Yale has won just one game in its history at Bright Hockey Center. It lost again there on Friday night. If the Bulldogs are going to advance to Lake Placid, they will have to win two.
The Harvard men's hockey team secured third place in the ECAC with three points over the weekend, defeating Yale 4-2 on Friday night and tying Princeton, 2-2, on Saturday night at Bright Hockey Center.
The Crimson's victory against the Bulldogs (14-14-1, 10-11-1 ECAC) secured home ice for the first round of the ECAC tournament, but Harvard (13-4-2, 12-8-2) wanted to finish in the top three to avoid the Thursday play-in game at the ECAC semifinals in Lake Placid.
The Crimson entered the weekend tied with Cornell for third place, but the Big Red dropped to Rensselaer on Friday. The tie against the Tigers (10-14-5, 9-9-4) was good enough to leave Harvard in third when Clarkson beat Dartmouth, 4-2 on Saturday.
Harvard will now host Yale next weekend in the best-of-three first round series of the ECAC Playoffs. The Elis are 1-18-3 alltime at Bright. Harvard and Yale have never squared off in the first round.
"We have a chance to control our destiny in the playoffs," Harvard Coach Mark Mazzoleni said. "It's huge for us to open the playoffs at home because we are not a very good road team. Now we have to take care of business with no excuses."
Beyond the playoff drama, Harvard athletic history was made when the school retired the No. 4 jersey of outgoing Athletic Director Bill Cleary '56. It is the first number ever to be retired by Harvard for any sport in its 150 years of intercollegiate competition.
Harvard 2, Princeton 2