Thanksgiving break did not go according to the plan for the No. 8 men’s hockey team. After beating UConn 5–3 last Saturday, the Bulldogs (5–3–1, 3–1 ECAC) dropped two consecutive non-conference games, losing each by just a single goal.
Allain told Yale Athletics. “They were better than us tonight from top to bottom.”
Despite the loss, the game against Sacred Heart added to a growing trend for the hockey team — more goals. After averaging just two goals through their first five games, the Elis exploded against Union with four goals and notched five against UConn last Saturday.
Unfortunately, the past two games have also seen the Elis struggling defensively. After posting three consecutive shutouts, the Elis allowed 10 total goals against the Huskies and the Pioneers.
“We didn’t come out prepared,” goaltender Jeff Malcolm ’13 said. “We didn’t respect them as an opponent, and we have to realize that any team in college hockey is good enough to beat any other team.”
After a back-and-forth first period that included Yale goals from freshmen defensemen Tommy Fallen ’15 and Matt Killian ’15, the Elis and the Pioneers were tied at two.
In the second frame, the Bulldogs again left the ice frustrated. Although they had a 21–4 advantage in shots, Sacred Heart outscored Yale two to one, giving the Pioneers a 4–3 lead going into the third period.
“It’s tough to apply that kind of pressure on a team and not get any results,” defenseman Kevin Peel ’12 said. “Getting a lot of shots on net is important, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win.”
A flurry of goals from both teams in the third period ended up making the rest of the game look tame in comparison. The period saw six goals over 20 minutes as each team desperately fought for the win. Within the first two and a half minutes of the period, the Bulldogs had taken back the lead with goals from Chad Ziegler ’12 and Jesse Root ’14. But the Pioneers bounced back once again with goals from Eric Delong and Ben Ketchum to retake the lead 6–5.
With the Elis down by a goal, forward Kenny Agostino ’14 came through for the Bulldogs. After taking a pass from Root, Agostino skated across the net and took a quick shot to tie it up yet again for Yale.
But the Bulldogs could not catch a break. With about five minutes left in the game Sacred Heart’s Chad Filteau lit up the red light for the second time with a rising shot past Malcolm.
The matchup against Sacred Heart forced Allain to mix things up in goal a bit. After Sacred Heart’s second goal in the first period, Malcolm was pulled in favor of Nick Maricic ’13. After Maricic allowed two goals himself, Allain went back to Malcolm for the third period.
their biggest victory of the season thus far.
Despite a two-goal lead for nearly 40 minutes, the Elis surrendered three unanswered goals to No. 5 Boston College (10–4, 7–2 Hockey East) en route to a 3–2 loss. Eagles forward Chris Kreider scored the game winner with just 39 seconds left on the clock.
“It was a tough way to lose,” Allain said. “We are a developing hockey team and our kids took some strides today.”
The Elis skated without starting center Andrew Miller ’13, who was injured in Tuesday’s loss against Sacred Heart. But Miller’s absence did not slow down the Blue and White offense.
Four minutes into the opening frame, Antoine Laganiere ’13 swooped into the slot and fired a shot at Eagles goaltender Brian Billett. The BC goalie blocked the initial shot but could not control the rebound as Root, Miller’s replacement, crashed the net from the left side and knocked the puck home to give the Bulldogs a 1–0 lead.
“Any time you don’t play with Andrew, it’s not what you want,” captain Brian O’Neill ’12 said. “But I think [Root] stepped up really nicely for him and hopefully we’ll get Andrew back soon.”
The Eagles started the second period with back-to-back power play opportunities but could not get the puck past Malcolm, who started in front of the net for the Elis after giving up five goals to Sacred Heart. Halfway through the middle frame, the Elis struck again.
Off a feed from right-winger Charles Brockett ’12, Root skated down the left side of the rink before snapping a low shot at Billett. The puck bounced off Billett’s blocker to the other side, giving a speeding Agostino a chance to put in the rebound.
The Bulldogs had a chance to pull even further away when Pat Mullane and Patch Alber were sent into the penalty box after a scramble in front of the BC net. Prior to the delayed penalties, the referees whistled off an apparent Yale goal that would have given the Elis a 3–0 lead.
“Taking away the goal on the delay call was the biggest part [of the game],” Allain said. “My understanding of the rules is just because the puck hits the goalie doesn’t mean they have possession of the puck.”
Down by two men, the Eagles packed its remaining three players around Billett and forced the Elis to settle for shots from the perimeter. Yale finished the power play with just five shots on goal.
“[Billett] made some good saves,” Malcolm said. “You never know what play is going to change the game. I don’t know if that 5-on-3 did, but we didn’t convert on it and get the insurance we needed.”
The Eagles cut the Bulldogs’ lead in half with 22 seconds left before the second intermission. Forward Paul Carey redirected a pass from Mullane under Malcolm’s right arm and watched as the puck trickled slowly into the net.
With 2:19 left in the game, the Bulldogs allowed a shorthanded three-on-two rush by BC, and Barry Almeida sent a rising wrist shot over Malcolm’s shoulder to equalize the score. Malcolm finished the game with 25 saves.
Less than two minutes later, the Eagles took advantage of an icing call against the Elis. Sophomore Bill Arnold won the face-off and sent the puck to Steven Whitney. The winger skated around the right circle before feeding the puck to Kreider, who fired a one-timer off the top of crease to cap the Eagles’ comeback.
“The shorthanded goal was just a great individual effort by their kid,” Allain said. “The other one was a function of the rules in our game. If we don’t execute a transition pass, now we have to have a faceoff in our zone with tired players.”
The Bulldogs, who have now lost two games in a row after a four-game winning streak, will take on Brown Thursday at Ingalls Rink.