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Luke Esposito and Harvard’s seniors won 68 games over their final three seasons (photo: Melissa Wade).

CHICAGO — It’s difficult to find the words to sum up four years of college hockey, especially in the minutes after a sudden, season-ending defeat.

But Harvard coach Ted Donato and co-captains Alexander Kerfoot and Devin Tringale tried after the Crimson’s 2-1 loss to Minnesota Duluth in the first national semifinal on Thursday.

Frozen Four 2017

More coverage of the 2017 NCAA men's Frozen Four at Frozen Four Central.

“It’s tough to find words right now,” said Tringale. “We’re all pretty heartbroken. But just looking back, it’s been an absolute honor to wear a Harvard jersey the past four years. All the seniors share that sentiment. It’s probably going to take a little bit longer to process, but [this has been] the best four years of my life. It’s meant everything to me.”

“It’s very difficult to describe,” echoed Donato. “When you have the type of kids that we have as seniors this year and the success that they allowed us to have, I think the end was so sudden. It’s really just hard to describe.

“The emotions, the love in the locker room, and this was such a special group. This senior group was just incredible from a leadership standpoint and from a character standpoint.”

Kerfoot and Tringale — along with classmates Clay Anderson, Luke Esposito, Sean Malone, Tyler Moy and Phil Zielonka — left their mark on the program with 78 career wins, including 68 over their final three years. Their 28 victories this season was tied for second all-time for a program that dates to 1897.

From A to Z, the eight seniors contributed a total of 193 points this season, by far the most in Division I. Minnesota Duluth is a distant second with 155 points and counting.

Kerfoot, who assisted on Moy’s lone Harvard goal, finished his career with 123 points. Moy also cracked the career century point mark with 101. Six of the eight seniors played in more than 100 collegiate games.

Donato again tried to express what the class of 2017 has meant to Harvard.

“It’s really tough to swallow right now because these guys have really given their all all year,” he said. “Not only of themselves but to their teammates. And I think this will be an incredibly special group in my mind forever.”

“It’s incredible to be a part of this group,” said Kerfoot, looking ahead as well as back on his four years. “With who the team’s got right now and the direction the program’s going, everything’s looking up.”