The Yale men’s hockey team earned its second straight win in Hartford last night with a team effort that saw four different Bulldogs find the back of the net. Goaltender Sam Tucker ’19 earned his first collegiate win and forward Evan Smith ’20 scored his first career goal as the Elis won 4–2 against another nonconference opponent, Connecticut.
The Bulldogs (6–6–2, 2–5–1 ECAC Hockey) dominated play against the Huskies (8–7–6, 4–3–2 Hockey East) in all three periods, snapping their five game win streak and handing them their first loss since Nov. 26. A strong forecheck and a high quality defensive zone breakout helped the Elis control play against a team with seven drafted players that sent two of its members to the World Junior Championships in Canada. Goaltender Adam Huska played for Slovakia, while forward Tage Thompson won gold with team USA two days ago, recording five points in seven games played.
Yale came out flying, putting the first 13 shots of the game on the Husky net without allowing a shot on its own goal for the first 11 minutes of the period. Forward Joe Snively ’19 opened up the scoring with a wrap-around goal just over eight minutes into the game. However, a tally by the Huskies’ Morgan Brian four minutes later sent the Elis into the locker room tied after one period of play despite outshooting their opponents 16–4.
In the second period, it was UConn that broke the tie, with Spencer Naas scoring on the power play with 8:32 left in the frame. Tucker was tested with two outstanding scoring chances for the Huskies in the second but limited them to just the power-play tally. He prevented Morgan from scoring his second of the game five minutes into the period as the forward came in alone on net and later in the period stopped Maxim Letunov on a breakaway attempt.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs had a golden opportunity to even the score, as Justin Howell received a five-minute major and game misconduct after he sent defender Adam Larkin ’18 into the boards 12:23 minutes into the second period. The Elis scored twice on the player-advantage, with forward Ryan Hitchcock ’18 beating Huska five-hole to tie the score just 22 seconds before Smith scored the eventual game winner on a deflection of defender Henry Hart’s ’18 shot from the point.
The Bulldogs tallied the only goal in the third period on a wrist shot from forward Frankie DiChiara ’17 and then closed the game out by allowing their opponents only four shots on goal in the final frame. Yale skated off having outshot the Huskies 41–15 and has now scored 16 goals in the last three games.
The Elis will look to continue this high scoring on Tuesday against Providence before returning to conference play against Clarkson on Jan 13.