MEN’S HOCKEY: Bulldogs undefeated over break

The No. 10 men’s hockey team continued its success out of conference over winter break, going undefeated in three games. The Bulldogs beat the Russian Red Stars 6–3 and Holy Cross 4–1 on Dec. 27 and 29, respectively, before tying the University of Vermont 3–3 on January 4. Yale (8–3–4, 3–2–3 ECAC) has lost only one game outside the ECAC this season, a 4–1 defeat to Dartmouth in a nonconference game at the Liberty Invitational on Oct. 25.

“I think we played really well over break,” defenseman Ryan Obuchowski ’16 said. “Coming back and regrouping after Christmas is always difficult but we came back and had great practices which set us up well for the remainder of the season.”

The Bulldogs played the Russian Red Stars, a touring team made up of Russian players, in an exhibition game just two days after Christmas, coming out firing with three goals in the first period. In Yale’s first game in almost three weeks, forward Carson Cooper ’16 lit the lamp early on before a pair of freshmen tallied goals. Defenseman Dan O’Keefe ’17 scored his first goal in Yale colors, and forward John Hayden ’17 added a goal to widen the Bulldogs’ advantage.

In the second period, center Stu Wilson ’16 scored the eventual game-winner; he would later add an assist on defenseman Rob O’Gara’s ’16 power-play goal in the third frame. The power-play goal was the Elis’ first since Nov. 22 against Colgate. Forward Frankie DiChiara ’17 finished off the scoring 11 minutes into the final period. All healthy skaters participated in the 6–3 win, including all three Yale goalies.

Two days later, the Elis played Holy Cross (4–15–2, 3–9–2 AHA) on Youth Day at Ingalls Rink. Yale’s senior forwards combined to open the scoring, when captain Jesse Root ’14 found Kenny Agostino ’14 for a slap shot just inside the blue line that nestled in the back of the net. In the second frame, forward Anthony Day ’15 scored his first goal since being injured in November. Sophomore forwards Cody Learned ’16 and Stu Wilson ’16 scored in the third period to finish off the scoring.

Goaltender Alex Lyon ’17 stopped 21 of 22 shots in the 4–1 home victory to conclude the Elis’ 2013 action. After the buzzer sounded, the Bulldogs came up to the concourse to sign team photos for fans.

“The Holy Cross game was a really good showing for the whole team,” defenseman Mitch Witek ’16 said. “Our work rate was great across the board and it was a nice way to end the calendar year.”

On Jan. 4, the Elis travelled to Vermont to face the No. 20 Catamounts (11–7–3, 4–5–0 HEA) in Burlington. Agostino again opened the scoring, putting home a rebound off of an Obuchowski shot from the point. Vermont tied the game at 1 four minutes later, but Hayden scored his first official collegiate goal with just over a minute remaining in the first period to regain the lead. Hayden’s prior three goals came in exhibition games.

Halfway through the third, the Catamounts again tied the game, scoring on an odd-man rush up the ice. Agostino then notched his second of the game on a breakaway to give Yale the lead with just under six minutes left to play. The Flames’ prospect has been red-hot of late, scoring seven goals since the beginning of December. But the Bulldogs again surrendered the lead with 53 seconds left in the game, when Vermont scored after pulling its goaltender for the man advantage. Lyon made two of his 32 saves in a scoreless overtime to end the game at a 3–3 tie.

“The Vermont game was a good test for us against a tough opponent,” Obuchowski said. “We were disappointed to give up three leads but we did a lot of good thing that we can build off for our upcoming games.”

The Bulldogs will continue their season this Friday at Clarkson.

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