A burst of energy from the Bulldogs in the third period solidified the Yale lead to bring the team to its 4–2 win over the UMass Minutemen.
Last night at Ingalls Rink, the Bulldogs (7–3–2, 3–3–1 ECAC) scored first and maintained their lead to top UMass (5–9–2, 4–6–1 HEA) for their seventh win of the season. Though possession changed constantly and Yale had to battle for the puck all over the ice, the Bulldogs managed to piece together another win fueled by team effort.
“It was kind of an ugly game, which is what happens when you play three games in four nights and you have a couple of guys banged up,” head coach Keith Allain said. “We came together as a team; we did the things we have to do to win games.”
Scoring came from all over the ice, with goals from Nico Weberg ’15, Tommy Fallen ’15, team captain Andrew Miller ’13 and Stu Wilson ’16. Yale was able to maintain a lead at all times, but the Bulldogs kept only a slight one-goal lead until the third period.
Unlike the Union game on Saturday night, in which the Bulldogs took two and a half periods to get on the scoreboard, Weberg managed to get Yale a goal in just less than three and a half minutes.
Kenny Agostino ’14 made a smart play chipping the puck out behind the Minutemen’s defensemen, and Weberg picked it up in the neutral zone. Weberg then moved it over to Clinton Bourbonais ’14, who moved to the slot and passed it back to Weberg. With the puck back on his stick, Weberg drove wide down the left side and kept his composure until he was just below the faceoff dot before snapping it over goaltender Kevin Boyle’s right shoulder before the Minuteman could react.
“We’ve been working on it in practice all week,” Weberg said. “Clint made a good play, and I just put it up top.”
Fueled with momentum early in the game, the Elis continued their onslaught.
Halfway through the second, the Yale power play struck again when Agostino hit Antoine Laganiere ’13 at the top of the left circle. Laganiere then fed Fallen in the slot. Fallen looked off a pass and ripped a low snap shot through traffic that sailed over Boyle’s right pad to put Yale up 2–0.
Determined to finish the period down just a goal, UMass Steven Guzzo received the puck at the point and walked to the middle of the ice. Guzzo then skated around a Yale defender, put a slick move on goalkeeper Jeff Malcolm ’13 and calmly slid the puck through Malcolm’s legs to cut Yale’s lead to one.
The Minutemen’s time down by a goal was short-lived, however. Six minutes into the third, the Bulldogs put the game out of reach before UMass had a chance to bounce back.
Miller flew down the right side before pulling up and hitting Ryan Obuchowski ’16, who was on the rush with him. Obuchowski fired and Boyle left a rebound sitting in front of the open net, which Miller banged in the loose puck when he crashed the net to widen the Bulldogs’ lead.
A mere 20 seconds later, Wilson put the final nail in the coffin. Wilson read the UMass regroup and picked off a pass, zipped past the UMass defense and wristed a bar-down shot from the dot to put the Elis up by three.
Both teams were given five-on-three opportunities Tuesday night. UMass had one early in the game, and both teams had chances in the third.
UMass pulled its goalie and added a sixth man with three minutes left to play, doubling the amount of skaters the Bulldogs had on the ice. The first Yale penalty expired and Miller returned to the ice, but UMass Rocco Carzo was able to overpower the Yale defense and score a garbage goal to cut Yale’s lead to two. But it was too little, too late for the Minutemen.
Yale also had strong goaltending early in the game that allowed them to gain momentum from the beginning.
“Early on in the game we had some good goaltending,” Miller said. “Malcolm came up huge early in the game.”
The Bulldogs now have some time to heal their injuries over the holidays, as they don’t compete for 17 days. Yale will face off against the Russian Red Stars of the Russian Junior Hockey League on Dec. 28 at Ingalls Rink.