Alex Lyon's 24 saves leads No. 15 Yale's shutout of rival No. 6 Harvard
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- One of the nation's top scoring teams came to the Whale and suffered its first shutout of the season. Alex Lyon stopped all 24 Crimson shots and three different Bulldogs scored goals as Yale beat Harvard 3-0 before a packed Ingalls Rink in ECAC action.
Lyon, who notched his fourth shutout of the season, became the school's career shutout leader by making eight saves in the first, four in the second and 11 in the third. Two of those shots came on a pair of advantages.
A sophomore from Northern Minnesota, whose dad was in the house tonight on his only trip to New Haven this season, Lyon registered the latest of his three big wins in net against the archrivals in 2014-15. Lyon allowed just two goals combined in those contests.
The No. 15 Bulldogs (13-6-3, 8-5-2 ECAC) had the edge in shots 35-24 and moved into a tie for third with the No. 6 Crimson at 18 points.
"I thought it was a really good college hockey game, and there wasn't a guy who dressed tonight who didn't contribute," head coach Keith Allain said. "It was a group effort. Our team plays great defense. I thought we played a good team game against them and our goaltending was good."
The first frame was scoreless but wasn't without numerous grade-A chances and a few excellent saves by both goalies. Yale's best opportunity came in the closing moments of the period when Ryan Hitchcock found a loose puck in the low slot and shot a backhander wide of the net.
The Elis broke through with a pair of even-strength tallies in the second while outshooting the Crimson 14-5. One came early and the other came late, both came from winning the small battles.
Stu Wilson got things started with a snap shot from the left circle that slipped inside the far post. Passes from Adam Larkin and John Hayden set up Wilson's third of the year. He picked up the pass from Hayden in the Harvard end, whizzed around one red shirt and then headed for the top of the right circle with space from the defenseman. It was a one-on-two situation but Wilson's shot found a small opening blocker side.
Yale's domination on the dot was clearly a factor. The home team ended up with a 46-17 mark on face-offs. That helped the Elis sustain pressure in the Harvard end.
The second goal was a pretty one-timer by Hayden. Frankie DiChiara won the puck in the left corner and got it to Chris Izmirlian in the left circle. He held for a moment and then put it into the slot for Hayden, who smacked it into the back of the net at 18:38 for his fifth this season.
The Bulldog defense kept pushing Harvard forwards to the outside and limiting chances into the third period. And the Yale netminder did not show any openings.
"Alex [Lyon] is a great college goaltender. There's a great chemistry between our group and that's what you're seeing on the ice," said Allain.
Down 2-0 with 1:43 left, the Cantabs pulled their goalie for an extra skater. That helped Cody Learned get an empty-netter. DiChiara swiped the puck up to Learned and the junior forward fired from the Harvard blueline to clinch the win.
"Keeping Harvard off the score sheet is a testament to our team defense," junior blueliner Mitch Witek said. "We work on playing in our zone all the time."