BRIDGEPORT — At a sold-out Arena at Harbor Yard, the men’s hockey team faces Vermont tonight in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs are looking to continue their historic season, which has thus far included ECAC regular season and tournament championships.
R.J. Rico, a sports reporter for the News, will update this space with dispatches from Bridgeport throughout the evening.
9:05 p.m. | The game has ended with the score Vermont 4, Yale 1. While they were not out-shot (both Yale and Vermont had 26 shots on target), the Elis never seemed to find their form—on either side of the puck. Richards struggled as he let in four goals, none of which looked especially difficult to stop. On the offensive end, the Bulldogs had seven power play opportunities, but failed to capitalize on any of them. They did not seem to have the explosiveness or the tenacity that they have displayed all-season, and it is an unfortunate way for them to end their year. It truly has been an amazing year for the men’s hockey team. They have surely had one of the most memorable seasons of any Yale sports team in recent memory, but for them the road has ended in Bridgeport.
9:00 p.m. | At least the Bulldogs won’t be able to say that they were shut-out in their final game of the season. With 1:45 left, Chris Cahill ’10 took a shot from the left faceoff dot and saw it land in the net to make the score 4-1.
8:56 p.m. | With 3:35 left, and the score now 4-0, this game is all but over. Corey Carlson of Vermont stole the puck, led a breakaway, and hit the puck into the top-right of the net.
8:50 p.m. | The past four minutes of play has seen the Yale offense fight with an increased intensity, but with only five minutes remaining, and still losing 3-0, it is looking to be far too late for a comeback.
8:37 p.m. | With fourteen minutes left in the period, after having seen Vermont stop another Yale power play opportunity, the Vermont crowd has gotten louder, starting a loud “UVM” chant. They may be outnumbered by Yale supporters, but from just the sound of it, it does not seem that way.
8:09 p.m. | Vermont has scored again and pulled away with a minute left in the second period. A Vermont defender intercepted an attempted Bulldog clearance and passed it to Vock who, from the right faceoff dot, proceeded to hit a hard shot through Richards’ legs. At the end of the second period, the Catamounts lead 3-0 and have all of the momentum heading into the locker room.
8:02 p.m. | The game has started to get rough. With 5:45 left in the game, Vermont’s Colin Vock was penalized for slashing goaltender Richards. Seconds into the power-play there was another scuffle, this time in front of the Vermont net. Then, Yale’s Denny Kearney ’11 nearly had a goal off of a deflection in front of the net. The crowd erupted, thinking he had scored, but he had actually missed the puck. The previously silent Yale crowd, feeling a sense of urgency, has started to make some noise. Another Vermont penalty gave the Bulldogs a 5-on-3 advantage, but nothing came about from that opportunity either.
7:53 p.m. | After having being called for having too many men on the ice, Yale’s penalty-kill unit has kept the game within reach by not allowing Vermont to score another goal. Seven minutes remain in the second period. The Yale offense is going to have to do something soon, though.
7:31 p.m. | Make it 2-0. Vermont’s Viktor Stalberg, who has looked strong all game took a quick pass and drilled the puck past Richards’ right side, hitting nothing but the back of the net.
7:12 p.m. | The first period has ended, with Vermont ahead 1-0. Despite it being a penalty-filled period (there were six in total), the lone goal came off of a seemingly ordinary shot that should have been stopped. With thirty seconds left, the Bulldogs had one of their biggest chances of the game, but nobody was there to put in the deflected puck.
7:04 p.m. | With 5:32 left in the first period, Vermont takes the lead. Catamount winger Peter Lenes shot the puck right through Richards from about twenty feet out. The puck went under his left hand, as Richards tried to glove it, rather than block it.
6:58 p.m. | Both teams’ offenses seemed to have started to find their groove, as each has had a good looks. Yale goaltender Alec Richards ’09 just made a clean shot on an open shot from the Catamounts.
6:49 p.m. | With a 5-on-3 advantage of their own, the Elis’ offense was also shut-out, although they did have better chances than Vermont had a few minutes ago. Eleven minutes remain in the first period.
6:43 p.m. | As they have done so often this season, the Bulldog defense stopped their opponents from scoring on a power-play. Kevin Peel ’12 was penalized for charging, and a minute later Sean Backman ’10 was called for slashing. Despite the minute-long 5-on-3 advantage, the Bulldogs did not even allow a shot on goal.
6:35 p.m. | With “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” blasting throughout the arena, both teams huddle around their own nets. It is time for the game to start.
6:33 p.m. | Both teams (and their respective mascots) are on the ice for the introduction of the starting lineups. Two minutes remain until the game starts.
6:19 p.m. | It is twenty minutes to game time, and both teams have just concluded their warmups. The Yale student section is starting to fill in. In another corner of the arena, the Michigan band has cleared out, and the YPMB has taken their place.