For 50 minutes on Thursday night, the men’s hockey team trailed behind Brown.
The Bears (3–6–1, 2–3 ECAC) rattled the Bulldogs (6–3–1, 4–1) with two early goals and held off a frustrated Yale offense for two periods. But the Blue and White attack ultimately proved too much for the Bears to handle as the Elis scored three unanswered goals in the final 10 minutes of the game to cap off a 5–3 come-from-behind victory.
“I thought we had a much better effort against BC,” captain and forward Brian O’Neill ’12 said. “Not to take anything away from, Brown but I think we might have gotten a couple of more bounces tonight.”
Brown’s Kyle Quick notched the opening tally for the Bears just 43 seconds into the game. Immediately after a victorious faceoff, the freshman defenseman fired off a wrister from the blue line. The puck flew past goaltender Jeff Malcolm ’13 and bounced off the goalpost into the net.
Halfway through the opening period, Brown struck again on its first power play of the night.
A big hit along the wall landed blueliner Matt Killian ’15 a crosschecking penalty. Less than a minute later, Brown center Jack Maclellan skated down the left side of the rink unguarded and sent the puck over Malcolm’s shoulder into the net.
“I didn’t think we played as well as we need to defensively,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said. “We are giving up more chances than I would like, and we are making some mistakes in coverage that we need to correct.”
Suddenly facing a two-goal deficit, the Bulldogs responded with a power play of their own.
With 5:50 left in the first period, the Elis patiently passed the puck around the perimeter, waiting for an opening in the Bears’ defense. Defenseman Tommy Fallen ’15 found an unguarded O’Neill, who shot off a one-timer from the top of the left circle past the Bears’ netminder Mike Clemente.
“It’s always nice to see O’Neill score, I love it when he scores,” Allain said. “I love it when any Yale guy scores.”
Center Clinton Bourbonais ’14 had a chance to even up the score with 32 seconds left in the opening period, but his shot from the right circle bounced harmlessly off the goalpost.
Bourbonais set up the Bulldogs’ equalizer nine minutes into the second period. With the Bears down a man, Bourbonais sent a shot that bounced off Clemente’s leg pads, giving Antoine Laganiere ’13 a chance to put in the rebound.
However, the Bears took the lead again nine minutes later. Freshman left winger Matt Harlow scored his first collegiate goal with a quick shot from slot, putting Brown ahead 3–2.
That was the closest the Bears would come to winning the game.
10:28 into the final period, a charging Charles Brockett ’12 set up a screen shot for Colin Dueck ’12, who fired the puck between Clemente’s legs to tie the scoreboard.
“We’re down 2–0, we tie it 2–2 and they get another one to go ahead 3–2 and for a lot of teams those kind of things can put you away,” Allain said. “We hung in there, and Dueck got a big goal for us, which I think really gave our team energy.”
Three minutes later, Andrew Miller ’13, who sat out the last game with an injury, gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the game after the feed from Jesse Root ’14. The junior center was waiting in the left circle when Root chipped the puck to him.
“Miller’s a special player,” O’Neill said. “Whenever you have him out there, he’s going to get you the puck as much as possible, and he’s a playmaker.”
The Bears responded by launching repeated assaults at the Yale goal and set up several golden scoring opportunities around the net.
But Malcolm and the Yale defense kept Brown goalless for the final 20 minutes of the game. Malcolm and Clemente finished the game with 34 saves each.
With less than two minutes in the game, the Elis put the final nail in the coffin.
Miller forced a turnover along Brown’s blue line and immediately sent the puck to Root, who then notched his second assist of the night with a feed to O’Neill. The left-winger snapped off a one timer from the left circle to give the Bulldogs the 5–3 victory.
However, the victory was marred as the Elis saw another one of its offensive stalwart go down. Forward Kenny Agostino ’14, who led the team with 10 points entering the game, limped off the ice and headed straight to the locker room during the third period with an apparent injury to his left leg.
The Bulldogs will take on Brown again on Saturday in Providence, R.I.