The Takeaway: Yale defeats Harvard En Route to Third Straight Win

Posted by: Bryan Lipiner

From Dec. 10 against UMass-Lowell, to Jan. 12 at Dartmouth, Harvard goaltender Raphael Girard has given up at least three goals per game. Girard continued his streak tonight at Yale, as the Bulldogs blanked the Crimson by a final score of 4-0. Yale forward Trent Ruffolo recorded two goals, while Bulldogs Andrew Miller and Antoine Laganiere each had an additional tally. Yale goaltender Jeff Malcolm also made 21 saves on as many shots.

What I Saw

Yale opened the scoring early, when Miller nailed Yale’s first goal at 7:23 into play. Miller caught a rebound at the bottom of the far side circle, and fired a shot on the open left side to break the scoreless tie. Only 7:07 later, Laganiere got his 11th goal of the year, good for third in the ECAC. After Girard stopped a barrage of rebounds, Laganiere poked the puck across the crease, pushing the Yale lead to two.

In the second stanza Ruffolo notched his first goal of the night in the seventh minute of play, his also coming via the rebound.

Later, in the third period, Ruffolo registered his second goal of the evening. Ruffolo received a feed from behind the net, and rifled a shot to the right side for the 4-0 advantage.

What I Thought

At what point is Harvard going to stop starting Girard? The junior has given up 17 goals in his last four games, and has totaled a goals-against-average of 3.31 on the year. Currently tied for last in the ECAC, this season may be a lost cause for the Crimson, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start switching things up. In four games this season, backup Peter Traber has recorded a 1.73 goals-against-average. It would be smart for the Crimson to start Traber at Brown tomorrow, as it would be silly to stick with Girard at this point.

Yale completely controlled this one from the beginning, and at no point did I believe Harvard would climb back into it. The Bulldogs outshot the Crimson 39-21 this evening, while also taking the lead in shots throughout every frame. Yale’s play on the offensive side of the puck peaked early in the third period, when the Bulldogs outshot the Crimson 11-2 through the opening 4:11. Yale is tenth in the country in goals per game with 3.29, so this victory doesn’t come at a surprise.

What They Said

I was really pleased with the way we played. Our defensive game was outstanding,” said Yale head coach Keith Allain. “Our rush defense created a lot of chances for us, and our fore-check was real good. We had a couple of fore-check goals.”

“We did a great job from the start. We established a physical play from the beginning and wore their defense down,” said Ruffolo. “It forced them to create turnovers, and that’s what led to our scoring chances.”

What Else You Need To Know

Harvard heads to Brown tomorrow to take on the Bears in a late-afternoon 4 p.m. matchup.

Meanwhile, Yale stays at home to host Dartmouth tomorrow night at 7 p.m.

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