March 11th, 2012 | Sports

M. HOCKEY | Elis split series with Harvard

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Photo by Graham Harboe.

For the second straight night, it was overtime for the men’s hockey team in its best-of-three ECAC quarterfinal matchup against Harvard (11–9–11, 8–5-9 ECAC).

But unlike Friday, when Kenny Agostino ’14 scored the game-winner in overtime, there would be no hero for Yale (16–15–3, 10–10–2) tonight as the Cantabs won 4–3 in double overtime to even the series at 1–1.

Defenseman Dan Ford broke through for Harvard almost ten minutes into the second extra frame on a wild final play.

Ford took advantage on a rebound that nobody else on the ice seemed to be able to locate. Conor Morrison initiated the madness with a shot from the high slot that the Eli defense blocked. As the Bulldogs attempted to locate the missing rubber in front of the net, Ford skated to the left circle and fired a moving puck for the win.

“I don’t think anyone in the building knew where it was,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said. The puck got shot into a pile and it took half a second for it to come clear. It went right to the one guy who was facing the goal.”

Yale looked like it might be coasting to an easy win after the first period. Despite having been outshot 15–10, the Elis headed into the locker room with a 2–0 lead. Defenseman Colin Dueck ’13 kicked off the scoring with a shot from the blue line for his third goal of the season just five minutes into the action.

About ten minutes later, the Bulldogs struck again when Andrew Miller ’13 picked out Chad Ziegler ’12 for Ziegler’s eighth goal of the season. Ziegler one-timed a Miller pass from the slot to give Yale a comfortable two-goal cushion.

But the Bulldogs’ woes on special teams kept them from pulling away for good. Yale failed to score a goal in 11 power play opportunities.

The Elis could not match the Cantabs’ ability to contain the power play. Harvard scored on three straight power plays and took a 3–2 lead with about nine minutes remaining in the game.

After that goal, it appeared that Yale was finished for the night. The Elis pulled their goalie, Nick Maricic, from the net in a desperate attempt to even the score.

But Antoine Laganiere’ 13, who notched a hat trick last weekend against Princeton, prolonged the fight when he stepped up again to tie the game with just 27 seconds left on the clock.

After taking a pass from Kevin Peel ’12, Clinton Bourbonais ’14 fired a shot from the left circle. The puck bounced off Harvard goaltender Raphael Girard’s pads and Laganiere, who was standing in the slot, knocked it in as he fell to the ice.

Yale took the momentum into overtime and appeared to have the upper hand. The Bulldogs outshot the Crimson 16–11 in the first extra frame. Allain said he thought the Elis were playing their best hockey of the night.

“I thought the third period was our best period to that point, and then I thought the first overtime was better,” Allain said. “I thought we were getting stronger as the game went on.”

Still, the Blue and White could not put one over the goal line as Harvard warded off two more Yale power plays en route to the exhausting victory.