The men’s hockey team scored a win and a tie in its opening weekend of the 2012-’13 season at the Ivy Showcase in Providence, R.I.
Yale tied Dartmouth 2-2 on Friday and bested Princeton 3-2 on Saturday in the tournament, which was hosted by Brown.
“Overall our weekend was pretty positive,” goalie Jeff Malcolm ’12 said. “It was good to finally get into some games and feel that pace of play. Obviously getting the first win of the year is a great feeling for us.”
While the weekend’s games do not count towards the team’s conference season standings, they still go on the team’s record and affect national and computer standings. Team captain and forward Andrew Miller ’13 said that the showcase games are just as important for the team as league games.
Seniors goalies Malcolm and Nick Maricic ’13 each took to the net on Saturday and Friday, respectively. Malcolm saved 25 of 27 of Princeton’s shots on net, while Yale outshot the Tigers with a total of 34. This was an improvement from Friday’s game, in which Dartmouth outshot Yale 37-20 and Maricic saved 35 of those for the tie.
Maricic said he was pleased with the weekend’s outcome, and that the team improved as the showcase played out.
“We started off a bit slow Friday night, but got better as the weekend progressed, which is what we want,” Maricic said. “For it being our first two games, we were pretty happy with our special teams, and are confident that they are only going to get better as we go on.”
In Friday’s game, Yale successfully killed four of Dartmouth’s five power plays, allowing the Big Green’s game-tying goal at 16:56 in the third period. The Bulldogs did not capitalize on any of their three power plays against Dartmouth. But forward Jesse Root ’14 made good on Yale’s fourth power play of five on Saturday, scoring at 17:40 in the first period.
Princeton scored twice in the second period, but Yale bounced back to lead the scoreboard 3-2 with goals by forward Kenny Agostino ’14 and forward Antoine Laganiere ’13 at 15:22 and 17:42, respectively, in the second period. Neither side scored in the third period.
Laganiere gave a standout performance in the showcase, scoring the team’s two goals on Friday – both in the second period and within 10 minutes of each other – as well as the game-clinching goal on Saturday for a weekend-wide hat trick.
Laganiere said he was impressed with the whole team’s performance in its first games of the year. He noted that the team is approaching the season with a “growth mindset” and that it still needs to make improvements to achieve its goal of winning a national championship later this season.
Miller said Laganiere played fast, strong and physical, and “did what he does best — create chances on the ice.”
Last year, Laganiere ranked second on the team in scoring with 19 goals and fourth in points with 33.
Eight freshmen joined the team this year — all forwards and defensemen — and 16 players, including the team’s three goalies, have returned from last year .
“The freshman jumped into the mix well,” Miller said. “Each year with seniors graduating, people are placed into newer and bigger roles. This weekend was a good start to adapting to those new roles.”
The Bulldogs (1-0-1) are coming off a strong season last year (16-16-3, 10-10-2 ECAC) that brought them through the first round of Eastern College Athletic Conference playoffs to the quarterfinals. Yale’s playoff run ended with an 8-2 loss to Harvard on March 11.
Yale last faced off against Dartmouth in February, winning the match 5-3, and bested the Tigers in the first round of ECAC playoffs last March.
The men’s hockey team has been particularly strong in recent years under the tutelage of Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach Keith Allain ’80. The Bulldogs have won two of the past four ECAC championships — in 2010-’11 and in 2008-’09 — and qualified for the NCAA East Regionals in both of those years.
Allain could not be reached for comment on Sunday.
Yale will hit the road next weekend for its first two conference games at Dartmouth on Friday and at Harvard on Saturday.