Harvard held No. 12 Yale scoreless on the power play Friday night at Ingalls Rink (Gil Talbot).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Harvard men's hockey team ran into a pressing Yale offense and smothering penalty kill as the Crimson dropped a 4-0 decision to the Bulldogs Friday night at Ingalls Rink. Harvard drops to 5-9-1 on the year and 3-7-0 in ECAC play while the No. 12 Bulldogs improve to 10-4-1 and 6-3-1 in league action.
Penalties plagued both team in the early going as the teams combined for three in the first 5:10 of play. The Bulldogs were booked for two penalties in the opening five minutes, but managed to shut down the Harvard power play on both chances. The Crimson returned the favor when Yale went on the power play, holding the hosts to two shots over the two-minute infraction.
Yale broke through prior to the midway point of the first period, when Kenny Agostino closed in around the Harvard cage and Andrew Miller was able to blast home a short-range rebound, giving Yale the lead with 12:37 on the clock. Yale kept firing away and the sustained pressure resulted in a second goal for the home team. Trent Ruffolo got a hold of a short rebound and while Raphael Girard was able to deny his attempt, Antoine Laganiere shoved the puck home through a scrum, putting the Bulldogs up 2-0 with 5:30 to play in the first.
The pace quickened on the Harvard side through the first few minutes of the second period and Yale upped its pace as well to keep the guests chances to a minimum. With 6:53 gone in the period, the Bulldogs extended their lead to 3-0, when Ruffolo shot through a crowd and the puck evaded Girard to his stick side.
While the second period ended with the score at 3-0, both teams were fortunate to escape the frame without allowing more goals. With seven minutes to play in the stanza, Brian Hart took advantage of a Yale defensive breakdown and got the puck to Jimmy Vesey behind the net, but the rookie's wraparound attempt in part by goalie Jeff Malcom and in part by the left pipe. Yale's near-misses started to mount in the waning minutes of the second, as the hosts clanged a pair of shots off the pipe.
With just over two minutes to play, the Crimson witnessed two Yale skaters go to the box and 1:25 of 5-on-3 hockey ensued. The Yale penalty kill was poised and relentless, keeping Malcolm's sight lines clear and holding the Crimson to a single shot on the disadvantage. After two periods, Yale held a 21-16 edge in shots, and a commanding 3-0 lead in the game.
With just 50 seconds gone in the third, Ruffolo struck again, blasting home a rebound that prompted Harvard to take Girard out of the game and insert freshman Peter Traber. The move had a positive effect on the Crimson offense and Hart nearly put Harvard on the board at 12:34 but Malcolm was able to stymie two close-range blasts from the freshman. Luke Greiner had a good chance just past the 10-minute mark of the third when the man marking him fell down, but Malcolm turned aside the ensuing blast.
Harvard is back in action tomorrow when it faces off against another Ancient Eight rival in Brown. Game time is slated for 4 p.m. in Providence, R.I.