After a string of big wins against some of the nation’s best, the men’s hockey team will be looking to avoid a letdown this weekend in conference play.
The No. 19 Bulldogs (11-4, 6-2 ECAC) welcome struggling ECAC foes Clarkson (3-13-4, 1-6-1) and St. Lawrence (10-9-1, 2-5-1) to Ingalls Rink for a pair of 7 p.m. games. This is the second time this season Yale will face off against the two teams.
The Elis had upset wins over three ranked teams during the break, but they now find themselves on the other side of the fence. Center Brian O’Neill ’12, who has four goals and an assist in the last three games and is this week’s ECAC Rookie of the Week, expected extra intensity from Clarkson and St. Lawrence, considering how his own team prepares for games in which it is the underdog.
“That’s how it is for us when we play a ranked opponent,” he said. “There’s an extra jump in our step, especially in practice … It adds a little spice to the game.”
Yale bounced back from a 3-2 overtime loss to St. Lawrence on Nov. 7 by defeating Clarkson, who was ranked No. 15 at the time, by the same score the following night.
The Elis face off against two teams that have been heading in very different directions as of late. Clarkson has only one win in its last 15 games. Ironically, the lone victory came against then-No. 2 Miami at the Ohio Hockey Classic on Jan. 2. The Saints, on the other hand, have won four of five, including two wins over Clarkson last weekend.