Kerfoot’s Late Strike Helps Harvard Tie No. 7 Quinnipiac, 2-2
Alexander Kerfoot had a goal and an assist on the night (Gil Talbot).
Highlights: Harvard Ties No. 7 Quinnipiac, 2-2
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Facing a 2-1 deficit with less than a minute to play, Harvard goalie Raphael Girard barely stepped off the ice before freshman Alexander Kerfoot nudged in the tying score, leading to a 2-2 tie between No. 7 Quinnipiac and the Harvard men's hockey team Tuesday night at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center. The tie is Harvard's (5-7-3, 2-6-3 ECAC) third of the season and third in conference play, while the Bobcats (15-3-5, 6-2-3) also earn their third ECAC draw.
On what looked to be Harvard's final push of the game, Girard waited for the puck to stay in the Quinnipiac zone before heading to the bench. Patrick McNally slotted a pass to Kerfoot from blue line to blue line and Kerfoot drove the net before dishing to Kyle Criscuolo alone out wide. Criscuolo returned the puck back to the front of the cage and through a scrum, Kerfoot was able to push the puck past Bobcat goalie Michael Garteig, knotting the game at 2-2 with 49 seconds showing on the clock. The play was reviewed by the referees but confirmed as a good goal a minute later.
With the game tied at 1-1 through two periods and the Crimson gaining momentum towards the end of the second stanza, Quinnipiac deflated the hosts with a goal just 2:40 into the final frame. Connor Clifton left the puck off for Matthew Peca, and Peca drove uninhibited towards Girard's stick side, besting the senior with a quick wrist shot. Play resumed and the majority of the action took place in the Quinnipiac zone, though Harvard was unable to test Garteig on more than a handful of shots. Harvard got two looks on the power play in the third, but was only able to net the equalizer with Girard out of net in the final minute.
Quinnipiac struck first on the evening, riding a bit of early momentum and taking a 1-0 lead 7:33 into the contest. Freshman sensation Sam Anas made a gutsy play to get the puck to Kellen Jones in front of the net, and Jones fired true past Girard for his 12th tally of the year. Harvard quelled a pair of power-plays for guests in the frame, and despite being outshot 12-6, took the 1-0 deficit into the locker room.
The Crimson had its chances against the nation's top penalty-killing unit in the second, gaining a man advantage at the 3:27 mark and again at the 6:21 mark. But the Bobcats showed why they have the nation's best numbers, surrendering four shots in the four-minute span to keep Harvard off the board. The Crimson finally broke through at even strength 12:22 into the middle stanza.
Kerfoot guided the puck past the blue line and charged towards the net, dishing a pass to Max Everson at the right faceoff dot. Everson redirected the puck back towards the crease and Criscuolo tipped the puck past Garteig before he could center himself for his eighth score of the season. Harvard closed the second period with an 11-10 edge in shots.
Kerfoot and Criscuolo ended the game with a goal and an assist each on the evening, while Girard picked up 29 saves for the Crimson in the game. Both teams went 0-for-4 on the power play.
A marquee matchup awaits Harvard this weekend when it travels to New York to take on archrival Yale at Madison Square Garden in the first ever Rivalry On Ice Saturday. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network and is slated to start at 8 p.m.