Seb Lloyd scored Harvard's second goal Friday night (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In front of a raucous sold out crowd of 3,095 at Bright-Landry Hockey Center Friday night, the No. 13/13 Harvard men's hockey team skated to a 2-2 tie with rival No. 16/- Cornell (12-8-6, 7-7-5 ECAC). Harvard, 7-1-2 with 16 points in the Ivy League standings, clinched a share of its first Ivy League title since 2005-06, the 22nd in program history.
Harvard (14-8-4, 10-5-4 ECAC) will win the championship outright if Princeton defeats or ties Yale next weekend. A Bulldogs win would create a split championship between Harvard and Yale.
The fervor around Bright-Landry Friday was intense and loud, on and off the ice. The Crimson and Big Red faithful packed the stands and witnessed a stellar game, highlighted by great goaltending. Harvard's Merrick Madsen made 31 saves, the seventh time he's stopped at least 30 shots this season, and Cornell's Mitch Gillam turned away 33. Junior Tyler Moy finished as the only skater with multiple points, assisting on both Harvard's goals.
Right out of the gate, Harvard went on the offensive as Cornell's Alec McCrea was called for holding just 20 seconds into the game. Harvard tallied three shots on Mitch Gillam during the power play, but the junior turned away each. Cornell's offense picked up and the shots on goal were tied at 4-4 after six minutes, but the Harvard offense continued to pressure and put the first goal up at 8:32. After racing in and firing an initial shot, junior Sean Malone tracked the puck behind the net, skated back out front to the left of Gillam and went top shelf as the Cornell netminder sprawled to the ice. The goal was Malone's seventh of the season and Adam Baughman and Moy collected the assists. Malone was also crucial on the defensive end moments later, swatting away a would-be Cornell goal with his glove before it could cross the goal line.
The first half of the second frame favored the Big Red, as it netted the equalizer at 5:07. McCrea gathered the puck behind his own net after a Harvard turnover and sent a pass to the opposite blue line, hitting Teemu Tiitinen on the stick to set him up for the goal, his second of the year.
Harvard netminder Merrick Madsen came up big on Harvard's next penalty kill about halfway through the period, stoning to Cornell point blank attempts to keep the game knotted at 1-1. Harvard's penalty kill unit came through again late in the period, killing off a hooking violation with under three minutes before the second intermission.
The final 20 minutes of regulation saw both teams put the pressure on even more. Harvard struck first as one of the nation's best power play units came through at 7:56 to give Harvard a 2-1 advantage. Crimson forwards Moy and Luke Esposito worked the offensive zone before sending the puck on net. After bouncing off Gillam, a scrum of sticks and bodies begin to swing for the puck, but it was the blade of Seb Lloyd's stick that directed it towards the goal where it landed after bouncing off a Cornell skate and through the legs of the goalie.
Cornell came right back though, notching another tying goal at 9:19. Dan Wedman scored off a face-off win by Anthony Angello, marking his first collegiate goal.
The even score of 2-2 stood through the remainder of regulation and an extra five-minute period. Harvard stays put in third place in the ECAC standings with 24 points, two ahead of Dartmouth and St. Lawrence. Harvard hosts Colgate Saturday at 7 p.m. on ONE World Sports and the Ivy League Digital Network.