M. HOCKEY | ECAC takes off after Elis take two

The Yale men’s ice hockey team started its season on a strong note, winning its first two games. The men defeated University of Ontario Institute of Technology in a 3-1 victory last Friday and picked up even more steam the following day, scoring six goals to Brown’s three while stealing another road victory.

The official season opener against Brown on Nov. 1 featured two goals from Sean Backman ’10. Goalie Alec Richards ’09 also put up a solid fight with 25 saves by the end of the game.

Players said the team’s successes thus far are a result of their ability to work together and communicate well on the ice.

“We have some great leadership this year,” Dave Inman ’09 said. “The juniors have a lot of experience and are responsible for a lot of our point production. The freshmen are [also] going to have a pretty big impact. Our coach likes to give them responsibility.”

The Bulldogs will face St. Lawrence tomorrow in Yale’s first conference game of the season. Yale swept last year’s set against St. Lawrence, but tomorrow’s opponent has an advantage because it has won four of its six games this season.

The men have been practicing hard and have their eyes ultimately set on an ECAC championship. But in the meantime, they plan on taking it one game at a time.

“[St. Lawrence will be] one of the hardest, if not the hardest, road trips of the season, but I think we’ve got the team to score the points,” Inman said.

But despite the upcoming battle, the men of the team remain optimistic.

“We’re looking forward to being able to compete for a full 60 minutes,” Matt Nelson ’09 said. “We’re [also] looking for contributions from everyone from each class.”

Nelson said he plans to help lead the team to success by keeping a positive mindset both on and off the ice.

More generally, the Bulldogs want to work on their systems and get more comfortable on the ice in order to strengthen their game.

“I think we will surprise a lot of teams with our talent,” Danny Otto ’12 said. “We’ll do a lot better than people are expecting us to.”

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