Ford’s Double-OT Blast Wins It, 4-3, Sends Men’s Hockey to Game 3 vs. Yale

Ford (above) and defensive partner Biega blocked four shots each in addition to their three total goals (photo courtesy Thom Kendall). Buy Now
Ford (above) and defensive partner Biega blocked four shots each in addition to their three total goals (photo courtesy Thom Kendall).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Dan Ford scored at 9:20 of the second overtime to give the Harvard men's hockey team a 4-3 win against rival Yale Saturday night at Bright Hockey Center, sending the teams' ECAC Hockey Championship quarterfinal series to a decisive third game.

Harvard (11-9-11) came back from two goals down, scored three power-play goals and killed all 11 of Yale's power plays to keep its season alive by winning the fourth-longest playoff game in program history. Danny Biega scored twice, Patrick McNally logged three assists and Raphael Girard made 48 saves for Harvard. Nick Maricic made 49 saves for the Bulldogs (16-15-3), and Antoine Laganiere scored with just 27 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime after the Crimson took a third-period lead.

The teams will meet Sunday at 7 p.m., with the winner earning a trip to Atlantic City, N.J., for the ECAC semifinals.

The winning goal came on Ford's slap shot from the top of the left circle. Maricic made a difficult save on Conor Morrison's one-timer off a pass from Colin Moore in the corner. As a crowd of players searched for the puck around the crease, Ford found it trickling out to him and banged in a high shot.

Marshall Everson also scored for Harvard, and linemate Alex Killorn set up both Biega goals while firing nine shots on net. The Crimson finished 3 for 9 on the power play. Luke Greiner posted an 11-5 record on faceoffs.

Despite committing four first-period penalties, the Crimson held a territorial advantage for much of the period and outshot the Bulldogs, 15-10, but Yale scored the only goals of the frame. On both occasions, Yale intercepted Harvard clearing attempts on the left boards. Colin Dueck struck first, at the 5:17 mark, shooting from inside the blue line.

Chad Ziegler doubled the margin at 16:36. Andrew Miller took the puck on the left wall and centered to Ziegler, who scored on a one-timer. Maricic's best save was his 15th. Killorn outskated the Yale defense up the right side and curled in front, but Maricic's pad stop allowed Yale to take its 2-0 lead to the intermission.

The penalty-filled second period belonged to the Crimson. Biega got Harvard on the board at 8:09, blasting a slap shot from the right point after passes from Killorn and McNally. The assist was Killorn's 100th career point for Harvard.

A second power-play tally, off the stick of Everson, knotted the score at 2-2 about four minutes before the end of the period. McNally again started the play, passing to Alex Fallstrom low on the left side. Fallstrom found his classmate below the faceoff dot, and Everson roofed a shot over Maricic's shoulder. Harvard owned a 16-10 edge in second-period shots.

The goalies traded big saves early in the third period, Maricic on Killorn's shorthanded chance and Girard on Charles Brockett in front. Biega finally put Harvard on top with a blazing one-timer over the glove of Maricic with about nine minutes left. He scored off a pass from Killorn, who got the puck from McNally.

Yale picked up the pressure in the Harvard end with Maricic pulled for an extra skater. Girard made consecutive point-blank saves on Clinton Bourbonais and Jesse Root, but Laganiere banged in a rebound shot in the last minute.

The first overtime featured four power plays and plenty of chances. Maricic stopped Greiner on a rush in the second minute and survived an Everson tip off the post during a Crimson man advantage. Seven of Girard's 16 saves came while Yale was up a man, including an amazing toe save on Miller's rocket shot through traffic from the high slot.