Last-second goal leaves Cornell Hockey undefeated with win against Harvard

Junior Alec McCrea’s power play goal with two seconds left in regulation snapped a 2-2 tie score and lifted Big Red Hockey to a win over the visiting Harvard Crimson Saturday night and the team’s best season start in 45 years. Cornell is the only undefeated team left in NCAA hockey, with its first 6-0 start since the 1971-72 season.

Alec McCrea, center, and teammates celebrate the last-minute goal that lifted Cornell above the Harvard Crimson. 14850 Photo by Mark H. Anbinder.

All three of McCrea’s goals of this young season have been on the power play, this one coming on an odd bench minor penalty called against Harvard late in the third period when its head coach, Ted Donato, ignored warnings from the referees to stop his verbal tirade about the officiating.

Harvard took the lead early on, with two goals in the first period of Saturday night’s contest between arch-rivals, but Cornell’s Yanni Kaldis capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play late in the first, and a rebound from a Jeff Malott shot, to narrow the gap just after the first penalty ended, sending the Big Red into the first intermission with just a one-goal deficit.

Malott himself added the tying goal early in the second stanza, the only scoring that period, and earned an assist on the game-winner. He fed the puck from behind the Crimson net to the left circle, where Morgan Barron got the puck to McCrea for the shot on net that got past Merrick Madsen. Just 1.4 seconds remained on the clock, but Harvard called its time out to convince officials to add more time, but couldn’t capitalize on the remaining 2.3 seconds.

Cornell hosts north country foes St. Lawrence and Clarkson this coming Friday and Saturday nights at Lynah Rink on Ithaca’s east hill, then has a non-league contest on Tuesday, November 21st before taking on Boston University at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, November 25th.

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