Jimmy Vesey knotted the score at 1-1 in the first period Saturday at Madison Square Garden (Gil Talbot).
NEW YORK – In the first-ever Rivalry On Ice matchup, the Harvard men's hockey team saw a second-period scoring flurry from rival No. 10 Yale be the deciding factor, as the Crimson dropped a 5-1 decision to the Bulldogs Saturday night before a crowd of 15,524 at Madison Square Garden.
Any big-stage jitters appeared to be gone by puck drop and the teams spent nearly equal time in each other's offensive zones. The Bulldogs did grab the early shot advantage however, and the stronger pressure led to the game's first goal just over four minutes in. Stu Wilson maneuvered the puck to a nearby Mike Doherty, and Doherty guided the puck past Raphael Girard at the 4:23 mark for a 1-0 lead.
The goal lit a fire under the Crimson and the shots started coming with more frequency. Right at the midway point of the period, Yale's Kenny Agostino was whistled for a trip, bringing about the game's first power play. The Crimson looked poised with the extra skater and passes from Alexander Kerfoot and Luke Esposito came to Jimmy Vesey on the back door who rapped home the feed for his 10th goal of the season. Harvard closed the first with a 14-12 edge in shots.
The Bulldogs stepped on the gas in the second period, racking up three goals within the first 5:41 of play to power out to a three-goal lead. Cody Learned beat Girard with a blast from the blue line at 2:35, Gus Young struck at 5:15 on a short-range rebound, and Learned scored 26 seconds later on a mishandled puck from Girard. The flurry forced the Crimson to call a timeout and Ted Donato relieved Girard, inserting junior Steve Michalek.
The switch proved to buoy the Harvard spirits as Michalek turned aside all six shots he faced the remainder of the period. The Harvard power play was tested twice in the back half of the frame, but the Crimson passed both tests, despite a combined five shots from the Bulldogs. A 12-6 advantage in shots gave Yale a two-period shots edge at 24-20, and the Bulldogs closed the frame nursing a 4-1 score.
In the third, the Bulldogs tacked on another goal, 5-1, as Agostino stuffed home a shot off a pass from behind the net by Young at 11:14.
Yale held the final count in shots, 34-24.
Harvard is back in action Friday, Jan. 16, as the Crimson hosts Cornell at the Bright-Landry Center at 7 p.m.