It was a tale of two teams for men’s hockey this weekend. After a frustrating 4–3 overtime loss to St. Lawrence (10–15–3, 6–9–1 ECAC) on Friday, the Bulldogs bounced back in a big way with a 5–1 thumping of Clarkson (13–12–5, 7–6–3) on Saturday.
Center Andrew Miller ’13 said it was an important win for the team.
“It was a big difference from [Friday] night,” Miller said. “[Friday] night was a tough game for us, and to win one at home in front of our home crowd was a lot of fun. Winning by a 5–1 margin, it’s big for our team.”
Continuing a recent trend, head coach Keith Allain ’80 put Jeff Malcolm ’13 in between the pipes after giving Nick Maricic ’13 the start on Friday. The move did not seem to pay dividends early on, as the Elis allowed the game’s first goal just two minutes into the opening period. But Malcolm was able to shake it off and keep the Golden Knights off the scoreboard the rest of the way.
“I just try to focus on the next save,” Malcolm said. “You get a bad bounce like that … you just come back and concentrate on the next save, and after that you … get in a rhythm.”
Clarkson got on the scoreboard when forward Allan McPherson brought the puck from behind the net and attempted a wraparound, only to be stuffed by Malcolm. But the Canadian netminder was unable to corral the rebound before McPherson popped it in the net to put the Golden Knights up by one.
However, the Elis evened up the score just four minutes later. After some nice puck movement in the offensive zone, defenseman Tommy Fallen ’15 ended up with the rubber at the point. Clarkson goalie Paul Karpowich saved his shot, but the rebound fell to the right side of the net. Waiting there was Miller who grabbed it, made a move around the keeper and put it in for his fifth goal of the year.
The second period was all Brian O’Neill ’12 as the Elis turned the 1–1 tie into a 3–1 advantage. The captain and forward was recently named the January ECAC Player of the Month and defended his title in the middle frame.
He got the party started just one minute into the period with his ninth power play goal of the season, tying him for first in the nation in that category. After taking a pass from Jesse Root ’14, O’Neill cut between two defensemen and beat Karpowich handily.
His second tally of the period came with only two minutes remaining. A great find from Miller, who recorded his second point of the night, set O’Neill up for the easy goal. Standing at the right circle, Miller picked out O’Neill, who was moving toward net on the edge of the left circle. Karpowich was helpless as O’Neill finished for the 3–1 lead.
“I really hadn’t seen him before, but when I turned he was calling for it and streaking to the net,” Miller said.
The Bulldogs and Knights went back and forth for the first 40 minutes, with the Blue and White holding a narrow 22–20 advantage in shots on goal after two periods. But the Elis closed out the last half of the third period in dominating fashion.
With 8:03 left in the game, forward Antoine Laganiere ’13 skated down the middle of the ice sandwiched between two defenders. Although Karpowich blocked his shot, the ensuing chaotic scramble in front of the net allowed winger Kenny Agostino ’14 to notch his 10th goal of the season.
Eighteen seconds later, the Bulldogs put the game completely out of reach for the Golden Knights.
Off the edge of the crease, center Clinton Bourbonais ’14 took advantage of another scramble in front of the Clarkson goal for the final tally of the night. The Bulldogs outshot the Knights 33–28, and Malcolm finished with 27 saves, likely earning himself another start when the Elis travel to Colgate on Friday.
Malcolm’s big night came one day after the loss to St. Lawrence, a back-and-forth game in which the Elis seemed poised for another come-from-behind victory. But a controversial penalty gave St. Lawrence a man-advantage in the sudden-death overtime and allowed the Saints to escape with a 4–3 win when they scored just 15 seconds into the power play.
Although fans and players alike were visibly upset after the boarding call against forward Antoine Laganiere ’13, A and a half minutes into the action, the Bulldogs found a golden scoring opportunity as two St. Lawrence players were sent into the penalty box. But the Yale offense could not take advantage of the five-on-three opportunity, finishing the opening frame 0 for 3 on the power play.
“I didn’t think we did a good enough job on that [power play],” Allain said. “I thought that killed a little bit of our momentum.”
Through the first half of the opening frame, the Elis dominated puck possession and generated consistent offensive pressure on the Saints, who were being outshot 10–2 at one point. The relentless attack paid off for the Elis 11:09 into the game.
Laganiere took the puck behind the St. Lawrence net and quickly skated into the right circle, firing off a shot before St. Lawrence goalie Matt Weninger could react.
But the momentum shifted in favor of St. Lawrence during the last half of the first period as the Saints kept the puck on Yale’s side of the ice for most of the time. Making things even more frustrating were a few exceptional saves by St. Lawrence’s Weninger.
With under 3:30 remaining before the first intermission, Yale goalie Maricic could not cover up the puck after two quick scoring attempts by the Saints at point-blank range. Taking advantage of the chaos in front of the net, winger Greg Carey tied the game at 1–1.
The Yale offense was anemic throughout the second period as the Saints overtook the Elis in shots on goal, 26–19. Two minutes and 14 seconds into the period, the Saints’ Jacob Drewiske found a hole in the Bulldogs’ defense and ripped one past Maricic, giving the Saints their first lead of the game.
Eight minutes later, St. Lawrence struck again.
Maricic blocked a shot by the Saints and knocked the puck into the air. As the goalie fell down in front of the net, the puck fell between him and a wide-open net, allowing Chris Martin to widen the lead to 3–1.
But the Bulldogs came roaring back in the final 20 minutes of the game.
Eight minutes and six seconds into the final frame, Kevin Limbert ’12 took possession of the puck behind the net and found a waiting Chad Ziegler ’12 waiting off the edge of the crease. Ziegler punched in the puck to cut the deficit to 3–2.
The Saints’ defense held off wave after wave of assault but finally cracked with less than a minute left in regulation.
As the game clock wound down, the Bulldogs launched a final counterattack. As Laganiere skated down the right side of the rink, he found an undefended Agostino across the ice. The junior winger quickly passed the puck, allowing Agostino to tie the game with just 34.2 seconds remaining in regulation.
“On that game-tying goal, he got a nice pass across the ice, and he did a good job finding some net on the short,” Allain said.
However, the Elis could not keep the momentum going into overtime. Two minutes and nine seconds into the extra period, Laganiere was called for a questionable boarding penalty and sent into the box. Fifteen seconds after the penalty started, Carey fired off a slap shot from the right circle to give the Saints the win.
After taking three points with the win over Clarkson, the Elis stand at seventh in the ECAC. The Bulldogs will travel to Colgate and Cornell next weekend to play two of the conference’s top teams.