Raphael Girard made 37 saves Saturday in the loss to the Bulldogs (Gil Talbot).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Clinging to a 1-0 lead with less than 10 minutes to play in the game, the Harvard men's hockey team saw Yale strike twice in a 38-second span to lift the Bulldogs into the ECAC Championship quarterfinals via a 2-1 win Saturday at Ingalls Rink. The Crimson ends it season with a 10-17-4 overall record while Yale moves to 17-9-5 with the victory.
The Crimson took the initial faceoff and had the first offensive zone possession of the game, testing Yale goalie Alex Lyon within the first 30 seconds. The Bulldogs came close to a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the contest when John Hayden's wrist shot got through traffic and past Raphael Girard but clanged off the far post. Harvard killed its first penalty with relative ease and took advantage of its first power play of the night, grabbing a lead with three minutes to play in the first. Victor Newell threaded a diagonal pass from the blue line to Sean Malone below the left faceoff circle, and Malone sent it across the goalmouth to Brian Hart. The sophomore had the pass ricochet off his facemask and drop to his feet where he swiped it past Lyon for a 1-0 lead.
The pipe was once again unfavorable to the hosts in the opening seconds of the middle stanza, with Mike Doherty collected a rebound towards the bottom of the faceoff circle and wristing a shot past Girard's glove and off the far pipe. Girard continued to buoy the Crimson defensive efforts, turning aside a number of close chances for the Bulldogs throughout the second period. The Bulldogs closed the period with a 22-11 advantage in shots, but Girard's play allowed the Crimson to enter the second intermission with a 1-0 edge.
The saves came in a steady stream from Girard through the first half of the final period and the Crimson remained contest to keep the zone clear and press forward on the occasional counter-attack. As the game moved past the midway point of the third, things began to turn in Yale's favor. A hit from Brian Hart in the Yale zone was deemed a penalty, but Yale maintained possession of the puck with the delayed call and after an initial shot went wide, Stu Wilson slapped home a rebound past Girard's glove at 9:29. The hosts struck again early in the power play with Kenny Agostino blasting shot from a similar spot that evaded Girard for the 2-1 lead with 8:51 to play.
Harvard pulled Girard with just over a minute to play in the game, and despite maintaining possession for most of the final minute, could not get a shot off before the final buzzer. Girard finished his excellent night with 37 saves, giving him a total of 89 in two games played at Ingalls Rink this season.