With a 5–3 loss to No. 6 Quinnipiac on Saturday, the Yale men’s hockey team’s season came to a close, ending with elimination in the best-of-three ECAC tournament quarterfinal series.
The Bulldogs (17–11–5, 10–8–3 ECAC) currently sit in 17th place in the PairWise rankings, and because only 16 teams make the NCAA field, the Elis find themselves on the wrong side of the bubble.
A night after falling behind big to the Bobcats (24–8–6, 12–6–4), the Elis faced the same predicament, allowing two first period goals in the first 5:31. But forward John Hayden ’17 lit the lamp with a power play goal at the 14:31 mark, cutting the deficit to a single goal.
Though Quinnipiac struck again just 2:40 later to take a 3–1 lead at the end of the first period, it was another freshman, forward Mike Doherty ’17, who put the puck in the net next. His goal came off a pass from defenseman Mitch Witek ’16 and was reviewed after the puck landed at Bobcats goalie Michael Garteig’s feet inside the goal line.
Hayden’s second goal of the game, which came at the 12:27 mark of the second period, tied the score and put the Bulldogs right back in the game. In the third period, however, a pair of goals by forwards Jordan Samuels-Thomas and Sam Anas put the game away for Quinnipiac, which advanced to the conference semifinals against No. 17 Colgate.
Though the Bulldogs failed to beat Quinnipiac this season in four games, losing three and tying one, the Elis did win the game that matters most, taking home the 2013 national championship after shutting down the Bobcats 4–0 in the Frozen Four.
Saturday’s game marked the first time that Yale had allowed five goals in consecutive games since December of 2008, when the Bulldogs lost to Union and Nebraska-Omaha.