Men's Hockey Erases Two-Goal Deficit to Tie No. 14 Union, 3-3

Karen L. Ding

Junior defenseman Danny Biega, shown here in earlier action, knocked one past the Union netminder 7:03 into the final period to tie the score at three apiece. Neither side found the back of the net for the rest of that frame or in the overtime period.

A goal and an assist from both senior forward Alex Killorn and junior defenseman Danny Biega helped the Harvard men’s hockey team (4-4-5, 3-3-3 ECAC) come back to tie divisional foe No. 14 Union (9-5-6, 3-2-3) on Friday night in Schenectady, N.Y.

Shortly after the puck dropped to open the contest, the Dutchmen took control. Union second-line right-winger Wayne Simpson scored the first goal of the game just 1:05 in.

The rest of the period also belonged to the Dutchmen, which outshot the visitors, 13-4. In one six-minute interval, the hosts fired off a streak of 16 unanswered attempts directed towards the net. But the Crimson managed to keep Union off the scoreboard for the rest of the period, thanks in part to freshman goaltender Steve Michalek, who finished with 33 saves on the night, including three in overtime. The 36 shots Michalek faced is near the most he has seen all season.

“I knew that the story on Union is that they like to throw the puck on the net every chance they get,” Michalek said. “I knew that I had to just get ready for that and be able to control my rebounds. The defense did a good job of denying those second chances, so we stuck to our defensive game plan pretty well, and it worked out.”

Both teams’ power plays sparked offense in the second period. Harvard’s first taste of success came four minutes in on a puck put on net from the circle by junior forward Alex Fallstrom. The assists on the equalizer were credited to Killorn and junior forward Marshall Everson.


Union responded, and the Dutchmen’s first line and defensive pairing struck twice while on the ice together, with a goal each from Mat Bodie and Daniel Carr.

Like in many of its previous contests, Harvard found itself down late. Trailing at the end of the second period, 3-1, the Crimson was not deterred.

“[Donato] came in between the second and third period and really got us going,” Fallstrom said. “He emphasized the importance of this game and made some really good points.”

And Harvard fought back, riding another power-play goal. This one came off the stick of a red-hot Killorn, who has tallied nine goals and nine assists in 13 games this season. The redirection was the result of a quick feed by Biega, who went on to knot the score at three apiece seven minutes into the period.

Biega’s goal would prove to be the decisive one, as neither team would convert on its other opportunities. In the tame five-minute overtime period, the Crimson would fail to record a shot on goal.

“We came out a bit flat,” Fallstrom said. “But we made a really strong comeback, which I think shows how strong the [team’s] character is. I’m really impressed with the overall effort after the first half of the game.”

Overall, Harvard was outshot, 36-26. While Union went a respectable 2-for-4 on its power play, the Crimson converted on both of its opportunities to improve its power-play percentage to a nation-best 34.4, with an even more impressive 35.6 percent in conference games.

“It looked like they had the slight edge,” Michalek said. “But during the game, there were times that we really dominated them.”

The draw moves Harvard into a four-way tie for fourth place in the ECAC standings behind only Cornell, Colgate, and Quinnipiac.

After nearly a month recess from league play, the Crimson picked up right where it left off. Harvard has now been awarded at least a point against five of its last six league opponents, posting a 3-1-2 record over this span.

The game between the two squads provided a taste for what is to come on one of the biggest stages of each team’s respective seasons. The next battle between the two will take place on Jan. 13 at Fenway Park, where the Crimson will host the tenth-ever outdoor collegiate hockey matchup.

“Really big game; that’s going to be fun,” Fallstrom said of next week’s Fenway showdown. “Now we really know what we are up against. We know that they have one of the best teams in our league, and I think this game shows that we are going to be able to play with them, and we are going to be able to win.”

—Staff writer Daniel A. Grafstein can be reached at