The men’s ice hockey team pushed its unbeaten streak to five games with two wins and a tie after the new year.
The No. 6 Bulldogs (9–3–3, 5–1–2 ECAC) defeated conference opponent Dartmouth, 4–2 in Hanover, N.H, on Sunday after a strong performance at the Badger Hockey Showdown last weekend. The Elis had snapped No. 11 Ferris State’s 10-game unbeaten streak with a 6–1 win in the first round of the tournament on Jan. 2 before tying No. 4 Wisconsin 2–2 in overtime in the finals the following day.
“It’s huge for us,” forward Sean Backman ’10 said after the win against Dartmouth. “To get back into league play and get a win after the break is really important. Every time we play a league game, it’s important.”
The Big Green (4–11–0, 2–7–0 ECAC) currently sit in last place in the ECAC standings but were able to shut out a powerful Yale offense in the first quarter. The Bulldogs had been averaging 4.14 goals per conference game, the highest average in the ECAC, heading into the contest. Though the Bulldogs had two power play opportunities in the first, they were unable to capitalize on either of them.
But Dartmouth’s defense began to let up early in the second period. While on the penalty kill, defenseman Jimmy Martin ’11 stripped the puck from an opponent and connected with forward Mark Arcobello ’10, allowing the senior to score shorthanded for his fourth goal of the season.
At 13:45 in the third period, forward Jeff Anderson ’11 hit the puck into the hands of Dartmouth goalie Jody O’Neill, who appeared to have the save. O’Neill, however, lost control of the puck behind the goalposts, giving Yale the 2–0 lead.
Less than 30 seconds later, Arcobello stole the puck and, from the side of the ice, scored the Bulldog’s third goal of the game.
It took until 2:58 left in the game for Dartmouth to answer while on the man-advantage.
After forward Broc Little ’11 was called for slashing, Dartmouth pulled goaltender O’Neill out of the game for the two-man advantage. It proved to be a win-lose situation.
Mark Goggin capitalized on the two-man-up power play, pulling the Green to within one goal, 3–2, with 1:58 left to play in regulation. But Mason took advantage of O’Neill’s absence with an empty-net goal 48 seconds later, ensuring victory for the Bulldogs.
“It started off slow for us, but I think once we got it going, the second and third went pretty well,” Arcobello said. “It’s a big Ivy and a big ECAC win. We have a lot of ECAC games coming up, so it’s a good start.”
The Elis currently hold a three-game win streak against Dartmouth. The Big Green’s last win against the Bulldogs came in a 7–2 trounce in February of 2008.
Arguably more impressive were the win and tie Yale took against nationally ranked teams in the Badger Hockey Showdown in Madison, Wisc.
After defeating Ferris State in the tournament’s opening round, the Elis finished tied 2–2 with the Badgers after overtime in the finals. Although the Bulldogs lost the championship in a shootout, the game will officially be recorded as a tie by the NCAA.
“This is a great statement about where we are at this point in the season,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said. “Going on the road to beat a top-15 team and tie a top-10 team in a tournament environment will pay dividends for us down the road.”
In their first game in nearly a month, the Elis ended Ferris State’s 10-game unbeaten streak, which, at the time, was the nation’s longest.
After the game was tied 1–1 at the end of the first period, Backman gave his team the lead with less than a minute left in the second period. The Bulldogs, who outshot Ferris State 41-24, quickly put the game away with four consecutive goals in the third period.
The following evening, forward Andrew Miller ’13 gave Yale the early 1–0 lead in the third minute against the hosts. Wisconsin forward Michael Davies, though, responded in the second period with two goals of his own to give the Badgers the 2–1 lead.
Forward Brian O’Neill ’12 scored the equalizer with less than three minutes left in regulation, but the Badgers may have been fortunate to have only let in one goal. The Elis dominated possession in the third period, outshooting Wisconsin 18-3.
Needing a champion, the tournament — after a scoreless overtime period — went into a shootout. Yale goaltender Nick Maricic ’13 stopped one Badger shot but let two other shots in, as Yale fell 2–1. Forwards Arcobello and Miller were both blocked by Wisconsin netminder Scott Gudmandson.
Overall, the Yale defense limited Wisconsin to 22 shots, a tally that ties Wisconsin’s lowest total this season.
“It’s too bad that you have to decide a tournament [with a shootout],” Allain said. “But our kids fought hard to the end, and I’m very proud of the way we competed.”
Maricic was named ECAC Rookie of the Week after stopping five of the Badgers’ six man-advantages.
The Elis are 7–1–1 over the past nine games and travel to Cambridge, Mass., to face Harvard at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.