Bring on the National Team

This weekend is about pride for men’s hockey.

Coming off a gritty 3-3 tie against No. 15 Harvard, the Bulldogs (3-3-3, 2-2-3 ECAC) will look to preserve their momentum with a win over the U.S. Under 18 team (9-10-1) at Ingalls Rink on Saturday night. Although the match does not count toward Yale’s overall record, the game promises to be difficult for the Elis, who have never beaten the Under 18 team in the three-game history of the series.

Forward Sean Backman ‘10 wards off a Harvard defender last night at Ingalls Rink. The Bulldogs tied No. 15 Crimson, 3-3, in overtime. to earn a point in the ECAC.
Charles Francis
Forward Sean Backman ‘10 wards off a Harvard defender last night at Ingalls Rink. The Bulldogs tied No. 15 Crimson, 3-3, in overtime. to earn a point in the ECAC.

“They always have some of the best talent in the country, even though they are much younger than we are,” captain Will Engasser ’08 said. “We expect to play against a highly skilled team but in the end hope to dominate all facets of the game.”

The Bulldogs’ all-time record against the U.S. Under 18 team is 0-2-1, although their last matchup — a 5-4 decision that the Bulldogs dropped in early 2004 — took place before any of the current players on either team were on the roster. The Under 18 Team, part of the U.S. National Team Development program, features several prominent young hockey players being groomed for future NCAA, U.S. National Team and NHL careers.

In addition to competing in some international events, the squad plays a tough regular season schedule against various NCAA teams. The team is currently 1-5-1 in college hockey, but the players have given talented squads like No. 10 St. Cloud State a run for their money, gutting out a 2-2 tie against the Huskies.

Coming off their first NCAA win, 8-3 over Colby last weekend, they will be hungry for an upset this weekend at the Whale.

-Danielle Kehl

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