M. HOCKEY | Union, RPI await No. 10 Bulldogs

Coming off a pair of impressive conference home sweeps, the men’s hockey team returns to the road this weekend as they travel to New York for a set of conference match-ups against Union and Rensselaer.

Yale’s current six-game conference winning streak has catapulted it to first place in the ECAC standings, and the team will look to retain its momentum against two squads sitting in the bottom half of the conference standings. This is the first time the Elis have been in first place in the conference in February since 1998.

The No. 10 Bulldogs (17-5-1, 12-3-1 ECAC) have been stellar on the road so far this season, winning eight of nine games away from home while posting a 9-4-1 record at Ingalls Rink. Yale’s only road loss came in November against St. Lawrence in Canton, N.Y., in the team’s second away game of the season.

The Elis split a home series against the two teams in early December. Comebacks involving momentum changes were the story in both contests. After falling to a 3-1 deficit in the first period of the first game against RPI, the Bulldogs responded with six straight goals over the subsequent two frames to notch a 7-3 victory. The tables were turned the following night against Union, as the Dutchmen (14-12-2, 7-8-1) erased a 2-0 late in the second period with five straight goals of their own to stun the home crowd with a 5-2 victory.

The Bulldogs are winless in their last five contests against the Dutchmen and according to left winger Denny Kearney ’11, the string of losses adds extra incentive for players.

“We have not beat Union since I have been here so I think we feel we owe them something,” Kearney said. “We’re missing a few key guys but it will be a good challenge this weekend.”

The Dutchmen are 5-4-1 in their last 10 conference games, including a home sweep of RPI last weekend. The Engineers (6-20-2, 5-10-1) have only won three of 11 games since the Christmas break and have dropped four straight ECAC contests.

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