The No. 10 men’s hockey team faced a disappointing away weekend, suffering losses to Union and RPI and a three-place drop in league rankings.
The Bulldogs fell 4–2 to Union (15–10–5, 8–6–4 ECAC) and 4–1 to RPI (14–11–5, 9–6–3 ECAC) on Friday and Saturday nights, respectively. With this weekend’s losses, Yale will finish its season without wins over either ECAC competitor: In December, the Elis lost to the Engineers 6–1 and tied the Dutchmen 2–2. After their current four-game losing streak, the Elis (13–9–3, 9–8–1 ECAC) have fallen from second to fifth place in the ECAC. RPI now ranks second and Union lies in third place.
“We have not produced nearly enough offense in the past four games,” team captain Andrew Miller ’13 said. “You can’t win scoring less than two goals a game.”
On Friday night, defender Tommy Fallen ’15 gave the Bulldogs a one-goal lead on a power play at the end of the third period, but Union managed to score four goals in the second and third periods. Miller responded halfway through the third period with another power-play goal, but it was not enough to bridge the team’s two-goal deficit.
Shots on goal were nearly on par between the two teams, with the Bulldogs down just 42–39. Jeff Malcolm ’13, who was the team’s starting goalie until he suffered a leg injury during the Princeton game on Feb. 1, is still out of commission.
Nick Maricic ’13 started in net on Friday, but after about 31 minutes of play, Connor Wilson ’15 took his place in the crease.
Forward Antoine Laganiere ’13 said the team has not been fazed by the recent goaltending changes.
“Bottom line is that three goals over the course of a weekend is not enough to win,” he added.
Saturday night saw Wilson play in net for his first full game this season. The Engineers opened scoring with a power play goal halfway through the first period, but Miller evened the scoreboard early in the second period off an assist from Laganiere and Fallen, marking his 12th goal of the season.
Despite parity in shots on goal in the third period, the Engineers managed to tip two in past Wilson, followed by an empty-netter with 11 seconds left in the game. However, the Bulldogs outshot RPI 27–22.
“The team worked really hard this weekend, things just didn’t go our way,” Wilson said. “We’re going to prepare for the upcoming weekend the same way we would for any other weekend and approach this week’s practices the same way we have all season. The team is very optimistic and we’ll be ready to go on Friday.”
Next weekend, the Bulldogs will travel to No. 1 Quinnipiac and Princeton on Friday and Saturday, respectively. It will be the second-to-last weekend of season games before ECAC playoffs begin.