January 27, 2012

Harvard Snaps Skid Against Blue

Three Different Yale Players Hit Net

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The nation's best power-play unit finally found the net during a two-goal third period as Harvard edged Yale 4-3 in ECAC Hockey men's action before 3,095 at Bright Hockey Center.

Special teams opportunities may have been the difference in this classic rivalry. The Crimson (5-6-8, 4-4-6 ECAC), which came in converting 33 percent of its chances, had four of the game's five power plays and converted the only one to take a lead in the third period.

The Bulldogs (8-10-2, 5-7-1), who had taken the last three against their rivals, played well enough to outshoot Harvard 39-35 despite getting just one advantage (no shots on goal) early in the contest.

"We had moments in all three periods where we played well. Our energy, worth ethic and emotion were there, but it wasn't quite good enough," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey.

Harvard, which had an 11-10 edge in shots, got an early goal and grabbed the momentum, but the Bulldogs finished off the period with two goals 13 seconds apart to take a 2-1 lead into intermission.

Luke Greiner put the Crimson up a goal when he converted a perfect crossing pass from Eric Kroshus just 3:40 into the game. The left wing stole the puck from a Yale breakout along the boards and then found his center cruising in from the slot alone. Greiner had an open side to deposit his fourth of the year.

The visitors evened the score at 15:11 when Nick Jaskowiak's shot from the point zipped through traffic and bounced into the net. The senior blueliner took a pass from Kevin Limbert and snapped off a low shot as Chad Ziegler was crossing through the top of the crease. It was Jaskowiak's first tally of the year.

On the ensuing faceoff, the puck landed in the Harvard end with Andrew Miller winning the race to get it. The junior center saw his captain moving into the high slot with space and quickly got him the rubber. Brian O'Neill toe-dragged the puck around one defender and then unleashed a nasty wrister stick side on Steve Michalek (36 saves) at 15:24 for his team-high 13th of the season.

Jeff Malcolm, who finished with 31 saves in Yale's net, made a number of quality stops to keep the Blue up one in the first, fighting through Crimson bodies cluttering the crease.

Harvard's equalizer came just 55 seconds into the second. Alex Killorn (12th goal), who had two goals,  skated around the Yale net from left to right, crossed over to his forehand and flipped a shot from the goal line extended that may have bounced off either Malcolm's pad or skate before crossing the goal line.

Michalek came up huge midway through the second to keep the Blue off the board. Jesse Root was on the doorstep for a tip-in attempt that the Harvard netminder got a glove on, and then he grabbed Miller's grade-A opportunity from 18 feet away.

The Crimson got two great chances to take the lead before the second intermission with consecutive advantages. Yale spent most of the last five-plus minutes killing off the penalty, while Malcolm needed six saves during that stretch.

The Elis were not as fortunate on the next penalty-kill midway through the third. The home team connected on a pretty, tic-tac-toe play that went from Danny Biega to Colin Blackwell to Marshall Everson (8th). The one-timer from the low slot was nearly impossible for the Yale goalie to stop at 9:38 as Harvard re-gained the lead for a second time.

A failed clearing attempt off a Yale rush turned into the Bulldogs' third goal with 3:52 left. Gus Young pinched from the blueline when he saw the puck squirt free near the top of the left circle. The junior defenseman had a split second and very little space to get off a shot but managed to squirt a snap shot through traffic and into the upper right corner of the net for his second tally of the year.

The Crimson caught Yale with an odd-man rush and Killorn came down the right side with a wide open look. He took a shot that was saved and then followed up with the rebound. His backhanded put-back slid between Malcolm's legs with 1:19 left.

"Each goal [for Harvard] was the direct result of a mistake," said Allain.

The Yale goalie was pulled for the extra skater with 40 seconds left and the Elis used a timeout with 24.1. Neither move enabled the visitors to get a shot on Michalek, who faced 17 shots on target in the period.

 

Bulldog Bites: The Bulldogs dressed the same lineup as last Saturday night… The game aired live on the NBC Sports Network… Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.) has made two (UMass) trips to his home state this season and has a goal in each game…  The hit of the night came from the Bulldogs' Chad Ziegler on David Valek in the second period. The Yale winger collided with the Harvard forward in the Yale end, and his momentum carried him a few feet into the air before he landed on top of Valek.

 

Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director

 

image of Antoine Laganiere and Nick Jaskowiak (by Steve Conn)

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