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M. Hockey Loses Two-Goal Lead, Ties Yale, 2-2

By Rebecca A. Blaeser, Special to the Crimson

It had all the personality of a hockey game you could ask for--excitement, odd-man rushes, hard hits and nailbiting seconds. Too bad no one could go home satisfied as the Harvard men's hockey team skated to a 2-2 deadlock last night against Yale at Ingalls Rink

"Coach said that its's been a very tough place for us to play," freshman goaltender J.R. Prestifilippo said. "I thought that the team showed a lot of character by staying in there and preserving the tie."

It was the final period and the five minute overtime which made the game one to remember.

Back and forth, heads turning like it was a tennis match, there is no doubt that handfuls of hair were pulled out by almost every fan. Under the circumstances at the Yale Whale, a tie isn't too hard to handle.

"You can never accept a tie," senior Joe Craigen said. "But it makes it a lot more palatable when it's in a place like this."

Harvard took a quick two-goal lead thanks to some unlikely scorers.

Collecting a pass from sophomore forward Rob Millar with 12 minutes left in the first period, junior forward Doug Sproule broke into the Yale zone and whipped a low blast past Yale goalie Alex Westlund, who didn't even see it coming to give Harvard a 1-0 lead.

"It's also nice to get some scoring from other people," Harvard coach Ronn Tomassoni said. "That's what is going to make us stronger."

The Crimson wasn't done yet, as freshman forward Mark Moore showed the crowd a little two-step when he drove around the back of the net with just two minutes left in the period. Coming up for air by the left goalpost, it looked like the freshman was going to center the puck, but Moore surprised everyone in the arena as he flipped the puck over Westlund's right shoulder in to the upper right corner to put Harvard up 2-0.

After scoring five goals against St. Lawrence the week before, Yale, however, was not to be denied.

The Crimson hit a mid-game low and let the Bulldogs back into the contest with goals by sophomore Keith McCullough and junior Ray Giroux to tie it at two.

"I think that we got a little complacent," Craigen said. "We're a little inexperienced this year, not used to getting up and getting down. We're just trying to straighten out the hills and the valleys."

Then came the fireworks period. For the majority of the final 25 minutes, Prestifilippo was in the midst of a shooting gallery. Coming up with 30 saves in the game, Yale just couldn't find the last minute heroics.

"J.R. had another outstanding hockey game," Tomassoni said. "When you have an outstanding goaltender, it makes it easy."

The battle has just begun for Harvard, however, as it faces off against Princeton tonight. Normally an easy game for the Crimson, the Tigers are coming off an impressive win against St. Lawrence last weekend and a solid 3-3 tie versus Brown last night.

Hopefully for the Crimson, the team can take the heart-pounding momentum from last night into the Hobey Baker Arena. Harvard  2 Yale  2

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