Vacation ended early for the men’s hockey team this weekend, but given their results in the Badger Hockey Showdown, they can’t be too upset.
On Saturday, then-No. 9 Yale dismantled No. 11 Ferris State 6-1 in Madison, Wisc. The following evening, the Bulldogs lost the championship in an overtime shootout to then-No.7 Wisconsin. The shootout gave the host Badgers the championship, but officially the game will be recorded as a tie by the NCAA.
“This is a great statement about where we are at this point in the season,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said. “Going on the road to beat a top-15 team and tie a top-10 team in a tournament environment will pay dividends for us down the road.”
In their first game in nearly a month, the Elis ended Ferris State’s 10-game winning streak, which, at the time, was the nation’s longest.
After the game was tied 1-1 at the end of the first, Yale forward Sean Backman ’10 took the lead with less than a minute left in the second period. The Bulldogs, who outshot Ferris State 41-24, quickly put the game away with four consecutive goals in the third period.
The following evening, forward Denny Kearney ’11 gave Yale the early 1-0 lead in the third minute against the host Badgers. Wisconsin forward Michael Davies, though, responded in the second period with two goals of his own to give the Badgers the 2-1 lead.
Forward Brian O’Neill ’12 scored the equalizer with less than three minutes left in regulation, but the Badgers may have been fortunate to have only let in one goal. The Elis dominated possession in the third period, outshooting Wisconsin 18-3.
Needing a champion, the tournament — after a scoreless overtime period — went into shootouts. Yale goaltender Nick Maricic ’13 stopped one Badger’s shot but let two other shots in, as Yale fell 2-1 in the shootout. Forwards Marc Arcobello ’10 and Andrew Miller ’13 were both blocked by Wisconsin.
Overall, the Yale defense limited Wisconsin to 22 shots, a tally that ties Wisconsin’s lowest total this season.
“It’s too bad that you have to decide a tournament [with a shootout],” Allain said. “But our kids fought hard to the end, and I’m very proud of the way we competed.”
Following the tournament, the Bulldogs are now ranked sixth nationally in the USCHO.com poll. The Badgers rose to No. 4.
Maricic was named ECAC Rookie of the Week after stopping five of the Badgers’ six man-advantages on Sunday.
The Elis are 6-1-1 over the past eight games and will resume conference play at Dartmouth this coming Sunday.