ECAC hockey eyes will be fixed on Bright Hockey Center when the puck drops between Harvard and Cornell at 7 p.m.