HAMDEN — The men’s hockey team looked to be on its way to a comfortable win at Quinnipiac on Friday, but a netminder change for the home team midway through the first period fueled a 3-3 comeback overtime tie for the Bobcats at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.
After center Mark Arcobello ’10 hit the net to give the away squad a 2-0 lead through the first period, it looked like the streaking No. 7 Bulldogs (19-5-2, 14-3-2) would win its ninth straight. But Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold’s decision to pull freshman starting goalie Dan Clarke for veteran Bud Fisher worked to perfection, as the senior netminder came up big late in the game to conserve a hard-fought point for the Bobcats (15-13-3, 8-8-3 ECAC).
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Arcobello scored twice for the Elis, while captain and right winger Matt Nelson ’09 opened the scoring for the away squad at 6:57 in the first period.
Alec Richards ’09 finished with 29 saves for Yale, but partly due to the soft goal he conceded late in the third, his performance was overshadowed by Fisher’s stellar effort.
With the Bulldogs leading 3-2 in the third, Fisher denied the away squad on numerous quality scoring chances, enabling Greg Holt to tie the contest up with less than five minutes remaining in the period.
The Elis came out strong in the five-minute overtime period, but Fisher was once again up to the challenge. On his best effort, he thwarted a wrist-shot from left winger Denny Kearney ’11 with a reflex glove save about a minute into the extra frame.
Yale travels Saturday to No. 9 Princeton for a 7 p.m. contest. A win over the Tigers — whom the Elis lead by four points in the ECAC with three games remaining — would clinch the Cleary Cup for the Bulldogs, while a tie would guarantee them at least a share of the title.