The Bulldogs’ trip to the North Country began with a blizzard, a delayed game and a seven-hour power outage at their hotel.
Things continued to look bleak for the men’s hockey team on Saturday when it faced a 3–1 deficit with eight minutes left in the second period against St. Lawrence (8–11–3, 4–5–1 ECAC), the ECAC’s 10th-place team. Though Yale (8–6–2, 5–3–1) came back to salvage a 3–3 tie, the result still dropped them to sixth place in the conference standings. Things did not improve the next night as Yale let Clarkson come from behind and beat Yale in overtime, 5–4
Yale is now just 2–2–1 in its last five league games and hovering in the middle of the ECAC pack.
The Saints jumped on Yale early in the game with a goal from Pete Child just 1:38 into the first period.
“They scored right off the bat, so we were on our heels right away,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said in a press release. “Our guys did a great job of battling back. This is a tough place to play.”
The Bulldogs regained some momentum when forward Andrew Miller ’13 scored with only two seconds remaining in the first period. But the Elis’ momentum would not last. On one of its six power plays, St. Lawrence’s Greg Carey scored to give his team a 2–1 lead. Carey struck again only seven minutes later to put Yale in a 3–1 hole.
Behind netminder Jeff Malcolm ’13, who recorded 26 saves for the night, the Elis held the Saints at three and began mounting their comeback. Just under three minutes into the third period, Kevin Peel ’12 put in a power play goal to bring the Elis within one. It was the only time Yale’s normally robust power play units converted on the night despite seven opportunities.
Then, with less than five minutes remaining in the game, forward Clinton Bourbonais ’14 scored the goal that ultimately sent the contest into overtime.
“Clint’s goal was the result of a great sustained offensive zone shift by that line,” Allain said. “[Antoine Laganiere ’13] and [Trent Ruffolo ’15] did a great job on the forecheck to keep pucks alive. Both of them were involved in getting Clint the puck in the slot. His shot went high glove side.”
Despite controlling the run of play during overtime, the Elis could not capitalize to take the win. Yale recorded four out of the five shots on target, but St. Lawrence goalie Matt Weninger managed to keep the puck out of the net.
On Sunday, the Elis met a similar fate in overtime against Clarkson. But unlike Saturday night’s 3–3 draw with St. Lawrence, the Elis conceded with a minute remaining in the five-minute period to lose 5–4.
The Golden Knights (10–10–5, 4–4–3) scored the deciding goal on a controversial power play. A few minutes into the overtime period, the Yale bench was penalized for a comment directed toward an official. Within a minute, Clarkson’s Sam Labrecque put the puck in the net to win it.
“Officiating is always one of those things that you don’t have control over, and whatever the call is you just have to work past it,” Laganiere said. “I thought we did our best to try to turn it around. We were not frustrated and losing control, it was just our penalty against their power play.”
The game looked promising early on for the Blue and White. Ten minutes into the game, defenseman Tommy Fallen ’15 intercepted a clearance and fired a slap shot to give the Bulldogs the lead.
Laganiere followed this up with a similar effort about three minutes later. After creating a turnover in Clarkson’s end of the ice, Laganiere made a move past a Golden Knights defenseman and put the puck behind the Clarkson netminder Paul Karpowich.
The second period was filled with goals as the two teams combined for four tallies. Yale’s Bourbonais kicked off the scoring with his second goal in two days to put the Elis up by two once again.
“He’s been doing well all season,” Laganiere said. “This weekend was particularly good statistically, but other weekends he’s done just as well.”
However, the Yale offense shut down after Bourbonais’ goal. Up 3–1 with less than two minutes remaining in the second period, the Elis seemed to be in good shape. But the momentum shifted starting with a power play goal from Clarkson forward Ben Sexton. Another Yale penalty gave the Golden Knights a chance to tie things up, and Louke Oakley took advantage with 20 seconds remaining in the period. After a Sexton shot bounced off the glass, Oakley took the rebound and put it in.
Only two minutes later, Oakley struck again to put the Golden Knights up 4–3. But yet again, the Elis overcame a deficit. Captain Brian O’Neill ’12 deflected a Colin Dueck ’13 slap shot to knot things up.
For the second night in a row, the Elis struggled on special teams. After converting only one power play out of seven opportunities Saturday night, the Elis went 1–6 on Sunday.
“My power play unit had trouble keeping the play going and holding on to the puck,” Laganiere said. “I don’t know if it was due to increased pressure, but it was just not clicking as it usually does.”
On the penalty kill the Elis struggled as well. Despite having one of the best penalty killing units in the ECAC, the Elis allowed three goals in Clarkson’s five power plays.
The Elis will be back in action at 7 p.m. Friday against Union and Saturday at 7 p.m. against RPI. Both games will be played at Ingalls Rink.