Kerfoot put Harvard on the board to register his sixth goal of the season (photo courtsey: Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A third period push saw the Harvard men's hockey team net a pair of power play goals, but it wasn't enough as the No. 14/14 Yale Bulldogs skated away from Bright-Landry Hockey Center with a 5-2 victory Friday in an Ivy League and ECAC showdown. The loss is Harvard's (9-13-4, 5-10-4 ECAC) first in its last five games, while Yale (14-8-4, 9-7-3 ECAC) betters its position for home ice in the ECAC playoffs.
The physicality was on display early in the contest with both teams making it clear there would be no easy entries into the offensive zone. It was clean contact, however, as each team picked up just one minor penalty in the period and neither was able to capitalize in the frame. Yale held a slight 10-9 shots advantage in the period, but neither Harvard's Steve Michalek nor Yale's Alex Lyon was overly tested through the first 20 minutes.
While the shots and chances stayed even in the second period, it was the Bulldogs who were able to capitalize on their opportunities. An interference call on Max Everson forced Harvard on its second penalty kill of the night and the ECAC's top unit couldn't contain the Bulldogs as Stu Wilson slotted one behind Michalek from a sharp angle near the Crimson red line 4:37 into the frame for a 1-0 lead.
A defensive mishap resulted in the guests doubling their lead just before the halfway point of the contest. A 50/50 puck went to Yale's Gus Young near his own left faceoff circle, and Young whipped a pass to Matthew Beattie behind the Crimson defense and Beattie converted the one-on-one with Michalek for the 2-0 lead. Special teams shined once again for Yale with 7:37 on the clock, with Ryan Obuchowski swatting home a one-time feed from Kenny Agostino for the 3-0 edge. The teams went into their locker rooms knotted at 20 shots apiece, but with the Bulldogs holding a commanding 3-0 lead.
The Crimson would not be kept silent in the third, as a power-play tally of its own would cut the deficit to 3-1 just over four minutes into the final period. Michalek controlled a clear from the Yale defense and left the puck off for Victor Newell behind his net. Newell tapped a puck to Alexander Kerfoot swinging north on the ice, and the rookie took over from there, weaving into the Yale zone, firing on Alex Lyon and burying his own rebound. Yale had a response with 12 minutes gone in the third, notching its third power play goal of the game, this time seeing Jesse Root light the lamp.
With 5:07 remaining in the game, Harvard made it interesting, scoring yet again on the man advantage. Newell slid a puck to Sean Malone weaving through the Yale zone, and Malone dished to Brian Hart who stuffed the puck behind Lyon and just over the goal line, confirmed by a brief review from the officials. It is as close as Harvard would get, however, as Root struck again, this time on an empty net, to cap the 5-2 victory for the Bulldogs.
The Crimson wraps up its regular-season home slate tomorrow with a 7 p.m., showdown with Brown. The Crimson will recognize its four seniors, Danny Fick, Dan Ford, Raphael Girard and David Valek, in a post-game senior day ceremony.