Though the Bulldogs kept a five-game winning streak alive with an overtime win over Cornell last weekend, the Colgate Raiders snapped the Elis’ momentum on the road. A revamped Yale men’s hockey squad will take the ice at Ingalls Rink tonight and tomorrow looking for its fourth sweep of the season.
This evening at 7 p.m., the No. 14 Bulldogs (12–5–3, 8–4–1 ECAC) will face off against Ivy League rival Princeton before they suit up for Saturday’s matchup against cross-town opponent No. 2 Quinnipiac.
The Tigers have gone undefeated in Ivy competition apart from a pair of losses to Yale and Brown at the Ivy League shootout during the preseason. The Bulldogs also defeated the Tigers in a best-of-three series in the ECAC playoffs last season. Quinnipiac (18–3–3, 11–0–1) is coming off a huge 17-game lossless stretch, but the squad has not touched the ice since Jan. 22. While the Yale power play went 0-for-7 over last weekend, team defense and special teams will be an integral part of this weekend’s matchups against the Tigers and the Bobcats.
“We need to play sound defensively and hopefully that will turn into some good offense,” team captain and forward Andrew Miller ’13 said.
Defense will be key against the Princeton (7–8–4, 5–4–3) attack led by forward Andrew Calof, who is the 15th highest-scoring forward in the country and ECAC player of the month.
Goaltending from Jeff Malcolm ’13 will help back the Bulldog defense. Malcolm is 11–4–3 in net for the Elis this season and has been selected as ECAC goalie of the week the past two weeks.
“Jeff has always shown periods of great play, and what you’re seeing now is the maturation process coming full circle where he can maintain that level of play for a longer period of time,” head coach Keith Allain said.
While the Quinnipiac team defense and penalty-killing are currently both ranked No. 2 in the country, the Bulldogs have the edge on team offense, ranked at the No. 15 spot above Quinnipiac at 23 and Princeton at 35.
The Tigers will have an advantage on the power play, as they are 16-for-64 with a 25 percent conversion rate, compared to the Bulldogs’ 21.43 percent success rate.
Princeton’s powerful offense and Yale’s strong defense will clash as they did in this year’s Ivy League shootout, where Yale toppled the Tigers with a last-minute goal in what Allain called a “dead-even game.”
Both of this weekend’s games are important for Yale’s conference standing and for the PairWise rankings in which the Elis are currently ranked fifth and the Bobcats are ranked No. 1.
After this weekend’s contests, the Bulldogs will travel to Princeton and Quinnipiac on Feb. 22 and 23 for the second time this season.