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For the 21st time in 252 games of the Harvard-Yale rivalry, the teams skated to a tie. The most contested rivalry in college hockey was renewed Saturday night at the Bright Hockey Center on the campus of Harvard, and the teams battled it out for 65 minutes to a 1-1 draw.

“I thought it was a really good college hockey game,” Yale coach Keith Allain said. “You saw two teams that competed really hard and (Ted Donato’s) teams are always ready to go against us.”

For a long time it looked like the game was going to end in a scoreless draw, but Ted Hart put Yale on the board with 3:16 remaining in the game when he deflected a Robbie DeMontis shot past Merrick Madsen. Mike Doherty was credited with a a secondary assist.

With time not on their side, the Crimson responded 69 seconds later when Luke Esposito found the back of the net. The goal was set up by Sean Malone and Adam Fox.

It was the sixth goal for both Hart and Esposito on the season.

“You could feel the tension mounting and you knew that someone was going to get a bounce either way,” Harvard coach Ted Donato said. “I am not sure how their goal went in, whether it was tipped or went off a shin pad. I think they did a good job putting the puck in areas and I think we could have done a better job of handling the pressure a little bit better coming out of our zone.”

After a scoreless first period where Yale had a 10-7 shot advantage, it was Patrick Spano who was the busier goaltender in the second period. He made 13 stops in the middle frame.

Harvard started firing the puck right off the bat as 22 seconds in two Crimson players bulldozed into Spano, which caused the net to come off the mornings. The puck appeared to cross the line, but the official who was right on top of the play quickly waived off the goal.

Both teams had spurts where they had five or six shot on goal in a row. Yale’s first shot of the period didn’t come until the 5:17 mark of the period, but it did spark five straight shots on Madsen.

Spano did have to face two power plays in the period, and he shut the door both times. His best saves of the period came just past the midway point as he made the initial save, then the rebound was right in the slot where he able to kick the right leg out just in time.

“I think they do a good job, they are one of the top penalty-killing units usually year in and year out,” Donato said. “I don’t think we were sharp and executing very well. They deserve a lot of credit for that and when we did get chances, (Spano) was there to make the save or I thought we were a little bit too cute, too fine on our shots. We missed the net far too often and because of it, we weren’t able to get second or third opportunities. He was seeing the puck well enough, we had to create more traffic and rebounds, we really didn’t do that.”

Harvard was 0-for-4 on the power play while Yale was 0-for-1.

Spano and Madsen were the co-Tim Taylor Cup winner as the game’s MVP. Spano made 33 saves while Madsen stopped 27 shots.

“I thought Patrick was good, I thought both goaltenders were good,” Allain said. “I thought it was appropriate they both won the award. Patrick actually had a good weekend for us. He had a shutout last night, so he let in one goal on the weekend. I think he’s a good example of our whole team. I think we are getting better as the season goes on. We are striving to get better and we are seeing better results.”

ECAC roundup

Brown 4, Dartmouth 3 (OT)
Andrew Doane scored just past the midway point of overtime to give Brown a 4-3 win over Dartmouth. Davey Middleton, who assisted on the goal, also had a goal of his own. Max Willman also had a goal and an assist for Brown, while Brent Beaudoin had a goal. Troy Crema scored twice for Dartmouth and assisted on Ryan Blankemeier’s goal.

Colgate 3, Clarkson 2
Tim Harrison and Evan Peterson each scored in the third period to lift Colgate to a 3-2 win over Clarkson. Hunter Racine tied the game up at one in the second period for the Raiders. Sheldon Rumpal and Nico Sturm scored for Clarkson in the second period. Charlie Finn made 35 saves in the victory while Jake Kielly stopped 21 shots.

No. 15 Cornell 3, No. 16 St. Lawrence 2
Brendan Smith scored with 2:42 remaining in the second period as Cornell defeated St. Lawrence 3-2. The Big Red jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period with goals from Jared Fiegel and Patrick McCarron. The Saints tied the game in the second with tallies from Ben Finkelstein, who assisted on Woody Hudson’s marker. Nolan Gluchowski assisted on both goals. Mitch Gillam had 22 saves and an assist in the victory. Kyle Hayton had 27 saves in the loss.