QU men’s hockey falls to Harvard, 4-1, in ECAC semifinals

LAKE PLACID, New York – Nationally-ranked No. 19 Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey lost to No. 2/2 Harvard, 4-1, in the ECAC Hockey Semifinals at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, New York. Quinnipiac goes to 23-15-2 while Harvard improves to 25-5-2.

Quinnipiac goalie Andrew Shortridge (Anchorage, Alaska) stopped 32 of Harvard’s 35 shots-on-goal in what was an otherwise great performance. Thomas Aldworth (Keller, Texas) added Quinnipiac’s only goal in the game.

Both teams seemed slow to adjust to the Olympic size ice surface as neither team was able to generate much offense over the first 20 minutes. Harvard out-shot Quinnipiac, 13-1, to open the game before the Bobcats managed to post the last five shots of the period. The highlight of the period was a save made by Shortridge that left a fat rebound in the crease. Derek Smith (Apple Valley, Minnesota) gained control of the puck and flicked it to the boards, then immediately turned to block a shot to keep Harvard off the board and send Quinnipiac up-ice.

Midway through the second period, Harvard’s Sean Malone struck first, netting his 16th goal of the season. A Quinnipiac turnover just below the blue line along the boards in the Bobcats’ defensive zone ended up on Michael Floodstrand’s stick in the corner. Floodstrand slid along the goal line before handing the puck to Malone in the slot for the wrister to the opposite post.

Five minutes later, Quinnipiac tied the game on a power play goal by Thomas Aldworth (Keller, Texas). Aldworth’s goal was his fourth of the postseason and 10th of the year. Luke Shiplo (Oakville, Ontario) sent the puck to Derek Smith (Apple Valley, Minnesota) at the point who then rifled a pass to Aldworth on the goalline. Aldworth turned and fired, tucking a shot inside the near-side post under the pads of Harvard goalie Merrick Madsen.

With just under two minutes to play in the period, Malone scored his second of the night to push the Crimson’s lead back to one-goal at 2-1. After killing a penalty, Quinnipiac let a loose puck in front of the goal got to John Marion who moved it to Nathan Krusko. Krusko then found Malone out in front, giving him a Grade-A opportunity and ultimately his 17th goal of the season as Harvard jumped back out to a one-goal lead, 2-1.

Malone’s third goal of the night came four minutes into the third period to give Harvard a 3-1 lead. Malone walked across the crease before reaching around Shortridge and gliding the puck into the goal to pad the Crimson’s lead. Late in the third, Luke Esposito scored an empty-net goal to make it 4-1 at the end of regulation.

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