Despite Strong Third Period, No. 11/11 Yale Holds Off No. 7/7 Harvard, 2-1

Jimmy Vesey scored his 18th goal of the season (Gil Talbot).

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Senior forward Jimmy Vesey scored early for No. 7/7 Harvard and the Crimson (13-6-3, 9-4-3 ECAC) outshot Yale, 19-3, in the final frame, but goals by John Hayden and Cody Learned earned the Bulldogs (14-5-4, 9-4-3 ECAC) the 2-1 win Saturday at Ingalls Rink in New Haven, Connecticut.

With the weekend's results, Harvard and Yale are tied for second in the ECAC standings with 21 points. Quinnipiac leads with 28, while Rensselaer, St. Lawrence and Dartmouth share fourth with 18. Cornell and Clarkson sit one point behind them in a tie for seventh.

Opening action favored the home team with Yale attacking the offensive zone fervently in the first minutes, but it would be the Crimson that would get on the board first. From the face-off dot to the left of Yale netminder Alex Lyon, Vesey wheeled into the center of the zone and fired a shot off the chest of Lyon. In front, Kyle Criscuolo took a whack at the puck as Lyon was diving to his right to knock it away, leaving Vesey open crashing to the open net where he finished off the play with a fierce forehand at 9:55.

Yale responded 1:40 later when John Hayden notched his 12th of the year. To the right of Madsen, Stu Wilson sent the puck towards the net where it hit the side of the post and bounced out front. Corralling it there was Hayden who potted it on the open side of the goal. The 1-1 score would hold heading into the first intermission.

The Bulldogs took the lead at 9:51 of the second frame when Cody Learned scored his fourth of the season. Maintaining possession for a long offensive shift, Dan O'Keefe found Learned at the top of the right face-off circle where he rifled a shot that found mesh to make it a 2-1 Yale lead. The Bulldogs had a chance to add to the lead moments later when Joe Snively broke out and had a 1-on-1 chance, but Viktor Dombroskiy took away any quality scoring chance and Madsen covered the puck despite multiple Yale skaters crashing into him.

Intensity rose dramatically through the third period, along with the Harvard offensive output. Trailing 19-7 in shots on goal entering the third, the Crimson fired 19 shots on Lyon, while the Bulldogs managed just three. Many of those attempts came during a three-minute power play for the Crimson after Rob O'Gara was issued a major and disqualification for a hit to the head of Sean Malone. Tyler Moy served two minutes for roughing, but then the Harvard power play unit took over, rattling off five shots that Lyon was forced to save, and two others that were blocked, but the Crimson were unable to net the equalizer. Harvard had multiple chances late with Madsen pulled from the net, but the tying goal never materialized and Yale escaped with the 2-1 victory.

Harvard takes Sunday off before facing Northeastern in the Beanpot consolation game Monday at TD Garden at 4:30 p.m. That will be the final out-of-conference game for the Crimson, with four consecutive home ECAC games up next before the final regular season road trip to North Country at the end of the month.