Killian, Agostino Score in 2-2 Tie
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – If only you could get points for putting shots on goal. The Yale men's hockey team, despite outshooting Harvard 54-27, raced back from a late, 2-0 deficit to earn a 2-2 OT tie after third period goals by Matt Killian and Kenny Agostino.
The Bulldogs (6-3-3, 3-2-3 ECAC) scored early in the third and with 5:41 left to send a sold out Ingalls Rink into a frenzy. Matthew Beattie had the primary assist on both Yale tallies.
Freshman goalie Alex Lyon stopped 25 of 27 shots, including four in the extra frame, to help the Elis grab a conference point.
Few scoreless periods have been as exciting as the opening 20 of this contest. Yale had a 16-9 advantage in shots, but both teams had numerous grade-A scoring chances thwarted by excellent saves. Lyon kicked aside a quality opportunity by Kyle Criscuolo at 8:22 and then blocked two point-blank shots by Tyler Moy a minute later.
"We came out ready to play tonight," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach. "Our energy was fantastic and our work ethic was really good. It was a 2-2 tie, but I think we were the better hockey team for most of the game. It just seemed like we couldn't catch a break."
The Blue had the edge in shots again, 15-10, in the second, but the Crimson scored on its first power play of the night and added a second tally with 13 seconds remaining. Again, there were plenty of Bulldog close calls that were stopped at the goal line.
"We were upset [heading into the locker room after the second period]. We sat in silence for a while and then rallied around each other," said Beattie. "Coach came in and got us pumped up for the third."
The home team finally broke through 2:08 into the third. Beattie carried in from the left side and put a backhander on net that was blocked by Raphael Girard (52 saves). The puck came in the low slot and Killian was crashing the net. The junior blueliner won the puck and flicked a shot between Girard's legs to make it 2-1 and notch his first goal of the year.
The equalizer came nearly a dozen minutes later with plenty of excitement in between. Agostino, who got his second of the weekend, has found the net in a number of big situations over his four seasons. This one was even bigger when you consider the 20-day break from games after tonight.
Rob O'Gara moved the puck along the boards out of his zone. Beattie, during a partial line change, scooped it up and spotted Agostino moving toward the blueline. The sophomore forward sent a perfect pass along the boards and Agostino quickly took it to the right circle.
"Kenny had his stick in the air and I just threw it up the boards to him," said Beattie.
Agostino had a teammate skating to his left and he gave him a good look. Just as he turned his head, he uncorked a low laser into the back of the cage at 14:19. The look-off must have caught the goalie by surprise.
"He [Beattie] made a nice pass to me down the wall. It looked like a two-on-one was developing. Once I saw their D pick up the other driving guy, I just shot for the five-hole," said Agostino." I tried to throw them off and it worked."
The other thing that worked well for the Blue was the lineup.
"All four lines were going, and our fourth line (Beattie, Charles Orzetti, Cody Learned) made the play on both goals. They were also on the ice for the OT. We needed them tonight and they were there," said Allain.
Yale absolutely dominated the third with a 20-4 shot advantage, not to mention 34 shots attempted while giving up just six. That didn't prevent the visitors from putting a late scare into the partisan crowd. O'Gara's late penalty gave the Crimson a third and final advantage, but the two minutes only produced one shot on target thanks to an stellar Bulldog fore-check.
"Our attitude and character were fantastic tonight. When you are playing as hard as we were playing and your down, it's easy to say it's just not our night," said Allain. "As a result, we were able to scrape out a point."
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
Trent Ruffolo image by Don Clark