The men’s hockey team traveled north this weekend to face ECAC rivals Dartmouth and Vermont, but after losing both games by substantial margins, the Bulldogs only seem to be heading south.
Yale (0-4, 0-2 ECAC) fell 5-2 to Dartmouth (2-2, 1-1) Friday night in Hanover mostly because of poor special teams play. The next day, the Elis lost to the Catamounts (4-4-1, 2-0) in a 7-1 blowout.
Dartmouth converted three of its seven power play opportunities while killing all 10 of Yale’s.
“All weekend our power play couldn’t convert,” defenseman Matt Cohen ’07 said. “Something’s wrong with our penalty kill. We give up a ton of power-play goals every game. We definitely took too many penalties — that’s part of it — but so did Dartmouth and so did Vermont. They’re calling this many penalties a game on average anyway, so that’s not an excuse.”
Forward Christian Jensen ’06 started the scoring with an unassisted goal 83 seconds into the first period, but Dartmouth soon countered with three first-period goals. Freshman forward David Jones scored at 6:22 and then sophomore defenseman Grant Lewis and junior defenseman Garett Overlock netted power-play goals for the Big Green.
Forward Blair Yaworski ’08 scored his second goal of the season in the second period, but the Dartmouth offense was too much for Yale in the third. Freshman forward Nick Johnson and senior forward Lee Stempniak added third-period goals for Dartmouth to put the game out of reach.
The Big Green offense took more shots Friday night than partygoers at Toad’s Place. Goalie Josh Gartner ’06 made 45 saves in Dartmouth’s 50-shot barrage.
“If we could keep the puck out of the hands of their forwards, maybe we could force some errors when they get in their own end,” head coach Tim Taylor said. “In the second period, we did that pretty well.”
Cohen said he was happy with the team’s performance until the final period.
“We won the second period,” he said. “Down 3-2 on the road heading into the third period to a team they say is the best in the league, we’ll take that any day.”
Saturday night’s game was not nearly as close entering the third period. Allowing three goals in each of the first two periods, including a hat trick by UVM senior forward Scott Milfsud, Yale was out of the game by the time they took to the ice for the final frame. So was Gartner, who was pulled in favor of Matt Modelski ’07 after giving up three goals on 11 first period shots.
“I thought even after the first period, because two of the goals were power-play goals, we could make a game of it in the second and third,” Taylor said.
Despite Taylor’s hopes, Vermont’s power play continued to produce after the first, scoring five times on seven chances. Yale was 0-7 with a man advantage.
“Fruitless power plays for us, and effective power plays for the other team,” Taylor said.
Forward Brad Mills ’07 scored with 1:16 remaining in the game to foil UVM freshman goalie Joe Fallon’s attempt at a second straight shutout after a 2-0 victory Friday against Princeton. But it was no moral victory for the Elis, who did not take pride in the 7-1 final.
As the Catamounts celebrate a fine two-win weekend to start their ECAC schedule, Yale continues to sputter. The team will take a long look at its special teams this week in practice before visiting Harvard and Brown next weekend.
“I didn’t think their power play was awesome,” Cohen said of Vermont. “I don’t think there’s anything special with it. It’s something we’re doing that’s not working.”