The normally hostile stomping grounds of the Killer Cs were kind to the visiting men’s hockey team this weekend.
The Bulldogs (9-7-4, 5-5-4 ECAC) returned home from upstate New York with a season-best three-point weekend. After turning in a dominating 6-1 performance against Colgate (10-10-4, 4-5-3) on Friday night, the Elis eked out a 2-2 tie against Cornell (9-7-3, 7-4-1).
On Friday night, the Bulldogs exploded for six goals as they sailed past Colgate in front of 1,600 noisy fans at Starr Rink. The victory completed a rare single-season sweep of the Raiders, whom the Elis have not bested twice in the same season since 2003.
Five different Bulldogs lit the lamp in the effort, with forward Matthew Thomey ’08 leading the way with two goals and an assist. Thomey — who had his first two-goal outing since Clarkson in 2006 — was credited with the game winner for his power-play goal in the second period. He said he was trying to send the puck to teammate Chris Cahill ’10 but got a fortunate bounce that gave the Elis a two-goal edge.
Thomey added another goal in the third period, and Sean Backman ’10, Mike Matczak ’11, Denny Kearney ’11 and Broc Little ’11 also put up even-strength goals.
Netminder Billy Blase ’10 turned in a great performance, although he was robbed of his second shutout of the season with just 4:31 left on the clock by the Raiders’ David Sloane. Blase stopped 32 of 33 shots on goal for the night, his second straight outing with over 30 saves.
“Every win in this league is a big one,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said after the game. “Colgate is a really good team, and that makes this win even more special. They were fast and strong and a much better team than we saw earlier this season.”
Saturday night, however, things did not heat up as quickly on either end of the ice. Both Yale and Cornell went scoreless in the opening period, and Blase put up six stops while his Big Red counterpart Ben Scrivens had 10 saves.
In the second period, the Bulldogs broke through first, when forward Matt Nelson ’09 knocked in a feed from center Blair Yaworski ’08 at 5:17. But three minutes later, the Big Red got the equalizer off a goal from Colin Greening, whose power-play tally at 14:21 gave Cornell its first lead of the game. Thomey extended his scoring streak to two games with the tying goal off a feed from Kearney towards the end of the frame.
But Thomey’s goal was the last offensive gasp for either side, and after nearly 27 more minutes on the ice, the two squads skated to a draw. This was the third straight 2-2 tie at Lynah Rink for the Elis and the Big Red. The last time either team earned two points was a 6-2 Cornell victory in Dec. 2004.
Although the Bulldogs have yet to complete a single-weekend sweep this year, the win and tie put them in an excellent position as they head into the final month of regular-season competition. Coming off a 1-1 split at Alabama-Huntsville last weekend — where captain Will Engasser ’08 said the Elis had hoped to finish 2-0 — the points help the Bulldogs remain in the top half of the highly competitive ECAC.
The Bulldogs return to Ingalls rink Friday night to face Dartmouth for the first time this season.