Yale Beats Harvard 2-1 To Win Series
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Thirty-eight seconds in the third period was the time it took to decide the first-round ECAC playoff series at Ingalls Rink. The No. 15 Yale men's hockey team, trailing by a goal, scored twice in that span to beat Harvard 2-1 and take the best-of-three series in straight games.
More significant than that span was the six periods of excellent hockey by the Bulldogs, including a 4-0 win in game one on Friday and a 39-19 advantage in shots on goal tonight.
Yale will not know who it faces in the quarterfinal round until Princeton and Clarkson complete a series Sunday night at Potsdam.
Stu Wilson scored at 10;31 on a delayed penalty call and Kenny Agostino re-directed a Jesse Root shot on the ensuing power play to get the Blue (17-9-5) the win a day before the team heads to Washington for a visit at the White House.
"It was a great series," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach. "I was impressed with the amount of toughness of our guys to just stick to the program and keep applying pressure but not take unnecessary risks. It eventually paid off."
"I've seen them step up under pressure, ive seen them come from behind in big games and I think there's a confidence level when you've done it."
Alex Lyon, who stopped all 24 shots the night before, stopped 18 of 19 tonight to end Harvard's season. The only one that got past him came after a fluky bounce on the Crimson's only advantage on the night in the first period.
Lyon made a number of quality saves, including a great grab of a medium height shot through a ton of traffic in the first period. He may have remained perfect through the first frame if not for a Harvard bounce on a power play. A shot from the right circle bounced off the boards behind the net and came out to Brian Hart on the opposite side with an open look from five feet away from the cage.
The Blue limited the Crimson to four shots on target in the second but couldn't turn that into a lamp lighter at the other end. A dozen shots headed for the net, including three or four grade-A chances, were turned aside.
Midway through the third, with Yale coming so close to the equalizer but hitting everything but net, Hart was called for boarding and the Elis kept possession moving up ice. When the puck got deep in the Harvard end, Root passed to Anthony Day and the junior forward, falling to his knees, sent it out to the slot for Wilson. The sophomore held for a moment and then went high with a wrister to tie the score.
Thirty-eight seconds into the advantage, the Yale captain was at it again. Playing his last game at Ingalls, Root took a feed from John Hayden and fired a shot from the right circle that bounced off Agostino and went inside the far post to send the big crowd at the Whale into a frenzy.
"First of all, it was a great pass from John Hayden," said Root. He was buzzing all game. He came around the top of the circle and I just tried to find some ice. We talked about me coming off the wall and shooting. We thought I had some space the way they were penalty killing so Hayden found me, I had some space and just tried to get it on net. Ago [Agostino] made a great play. He went to the front of the net. He's not a stranger for a shin pad goal."
Then it was time for Yale's rookie netminder to stand on his head. Lyon made a big glove save on on Jimmy Vesey with 3:30 left, and eight seconds later knocked away two more shots on a flurry in front of the cage. He finished things with a diving save on Sean Malone with 25 seconds left and Harvard with six skaters.
Lyon was asked if he thought about another shutout at any point tonight. He was one goal from having a third straight blanking.
"I thought about it today. Maybe I could make it through the series without allowing a goal, but obviously it's not realistic," said Lyon, who has given up one goal over his last three games.
The Bulldogs outscored Harvard 6-1 over two days and allowed just 43 shots on target.
This was the fifth meeting between the two ancient rivals this season; the two played five times in 2011-12… The Ivy League co-Rookies of the Year played against each other for the second straight night, Yale's Alex Lyon and Harvard's forward Sean Malone… Yale suited up the same lineup as last night.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
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