There was no miraculous comeback this time for the men’s hockey team.
The Bulldogs (9–11–2, 6–8–1 ECAC) erased a two-goal deficit in the final period of a back-and-forth game against St. Lawrence (9–15–3, 5–9–1 ECAC) and seemed poised for a second straight come-from-behind victory. But a controversial penalty gave St. Lawrence a man-advantage in the sudden-death overtime and allowed the Saints to escape with a 4–3 win.
The penalty, a boarding call against Antoine Laganiere ’13 two minutes into the extra frame, put the Saints on a power play that decided the game after a mere 15 seconds. Although fans and players alike were visibly upset after the call against Laganiere, head coach Keith Allain ’80 refused to comment on it. Instead, he pointed out a questionable hit on Kevin Peel ’12 that forced the defenseman to exit the game with a concussion.
Just two and a half minutes into the game, the Bulldogs found a golden scoring opportunity as two St. Lawrence players were sent into the penalty box. But the Blue and White offense could not take advantage of the five-on-three opportunity, finishing the opening frame 0 for 3 on power plays.
“I didn’t think we did a good enough job on that,” Allain said. “I thought that killed a little bit of our momentum.”
Through the first half of the opening frame, the Elis dominated puck possession and generated consistent offensive pressure on the Saints, who were outshot 10–2 at one point. The relentless attack paid off 11:09 into the game.
Forward Antoine Laganiere ’13 took the puck behind the St. Lawrence net and quickly skated into the right circle, firing off a shot before goalie Matt Weninger could react.
But the momentum shifted in favor of St. Lawrence during the last half of the first period as the Saints kept the puck on Yale’s side of the ice for most of the time. Weninger made several athletic saves to frustrate the Bulldogs.
With under 3:30 before the first intermission, goaltender Nick Maricic ’13 could not cover up the puck after two quick scoring attempts by the Saints at point-blank range. Taking advantage of the chaos in front of the net, winger Greg Carey tied the game at 1–1.
The Yale offense was anemic throughout the second period as the Saints overtook the Elis in shot count, 26–19. 2:14 into the period, Jacob Drewiske found a hole in the Bulldogs’ defense and ripped one past Maricic, giving the Saints their first lead of the game.
Eight minutes later, St. Lawrence struck again.
Maricic blocked a shot by the Saints and knocked the puck into the air. As the goalie fell down in front of the net, the puck fell between Maricic and a wide-open net, allowing Chris Martin to widen the lead to 3–1.
But the Bulldogs came roaring back in the final 20 minutes of the game.
8:06 into the final frame, Kevin Limbert ’12 took possession of the puck behind the net and found a waiting Chad Ziegler ’12 waiting off the edge of the crease. Ziegler punched in the puck to cut the deficit to 3–2.
The Saints defense held off wave after wave of Blue and White assault but finally cracked with less than a minute left in regulation.
While the game clock winded down, the Bulldogs launched a final counterattack. As Laganiere skated down the right side of the rink, he found an undefended Agostino across the ice. The junior winger quickly passed the puck, allowing Agostino to tie the game with just 34.2 seconds.
“His teammate made a nice pass to him on that one,” Allain said. “On that game-tying goal, he got a nice pass across the ice, and he did a good job finding some net on the short said.”
However, the Elis could not keep the momentum going into overtime. 2:09 into the extra period, Laganiere was called for a questionable boarding penalty and sent into the box. 15 seconds after the penalty started, Carey fired off a slapper from the right circle to give the Saints a win.
The Bulldogs will take on Clarkson College tonight at Ingalls Rink.