Courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications
CHICAGO – The No. 2/2 Harvard men's ice hockey team had its national title hopes dashed in the final minute of its Frozen Four semifinal matchup against No. 3/3 Minnesota Duluth, 2-1, at the United Center Thursday night. The Crimson concluded one of the greatest seasons in program history, reaching its first Frozen Four since 1994 after winning two NCAA Championship games to go along with an Ivy title and ECAC Hockey Championship.
The Crimson (28-6-2) took a 1-0 lead in the late goings of the first period, and after a Minnesota Duluth (28-6-7) response a couple minutes later, the two teams remained knotted until the final minute of the contest. The Bulldogs managed to break the tie with 27 seconds left, tipping in a pass in front of the net to secure the one-goal victory over the Crimson.
Harvard, which ranks fourth in the nation in the man advantage, struck first as Tyler Moy scored a power-play goal at 15:00 of the first period. On the Crimson's third power play of the frame, Adam Fox sent a pass to Alexander Kerfoot, who skated just above the right faceoff circle in the Bulldogs' zone. Kerfoot passed the puck across the ice to Moy, who fired from a sharp angle into the back of the net.
At 18:24 of the first period, UMD's Dominic Toninato won a faceoff and pushed the puck back to Joey Anderson. Anderson wristed a shot that hit off Merrick Madsen and deflected into the goal, tying the game, 1-1.
Both teams killed off a penalty each in a scoreless second period, as the game headed to the third with UMD holding a 26-24 advantage in shots on goal.
In the third, Harvard appeared to take a 2-1 lead at 5:41 when Moy poked the puck past Hunter Miska, but the play was reviewed and it was determined the referee had blown his whistle before the puck crossed the line.
The two teams continued to battle, trading chances back and forth as the game clock went under a minute to play. The Bulldogs took the late lead after Alex Iafallo tipped in pass from Willie Raskob with 27 seconds left to play.
Harvard didn't let up and nearly tied the contest multiple times in the last 20 seconds of play, as Sean Malone and Luke Esposito hit crossbar on great chances in front of the net, but ultimately UMD was able to clear the puck from the zone and preserve the 2-1 win.
Moy led the Crimson attack with six shots, including his first-period score, and Madsen finished with 36 stops after playing a great game in net for Harvard.