Courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The No. 2/2 Harvard men's hockey team (26-5-2) scored twice on the power play, leading the Crimson to a 4-1 victory over No. 9/10 Cornell (21-8-5) in the ECAC Hockey Tournament championship game Saturday night at 1980 Rink – Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid.
The tournament championship is the 10th in program history and the second in the last three years for the Crimson, who won the title in 2015. Harvard also extends its current unbeaten streak to 16 games (15-0-1), a new program record. The Crimson has won its last 14 games, one shy of tying the program record for consecutive wins set by the 1988-89 national championship team.
Following the game, ECAC Hockey recognized the all-tournament team with Harvard earning five of the six spots. Goaltender Merrick Madsen led the way, stopping 25-of-26 shots in each of the game's in Lake Placid to garner tournament MVP honors. Joining him on the all-tournament team were Ryan Donato, Sean Malone, Luke Esposito and Adam Fox.
Harvard's power play, which finished the ECAC playoffs, 7-for-20, was 2-for-4 Saturday with Ryan Donato netting both extra-man opportunities. Donato's first opened the scoring at 14:41 of the first period when his laser of a wrister from the center of the blue line found a seam and bounced off Cornell goaltender Mitch Gillam and into the goal.
Esposito pushed Harvard's lead to 2-0 at 16:08 of the second. Tyler Moy made an aggressive play behind the Cornell goal to steal the puck from a Big Red defender. Moy then faked like he was headed towards the front of the net before sliding the puck over to Malone who set up Esposito for a backhanded one-timer. The line of Moy, Malone and Esposito finished the ECAC playoffs with 24 points.
Harvard extended its lead to 3-0 at 3:01 of the third period, as Michael Floodstrand took advantage of an opportune bounce to score his first of the season. Wiley Sherman dumped the puck into the Cornell zone high off the glass. As Gillam went behind the goal to retrieve the puck, it ricocheted off a stanchion and landed out front where Floodstrand banged it home as he crashed the zone.
The power play converted again at 11:10 of the third period. Donato received a pass from Fox at the point and then patiently cradled the puck and eased towards the net before roofing a shot to give Harvard a 4-0 advantage. Cornell's Jeff Malott scored with 1:17 remaining, but it was all the Big Red could muster offensively.
Harvard will now be heading to the NCAA Tournament for the 24th time in program history and for the third year in a row.