The men’s hockey team (8–8–2, 5–5–1 ECAC) dropped to .500 for the first time since Nov. 4 in a 3–1 loss to Union Friday night at Ingalls Rink. Led by two goals from Wayne Simpson, Union (13–5–6, 7–2–3) avenged a 4–0 loss to the Bulldogs earlier this season. Head coach Keith Allain ’80 was not happy with Yale’s performance.
“I thought we had a good first period,” Allain said. “I thought we lost our way in the second, then I thought we battled in the third, but we weren’t good enough to win the hockey game so it was not a step forward for us, that’s for sure.”
Two moments in particular turned the tide of the game for Elis. The first came with about five minutes remaining in the first period. Just after defenseman Kevin Peel ’12 had tied the game at one, the Bulldogs went on the power play. But instead of putting the man-advantage to good use, the Elis allowed a shorthanded goal by Union forward Daniel Carr to give the Dutchmen a lead they would not relinquish.
The second pivotal moment came early in the second period. Forward Kenny Agostino ’14 was awarded a penalty shot after he was brought down from behind during a 1-on-1 with the keeper. During his shot, Agostino deked left but was stuffed by Union’s Troy Grosenick in his attempt to bring the puck across the crease and finish on the right side of the net.
The sophomore Union goalie, first in the nation in save percentage and goals against average, was solid in the net for the Dutchmen. He saved 29 out of 30 shots and came up big on several solid Yale chances. Allain thought that the Union defense was due as much credit as Grosenick.
“He’s good [in net],” Allain said. “His team plays really well in front of him. They make it hard to get the second shots. When we were playing well we got some pucks to the net and there were some rebounds there, but the defenders make you really work to get a stick on those pucks.”
On the Elis’ side of the ice there was a new face in the net. Junior Nick Maricic ’13 started for the first time this season and made 33 saves on 36 shots. Allain said he was pleased with Maricic’s performance and remarked that he thought the California-born goalie improved as the game went on.
Union opened up the scoring seven minutes into the game when Simpson flicked an unexpected wrist shot from the right side of the net that caught Maricic off-guard on the near post.
The Elis will be back in action Saturday night when they take on RPI in Ingalls Rink. The puck drops at 7 p.m.