Although the men’s hockey team split a pair of games in upstate New York this weekend, it continued its rise in the ECAC standings.
The No. 6 Bulldogs (11–5–3, 7–3–2 ECAC) defeated ECAC bottom-dweller Clarkson, 3–2, on Friday before losing 4–2 to streaking St. Lawrence on Saturday in a failed comeback attempt.
The two points moved Yale up to a three-way tie for second place in the ECAC, although a tie against the Saints could have given the Elis a share of the ECAC lead for the first time all season.
The Bulldogs unleashed a barrage of shots Friday night, outshooting the Golden Knights 44–25, but Clarkson remained close thanks to the play of its netminder, Paul Karpowich, who had 41 saves on the night.
“I thought we played pretty well [against Clarkson],” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said. “We brought a lot of energy and we were very good on the forecheck. We created a lot of opportunities — I would just like to see us finish more of them.”
Goaltender Nick Maricic ’13 played the entire game, recording 23 saves in his first game back since Jan. 3 from tearing his hamstring.
“I felt 100 percent this weekend,” Maricic said. “We had taken our time with the injury but I was given the OK and was able to practice all week.”
The Bulldogs were quick to take the 1–0 lead at 2:08, with defenseman Mike Matczak ’11 scoring his first goal of the year after his shot was deflected by a Clarkson defenseman’s stick.
The Elis had three power-plays and numerous scoring opportunities during the period, but were unable to increase their lead.
The Golden Knights tied the game on the power play midway through the second frame, but defenseman Jimmy Martin ’11 gave the lead back to Yale for good just one minute later. The power play goal came off of a pass from Kevin Peel ’12 and was Martin’s first of the year.
Although the Elis’ first two goals came from unlikely sources, it was Yale’s leading goal scorer, forward Broc Little ’11, who had his fifteenth of the year to make it 3–1 with 15 minutes left in the game.
Clarkson pulled to within one goal on a four-on-four less than two minutes later, but Maricic held steady in the game’s final minutes, stopping Clarkson from scoring on a two-man advantage after having pulled their goalie for another skater while already on the power play.
“I thought we did a good job of keeping the pressure on them and preventing them from getting any speed through the neutral zone,” captain and defenseman Ryan Donald ’10 said.
On Saturday, though, it was the Bulldogs who were in the position of failing to come back from an early deficit. Despite being outshot 42–29, St. Lawrence scored two goals in the third period to break a 2-2 tie.
“I give St. Lawrence a lot of credit, that is a very good hockey team,” Allain said. “We played really hard, but we were not as smart as we needed to be in several situations.”
The Saints are 5–1–2 this month, having also defeated No. 11 Boston College and tied No. 9 Cornell.
St. Lawrence scored two goals midway through the first period to take a 2–0 lead.
After stopping six of eight shots, Yale goaltender Jeff Malcolm ’13 was replaced by Maricic at the start of the second period.
Just 37 seconds into the period, forward Antoine Laganiere ’13 made it 2–1 after his team had won the faceoff.
Then, 51 seconds into the final frame, forward Mark Arcobello ’10 tied the game at two after recovering a rebound.
Although Yale had the momentum, the Bulldogs were unable to convert and St. Lawrence took control with the go-ahead goal coming with nine minutes left in the game. At 18:08 the Saints put it away with a goal coming off of a breakaway.
The Elis have now outshot their opponents in each of the past 12 periods.
Next up for the Bulldogs is a Friday night showdown at Ingalls Rink against ECAC leader No. 13 Union. The Dutchmen are currently clinging onto first place by one point after losing to Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend.