With a 5–1–1 record at Ingalls Rink this season, the men’s hockey team (10–4–3, 6–2–2 ECAC) has proven its dominance at home. But when the Bulldogs hit the road, it has been a different story.
This weekend the No. 6 Elis will try to improve on their 4–3–1 away record as they travel to upstate New York to battle Clarkson (5–14–3, 1–7–2) and St. Lawrence (11–8–4, 5–3–2).
“We like playing in front of our hometown fans,” goaltender Jeff Malcolm ’13 said. “We’re trying to get back to basics and have the same success on the road that we have at Ingalls.”
The nation’s highest scoring offense bounced back from its second-lowest scoring output of the season in a 3–2 loss to Harvard on Jan. 12 with an eight-goal performance at home against Brown this past Saturday. But the Brown game did not see an improvement in the Eli defense.
In the past two games, Malcolm has allowed a combined eight goals to sub-.500 teams Harvard and Brown — a trend the team knows has to stop as it inches closer to the postseason, which is a little more than a month away.
“[The Brown game] was a bit of a run-and-gun game, but we’re not going to change too much as a whole,” Malcolm said. “[Our defense] has shown the ability to be successful all year long.”
Malcolm had split time in front of the net most of the season with fellow freshman Nick Maricic ’13. But with Maricic currently injured, Malcolm has started the past three games.
Malcolm would not comment on Maricic’s injury but said the two have pushed each other to improve all year.
The Bulldogs begin the weekend’s competition on Friday night against Clarkson, who is tied for last place in the conference. The Golden Knights’ sole ECAC win came against fellow cellar-dweller Dartmouth two months ago. Clarkson is averaging only 2.45 goals per game, compared to Yale’s 4.35.
Saturday evening’s match at St. Lawrence may prove to be a tougher test for Yale. The sixth place Saints are coming off a 1–1 overtime tie against No. 9 Cornell and trail the third-place Elis by only two points in the conference standings. Earlier this month, the Saints also showed they could pull off an upset when they soundly defeated No. 11 Boston College, 5–2.
Malcolm said, though, that the Elis do not put much concern into how another team has fared recently.
“We can’t worry too much about other teams,” he said. “The only thing we can control is how we play as a team.”
This will be the first time Yale has played either team this season. Last season, the Bulldogs were 1–1–0 against Clarkson and 1–1–1 against St. Lawrence, including Yale’s dramatic come-from-behind victory over the Golden Knights in the ECAC Tournament semifinals.
Following this weekend’s road trip, Yale will begin a two-week, four-game home stand that begins when the Elis host No. 13 Union, which currently sits atop the ECAC standings.