CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The senior-laden line of Sean Malone, Tyler Moy and Luke Esposito combined for nine points, guiding No. 2/2 Harvard men's hockey (23-5-2) to a 6-4 win over Yale (13-14-5) in game one of their quarterfinal series Friday night at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center.
Malone registered a career-high four points, scoring the game's opening goal and then dishing out three assists the rest of the way. Moy scored once and tallied two assists to match his career-best with three points and Esposito scored twice.
Harvard's power play converted twice on seven opportunities, while the penalty kill unit was 2-for-3. Friday's win marked the second time this season Harvard won after entering the third period trailing and kept its unbeaten record at Bright-Landry intact at 12-0-2 this season.
Malone gave Harvard the lead 6:28 into the first period. Moy controlled the puck behind the net before finding Malone out front for his 15th of the season. Harvard doubled its lead to 2-0 1:20 into the second frame on Esposito's first of the night. Wiley Sherman cleared the zone and then Malone and Esposito played give-and-go on the other end with Esposito potting the puck to the left of Sam Tucker in the Yale net.
Yale fought back, scoring the next three goals over a 2:31 span midway through the second to take its first lead of the game. Joe Snively started the scoring with a power play goal at 8:03, and Mike Doherty and Luke Stevens following with tallies of their own.
Esposito responded with a power play strike of his own at 16:01 off another good pass from Malone through the Yale zone, splitting the defense. Yale, though, would retake the lead 56 seconds later on Snively's second and carry the 4-3 lead into the second intermission.
The third period was all Harvard, beginning with the equalizer from Moy 48 seconds into the frame. Moy knocked the puck down at the blue line and left it for Malone. Malone then hit Moy as he was looping to the net, setting his linemate up for his 17th of the season.
Senior Alexander Kerfoot provided what would go on to be the game-winner at 7:49. Harvard's power play worked the puck from side-to-side before Adam Fox at the point slithered a pass to Kerfoot at the right post for a quick tip-in over Tucker. Lewis Zerter-Gossage scored his 10th of the season at 12:10, hitting the top right corner with a snipe after Jacob Olson stole the puck in the neutral zone, giving Harvard a 6-4 cushion it would maintain until the final horn.
The series continues with game two Saturday at 7 p.m. at Bright-Landry Hockey Center.