The Yale men’s hockey team tries to keep its streaks going, building momentum in two-, four-and five-game winning streaks this season. After Tuesday night’s shutout loss to Brown, however, the No. 10 Bulldogs (13–7–3, 9–6–1 ECAC) are looking to snap their only two-game losing streak of the year.
Tonight the Elis will head to Schenectady, N.Y., to take on the Union Dutchmen (13–10–5, 6–6–4 ECAC) before making the 30-minute drive to Troy, N.Y., to face the RPI Engineers (12–11–5, 7–6–3 ECAC) on Saturday night. The Bulldogs have competed in conference games against both the Dutchmen and the Engineers once this season at Ingalls, falling to RPI 6–1 and tying Union 2–2. In the second and third games of a five away-game stretch, the mental toughness and stamina the Bulldogs have built up this season will become necessities.
With the match against Brown rescheduled to Feb. 12, the Elis faced a hectic burst of three away games within a five-day period. While head coach Keith Allain ’80 commended the Bulldogs’ high level of fitness after the Elis won two overtime games against Colorado College and Denver at high altitude, the quick turnaround from Providence to New Haven to upstate New York will prove to be another difficult test.
The Elis will also need to find the success on the power play they achieved earlier in the season.
“We’ve had games where we’ve been a little snake-bitten, but [we] have seemed to be producing opportunities and scoring chances almost every game thus far,” leading scorer Kenny Agostino ’14 said.
The No. 13 Yale power play, which put away both goals against Quinnipiac on Feb. 2, will be competing for goals against Union’s No. 1 power play, which has gone 34-for-128 on the year.
The Elis are well-positioned and ready to defend the Union attack, however, with an 81.1 percent effective penalty-killing unit.
Against the Engineers, the Elis will need to turn up the heat on the attack as well. RPI has gone undefeated in February, and part of its success can be attributed to freshman goaltender Jason Kasdorf, who posts a .938 save percentage and a 1.59 goals against average, the fifth best in Division I hockey.
“Union has great power play, so we need to stay out of the box. Fast starts and solid team defense is key for us to win games this weekend,” Miller said.
At No. 10, Yale is the only ranked team in this weekend’s matchups, but Union just missed the top 20 positions and received the most votes for an unranked team with 40.
The puck will drop at 7 p.m. both tonight and tomorrow night in New York.