MEN’S HOCKEY | Elis hit the road in search of six straight

The Bulldogs boasts the sixth best power play conversion rate in the country at 23.08 percent. They scored two power play goals in two tries against Dartmouth last week.
The Bulldogs boasts the sixth best power play conversion rate in the country at 23.08 percent. They scored two power play goals in two tries against Dartmouth last week. Photo by Allie Krause.

The men’s hockey team is looking for its third-straight weekend sweep as it travels to upstate New York this weekend.

The Bulldogs (11–4–3, 7–3–1 ECAC) will take to to the road to face the No. 18 Cornell Big Red and the Colgate Raiders on Friday and Saturday night, respectively. Yale hopes to continue its success on special teams, while the Big Red (8–7–2, 4–4–2 ECAC) will look to take advantage of its strong defensive play to shut down the Eli attack.

“They are a very good defensive team,” top-scoring forward Antoine Laganiere ’13 said. “I think we can expect conservative play from them.”

The Big Red has held opponents to a goal or less six times this season, but it will be challenged by Laganiere, who has put away seven goals in the past seven games, and the rest of the Eli offense.

In the past four games, the Big Red has picked up one road win and dropped three other contests, while the Bulldogs have won two on the road and two at home.

Though Cornell’s stifling defense will clash with an aggressive Bulldog attack that has found the net 16 times in the past four games, the Elis will have to manage a speedy and creative attack from the Big Red, team captain Andrew Miller ’13 said.

The Bulldogs will also have to face a scoring threat on Saturday night when they face off against the Raiders. Colgate (11–9–2, 3–6–1 ECAC) just had its five-game winning streak snapped with a pair of losses to Union last weekend, but the Raiders have put up an impressive 33 goals in their past seven contests.

Against Colgate, the Elis will also contend with a power-play unit nearly as strong as their own; the Raiders are 13th in the nation with a 21.43 percent success rate, while the Elis are sixth at 23.08 percent.

Senior forward Robbie Bourdon and freshmen twin forwards Tylor and Tyson Spink lead the attack for the Raiders. For Yale, forward Kenny Agostino ’14, Laganiere and Miller shoulder the bulk of the scoring effort.

Playing on the road again after sweeping two Ivy rivals will be a challenge for the Bulldogs, and the two upstate New York teams’ similar up-tempo styles will test the Elis’ conditioning.

“They are both fast and strong teams,” Miller said. “They both play with a lot of speed and creativity, so we must be sharp defensively.”

This is the first set of matchups in a two weekend series against Cornell and Colgate, with both the Big Red and the Raiders returning to Ingalls on March 1 and 2 for the final games of the Bulldogs’ season.

Goaltender Jeff Malcolm ’13 earned ECAC Goaltender of the Week honors for the second time in a row this week, and Laganiere received the ECAC Player of the Week designation.

Tonight’s game will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcasted live on NBC Sports. The puck will drop Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Starr Rink in Hamilton, N.Y.

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