The men’s hockey team fought through two high-scoring games this weekend, falling to Dartmouth 7–4 on Friday night, but bouncing back to best Harvard 5–1 on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (2–1–1, 1–1–0 ECAC) faced their first conference competition of the season as they traveled to take on the Big Green (3–0–1, 2–0–0 ECAC) and the Crimson (2–1–0, 1–1–0 ECAC). With nine goals this weekend, the Bulldogs nearly doubled their scoring from last weekend when they tied Dartmouth 2–2 and beat Princeton 3–2 in the Ivy League Showcase at Brown.
The Blue and White showed a strong offensive effort in both games this weekend, outshooting their opponents 39–23 on Friday and 49–29 on Saturday. Goalie Nick Maricic ’13 made 16 saves on Friday, and goalie Jeff Malcolm ’13 stopped 28 shots against Harvard on Saturday.
Weak defensive play was a main factor in Friday’s loss.
“We didn’t play well defensively, we turned the puck over at bad times, and made some poor puck decisions throughout the game [on Friday],” team captain and forward Andrew Miller ’13 said.
Forward Antoine Laganiere ’13 added that although the Bulldogs generated more scoring chances, it was the Big Green that capitalized on its opportunities.
Laganiere scored two of the team’s four goals on Friday, but forward Stu Wilson ’16 scored the team’s first goal of the night – and the first goal of his Bulldogs career — just three minutes into the first period. But by the end of the first 20 minutes of play, the Bulldogs were down 3–2.
In the middle of the second period, Dartmouth managed to score an even-handed goal, a power play goal and a short-handed goal – all within a two-minute period. Laganiere capitalized on a Bulldogs power play at 12:35, but the Blue and White could not make up the three-point difference in the third period.
“We did not capitalize on our chances and that has to change if we are to be a winning team,” Laganiere said. “We must be hungrier to score.”
Saturday night the team must have been famished, as its 20-shot advantage led to a four-point victory over the Crimson.
Forward Jesse Root ’14 scored three minutes into the game, and Harvard managed to tie the first period 1–1. But that was the end of Harvard’s scoring for the night.
Root scored again in the second period and forward Trent Ruffalo ’15 tipped in a power play goal at 4:39 in the third period. Forward Kenny Agostino ’14 made Yale’s last two points in the latter half of the third period for the 5–1 victory.
Malcolm, who played in net on Saturday, said the team successfully adjusted its forecheck and managed the puck better.
“We were relentless all over the ice and forced the Crimson back on their heels for most of the game,” Malcolm said. “Our special teams got the job done, which is something we take pride in.”
Miller added that the team was able to learn from its mistakes on Friday and managed to play tougher, make the right plays and react well to one another.
Laganiere said the way the team bounced back from its loss was a good sign. He added that the success of a team is contingent on how it reacts to ups and downs during the season.
“Anytime you lose a game, you can’t wait to get back on the ice to get the bad taste of losing out of your mouth,” Miller said. “And there isn’t much of a better way to do that than beating Harvard.”
The last time Yale faced off against Harvard was in the quarterfinals of the ECAC playoffs last March. The Bulldogs lost the round two games to one, which cut their goal of the conference championship short.
Next weekend, the Bulldogs will take on Clarkson and St. Lawrence on Friday and Saturday respectively in their first home games of the season. Puck drop will be at 7 p.m. at Ingalls Rink on both nights.