M. HOCKEY | Blue back on track

The men’s hockey team just can’t get enough overtime games under its belt.

In Yale’s first game of the Thanksgiving break, the Elis (5–2–2, 2–1–2 ECAC Hockey) played their third overtime game in a row. But this time, after an overtime tie against Colgate and a frustrating overtime loss to No. 10 UMass the previous week, the Bulldogs pulled out the win, 6–5, against Brown (1–7–1, 0–4–1) on Nov. 21. Yale went on to beat Sacred Heart, 8–2, on Tuesday and Holy Cross, 7–3, on Saturday to wrap up the break.

Forward Brian O'Neill '12 battles two defensemen for the puck during Yale's 4-3 overtime loss to No. 10 UMass at Ingalls Rink on Nov. 19.
Murphy Temple
Forward Brian O'Neill '12 battles two defensemen for the puck during Yale's 4-3 overtime loss to No. 10 UMass at Ingalls Rink on Nov. 19.

After the loss against the Minutemen, head coach Keith Allain ’80 said the team had to stop coming out stagnant if it wanted to remain competitive. And, judging by the result against Brown, it seems the Elis took the loss to UMass as a wake-up call.

“That was one thing that was brought up prior to the [Brown] game,” forward Broc Little ’11 said. “We were focused on making sure we came to play for the full 60 minutes.”

Just 2:51 into the first period, forward Antoine Laganiere ’13 put the Bulldogs on top early. After a Brown score halfway through the first period, the Elis answered right back to finish the frame on a 3–0 run. In the three scores, Yale capitalized on two power plays, something the Bulldogs have not been able to do well this season. In their previous three games, the Elis were only two for 18 on the power play. After the end of the first period, the Elis had outshot the Bears 17 to five.

Brown’s Chris Zaires finally answered the Bulldog onslaught with a score eight minutes into the second period. But just 13 seconds later, defenseman Kevin Peel ’12 netted another goal to keep the Bears from gaining any traction. Seven minutes later, Brown’s Jarred Smith scored the first of what would be a 3–0 run for the Bears to finish regulation, sending the game into overtime.

In overtime, forward Denny Kearney ’11 stole the puck from Brown and found forward Andrew Miller ’13. Miller then connected with Little, who shot the puck through the legs of Brown goalie Anthony Borelli at 2:32 to secure the win for the Bulldogs — the team’s first overtime victory and second conference win this season.

“We survived a big scare, showing poise and composure,” Allain said in a press release. “We dominated the last five minutes and the entire OT.”

After the victory, the team breezed past Sacred Heart and Holy Cross, capitalizing on three of seven and four of eight power plays, respectively, to give the Elis three wins in a row.

With the win against Brown, Yale now sits at sixth place in the ECAC.

“We weren’t playing as consistently as we would’ve liked to at the beginning of the year,” Kearney said. “But I think in these last few games we’ve been a little more consistent.”

There still seem to be some questions at the goalie position for the Elis. After the loss against UMass, Allain said he wanted to take a look at other team members at the position, and that certainly seemed to be the case over the break.

Ryan Rondeau ’11 started for the Bulldogs against Brown, replacing Nick Maricic ’13, who had started for the Bulldogs in the previous three games. Allain then gave the start to Jeff Malcolm ’13 in the game against Sacred Heart, before going back to Maricic against Holy Cross.

The Bulldogs will travel to Burlington, Vt., to face Vermont tomorrow at 7 p.m. in what will be a rematch of last season’s NCAA East Regional Semifinal, which the Elis lost 4–1.

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