Luke Esposito had a goal and assist in Friday's draw vs. Yale (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In a highly anticipated early season ECAC Hockey matchup, the Harvard men's hockey team (2-0-1, 2-0-1 ECAC) skated to a 2-2 tie against rival Yale (2-0-1, 0-0-1 ECAC) in front of a capacity crowd of 3,095 Friday night at Bright-Landry Hockey Center.
Harvard was leading, 2-1, with under a minute remaining in the third period, but with Yale's goalie pulled, Joe Snively scored his second of the game to provide the Bulldogs the game-tying goal it needed, forcing overtime in which the teams skated an extra five minutes without a deciding tally. For his efforts, Snively was awarded the Tim Taylor Cup, given each year to the Most Valuable Player of the Harvard-Yale game played in Cambridge.
Harvard's goals came from the sticks of juniors Luke Esposito and Tyler Moy. Esposito also recorded an assist on Moy's goal to give him four points this season. Freshman Michael Floodstrand earned the second assist on Moy's goal for his first collegiate point. Fellow rookie Michael Lackey made his Crimson debut in net, stopping 33 shots, including a number of Yale breakaway attempts, to earn the draw in net.
The opening minutes of the first period favored the Bulldogs with a 5-3 edge in shots on net, that included a breakaway attempt by Andrew Gaus, but Lackey made the glove save. Harvard quickly turned the course of play to its offensive zone, outshooting its rival 15-3 the rest of the period, but was also unable to put a goal on the board as junior Alex Lyon made all 18 saves.
Twenty more minutes of play kept the scoreboard equal, but at the end of the second period the squadss stood even at 1-1. Yale was first to find the back of the net when Snively backhanded a puck past Lackey after a feed from Ryan Obuchowski at 9:24.
Yale's lead lasted slightly over five minutes before junior Esposito provided the equalizer for Harvard. In the defensive zone, Brayden Jaw and Wiley Sherman quickly rotated the puck before Sherman went stick-to-stick with Esposito just inside the Yale blue line. He took one stride towards the goal and fired a shot over Lyon's shoulder into the top shelf to make it a 1-1 contest at 14:52.
Moy gave Harvard the lead at 14:03 of the third period with his third goal of the season. Working along the boards, Floodstrand and Esposito were able to dig the puck away from the blue jerseys they were battling against with Esposito flicking a pass to Moy in front of the net for a quick wrister that beat Lyon. Closing in on the final horn, Yale pulled Lyon and with the extra skater John Hayden found Snively from behind the net for the goal that forced five extra minutes of play.
Yale recorded the only shot on goal in overtime, with the team's shaking hands after a 2-2 draw. Harvard is back in action against Brown Saturday at Bright-Landry Hockey Center. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. and the game can be seen live on the Ivy League Digital Network.