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Yale takes second Rivalry on Ice

The second edition of the Rivalry on Ice at Madison Square Garden turned out much the same as the inaugural matchup—and that wasn’t a bad thing. Former New York Governor George Pataki ’67 replaced Secretary of State John Kerry ’66 as Yale’s political representation for the ceremonial puck drop, and attendance was perhaps slightly lighter than last January’s event, but Yale cruised to another victory, 4–1, over the rival Crimson.
The intensity of this year’s game was heightened by the nationally ranked play of both teams. Yale entered the game ranked 19th in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll, while Harvard had reached a ranking of 3rd in both national polls, their highest ranking since polling began in the mid-1990’s.
Yale dominated the first period with 16 shots to only five by Harvard, and the Bulldogs’ numerous chances led to two goals, one each by Chris Izmirlian ’17 and Charles Orzetti ’16. Matt Killian ’15 made it 3-0 for Yale less than three minutes into the second period by driving his own rebound past Harvard goalie Steve Michalek. “We preach ‘team first,’ we play as a unit, and that shows when we play Harvard,” said Killian after the game.

The Crimson got on the board with a goal just two minutes later by leading scorer Jimmy Vesey. Both teams had power-play opportunities as the period continued but failed to convert.
In the third period, Yale added to the scoring onslaught. Carson Cooper ’16 sent a pass from deep in the Harvard zone to Mitch Witek ’16, who drove home the puck from the blue line for his first goal of the season. The Bulldogs did not relent for the rest of the period, with chance after chance coming at close range. Yet the final score stood at 4–1—with 42 shots on goal by Yale—and the strong Yale contingent among the announced crowd of 12,774 rose to its feet as the final seconds elapsed in an important victory. “We had four lines jumping tonight,” said Yale head coach Keith Allain. “The guys seemed to be excited to play, and I thought we played stifling defense.”
Harvard, the top offense in the country as play began, scored its fewest goals of the season, and both of Harvard’s losses this season have come at the hands of a surging Yale team that has now won six of its last eight games. “Losing is really tough — especially to have two losses on the year both to Yale,” said Vesey. “We’re definitely disappointed.”

The Bulldogs improve to 9–4–2 as they enter ECAC conference play for the rest of the season, and they will certainly find themselves higher in the PairWise computer rankings that determine entry to the NCAA Tournament after the win. Orzetti, who had an assist along with his goal, was named the MVP of the event.
The star-studded evening in New York City was capped by appearances from tennis legend Billie Jean King, Olympic figure skating gold medalist Sarah Hughes ’09, and a reprisal of NHL great Mark Messier’s role as ambassador for the event. The Bulldogs will travel to Brown on Friday before returning to Ingalls for the home rematch against the Bears just one day later.


The Yale Alumni Magazine is published by Yale Alumni Publications Inc., an alumni-based nonprofit that is not run by Yale University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration.

Filed under Harvard, hockey, Rivalry on Ice
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