The men’s ice hockey team was busy over Thanksgiving Break, finishing a four-game road stretch with two points last weekend and starting a home sequence with a shutout victory against the Rochester Institute of Technology (4–8–2, 3–5–2 AHC) this past Saturday.

The Thanksgiving break did not start off well for the Bulldogs, (5–2–2, 3–2–1 ECAC) who had trouble putting the puck in the net during last Friday’s matchup against Cornell (4–4–1, 3–3–0), despite outshooting the Big Red 34–21. The opening three goals of the contest were scored on power plays, the first of which came off of the stick of forward John Hayden ’17. Cornell fired back with one of their own two minutes later in the first period, and the Big Red managed to extend their lead with another goal midway through the second. Blueliner Ryan Obuchowski ’16 tied the game up after a bit of Cornell confusion behind the net, but it was not enough to prevent 3–2 win for the Big Red.

Goaltender Alex Lyon ’17 had 18 saves on the night and forward Mike Doherty ’17 had nearly a third of the Bulldogs’ shots on goal with 11 of his own.

“Offensive production is one of our focuses right now and is something we need to improve on,” Hayden said. “Against Cornell we had multiple chances [to score].”

The next night Yale took on the No. 9 Colgate (9–5–1, 3–2–1) in New York. The Bulldogs powered their way to a 3–1 victory on the back of Lyon, who had 28 saves against the Raiders.

Yale got on the board first with buzzer-beater blast from defenseman Rob O’Gara ’16 with just a second remaining in the first period. The next goal came late in the second, as forward John Baiocco ’18 put the puck past Colgate netminder Zac Hamilton for the first score of his collegiate career. The Raiders fought back with their first goal of the night midway through the third period, but the Bulldogs maintained clear control, putting away an empty-net goal in the final seconds of the match.

“When I scored I was pretty pumped, but I was more excited to … get the win with the guys,” Baiocco said. “It was definitely something that I’ll remember but the win was more important.”

The Bulldogs returned home for their second non-conference matchup of the season on Nov. 28 against RIT that ended in a 2–0 shutout for the Elis. Goalie Patrick Spano ’17 saw his first start of this season and carried Yale with 21 saves on the night. Hayden notched his third goal of the season late in the first and O’Gara followed suit with his second on the year near the end of the second frame. Yale was able to fend off a last-ditch effort by the Tigers when they pulled their goalie in the final minutes of the game.

Once again, the Bulldogs outshot their opponents, this time 31–21, and won the majority of face-offs as well. Obuchowski noted that the team continues to see improvements as the season progresses.

“Every game we are striving to get better and our efforts are starting to pay off especially getting a shutout for Spano was awesome,” Obuchowski said.

The Bulldogs will continue their home stretch against Rensselaer and Union on Friday and Saturday.

I'm a Belgian-American originally hailing from a rural town in Virginia. My first foray into reporting was founding a news paper at my high school called "The Conversation."