The Crimson’s Canadian legionnaire RAPHAEL GIRARD (30), the undrafted senior goaltender from St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, who was destined to make an eye-opening 52 saves in this particular contest, keeps close watch on Bulldogs left wing MICHAEL DOHERTY (24), the productive freshman from Reading, Massachusetts, who has already notched three goals and nine points in his first twelve NCAA contests, during the 238th all-time meeting between legendary arch-rivals Harvard University and Yale University.
The Crimson senior netminder making his final appearance in front of a sellout crowd on the home ice of his school’s ultimate adversary did all he could to engineer an enormous upset on the date of a most historic anniversary in American history but an overwhelming assualt in the final period by the defending NCAA national champions ensured that the 238th all-time meeting between traditional arch-rivals HARVARD and YALE would only produce a hard-fought 2-2 draw to be recorded in the ECAC Conference standings.
Harvard University are capably led by tenth-year head coach TED DONATO, the former Crimson player who was voted the Tournament Most Valuable Player when Harvard won the NCAA national championship in 1989 and later went on the skate for the United States at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games as well as in 796 National Hockey League games (150 go, 347 pts), mostly for the Boston Bruins, over the course of a thirteen-year professional career. The Crimson are currently rebuilding, as evidenced by the loss of three of Harvard’s four top goal-scorers from last season, and have gotten off to a bit of a slow start with only four wins from their first dozen matches to begin this term, as well. Neverthless, on the 72nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Donato was hoping to lead his troops into New Haven and produce an upsetting result in the belly of the unique Yale Whale.
And, after nearly thirty minutes of scoreless hockey, it was Harvard, in fact, who even managed to strike twice and take a 2-0 lead into the second intermission at the David S. Ingalls Rink. Canadian legionnaire ALEX KERFOOT, the promising 19-year-old freshman from West Vancouver, British Columbia, who was fifth round pick (# 150 overall) at the 2012 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils, broke the deadlock with a power play goal almost nine minutes into the middle frame and then LUKE ESPOSITO, the freshman center from Greenwich, Connecticut, who is the nephew of former NHL star and multiple Stanley Cup winner Mark Messier, doubled the advantage with a second goal for Harvard only 13 seconds before the end of the second period. Influential Crimson defenseman PATRICK MCNALLY, the junior from Glen Head, New York, was the fourth round choice (# 115 overall) of the Vancouver Canucks at the 2010 NHL Draft, collected assists on both goals.
Underwriting this success for the visitors was the sensational form of Harvard senior goaltender RAPHAEL GIRARD, who stopped all 31 shots he faced through the first forty minutes of play.
Yale left wing TRENT RUFFOLO (11), the seasoned junor from Coral Gables, Florida, and Harvard right wing KRIS CRISCUOLO(33), the emerging sophomore from Southampton, New Jersey, who has scored seven goals in his first thirteen varsity games for the Crimson, during the 238th all-time ice hockey contest between traditional foes played for a sellout crowd of 3,500 spectators at the sold out David S. Ingalls Rink in New Haven.
Yale, who seriously lag behind in the all-time series record between the two schools (77 wins against 141 losses with 20 ties) but can now accurately state that they have won just as many NCAA national championship titles in history as Harvard has, were not about to fall on home ice to their eternal enemy, however. And so the Bulldogs came out for the final frame and began to lay an absolute siege upon the Harvard cage, one that would ultimately see Yale outshoot the Crimson by the astonishing margin of 20-4 over the last twenty minutes of regulation play. Indeed, it took the home side barely more than two minutes to haul one of the goals back and manufacture some genuine belief when defenseman MATT KILLIAN, the versatile junior from Basking Ridge, New Jersey, who actually appeared in all four of the Bulldogs’ memorable NCAA tournament games last spring as a right wing for the very first time in his collegiate career, crashed the net and won a battle for a rebound before slipping the puck through the pads of the beleaguered Harvard shot-stopper Girard to count his first goal of this season (and only the second strike in 60 career games for the Yale varsity).
The relentless Bulldogs finally broke through for an deserved equalizer with less than six minutes reminaing when senior KENNY AGOSTINO, an All-ECAC Second Team selection last season who had his NHL rights traded from the Pittsburgh Penquins to the Calgary Flames as part of the deal that brought NHL veteran star and two-time Canadian Olympic gold medalist Jarome Iginla to the Steel City, made a deceptive move in the right faceoff circle by indicating with a head fake as if he was contemplating a pass but, instead, unleashed a low shot into the corner of the Crimson net to score his third goal of this term.
MATT BEATTIE, the sophomore left wing from Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, who was the seventh round choice (# 207 overall) of the Vancouver Canucks at the 2012 NHL Draft but went pointless in 15 NCAA games as a freshman for Yale last season, set up both goals for the home side in the third period against their eternal enemy Harvard and collected the first two assists of his collegiate career in the process.
With absolutely nothing between these two Ivy League schools settled, as last as far as this current season goes and only one regular-scheduled conference game left on the scheudule, Harvard (now 4-7-2) and Yale (now 6-3-3) will meet again later this season in an event being billed as “THE RIVALRY ON ICE” on January 11th at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Yale right wing KENNY AGOSTINO (18), the senior from Flanders, New Jersey, who was selected in the fifth round (# 140 overall) of the 2010 National Hockey League Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins and finished as the Bulldogs’ joint top scorer with 41 points in 37 NCAA games last season, netted the first goal in what will, without question, forever rank as one of the Ivy League school’s most famous victories ever — Yale’s 3-2 overtime defeat of traditional powerhouse Minnesota at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the first round of the 2013 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament last spring.
December 7, 2013
David S. Ingalls Rink – New Haven, Connecticut
Attendance : 3,500
YALE 2 – HARVARD 2
28:48 … HRV – Kerfoot (Vesey, McNally) – ppg
39:47 … HRV – Esposito (McNally, Everson)
42:08 … YALE – Killian (Beattie)
54:19 … YALE – Agostino (Beattie, O’Gara)
shots-on-goal : Yale 54 ( 16 + 15 + 20 + 3 ) – Harvard 27 ( 9 + 10 + 4 + 4 )
penalty minutes : Harvard 10 – Yale 8
YALE : Lyon – Young, O’Gara ; Fallen, Obuchowski ; Witek, Killian – Doherty, Wilson, Agostino ; Ruffolo, Cooper, Weberg ; Beattie, Orzetti, Learned ; DiChiara, Izmirlian, Hayden
HARVARD : Girard – Everson, McNally ; Ford, Fick ; Guiltnan, Bergin – Vesey, Malone, Hart ; O’Reagan, Kerfoot, Criscuolo ; Tringale, Esposito, Moy ; Zielonka, McGregor, Jaw
NOTE — Yale were without injured center JESSE ROOT, the senior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who was the fourth-leading scorer with both 12 goals and 33 points in 34 games for the national champions last season. It was Root who scored in three of Yale’s four games at the annual NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament last spring, including the final tally in the Bulldogs’ 4-0 triumph over New Haven intra-city rival Quinnipiac University in the 2013 Final (which just so happened to be held in Pittsburgh, to review). Root had already netted six goals this season — a figure which is still twice as many as the nearest Yale player — before being sidelined recently.
Harvard University center ALEX KERFOOT (14), the freshman Canadian import who scored the first goal of this particular contest, watches as his countryman, Crimson senior goaltender RAPHAEL GIRARD (30), stops Yale University center CHRIS IZMIRLIAN (25), the freshman originally from Highland Beach in Florida who has scored three goals in his first eleven collegiate contests, during the 238th all-time meeting on ice between the two Ivy League rivals at the David S. Ingalls Rink in New Haven.