Coming off of a strong four-point ECAC weekend against Brown last weekend, the Yale Bulldogs were unable to continue the win streak, dropping consecutive matchups against St. Lawrence and Clarkson on Friday and Saturday.
Both teams — St. Lawrence (13–10–2, 9–4–0 ECAC) and Clarkson (10–11–4, 7–4–2) — rank above Yale at second and fourth in the ECAC, respectively. And while the weekend originally looked to continue the trend established against Brown, Yale was unable to capture more than a single point, losing a golden opportunity to move up in the conference standings. The Elis currently sit at seventh in the ECAC with 13 points.
“On Friday, we just didn’t seal the deal when we needed to. We had chances to seal the game and didn’t put it away and weren’t disciplined at the end of the game when we needed to be,” forward Mike Doherty ’17 said. “Saturday, we faced a solid defensive team and didn’t get enough going offensively to put goals away.”
Friday’s game against the Saints was characterized by a number of momentum shifts. Both defenses took away many grade-A scoring chances, as shown by each team scoring just once in the first two periods.
The Bulldogs took the lead midway through the third period after defenseman Matt Killian ’15 slapped a loose puck from the high slot past screened Saints goaltender Kyle Hayton. And though the Elis looked to have the advantage all the way into the dying minutes of the third period, they were unable to finish, as the Saints capitalized on a power-play with 1:13 left.
The game-winning goal against Yale goaltender Alex Lyon ’17 came only a few minutes later into overtime. A point shot by St. Lawrence defenseman Brian Ward was deflected twice, first off of a Bulldog’s stick and then off a Saint’s skate before speeding past Lyon.
Though Yale was unable to claim the win, it did claim a single ECAC point for its efforts.
Despite the loss, Lyon put up an impressive 29 saves, a number that was coincidentally repeated in the Bulldogs’ 1–0 loss against Clarkson the next day. Also repeated was the style of game-winning goal, as the puck bounced off a Clarkson skate before crossing the goal line. Though several Yale players thought Clarkson’s Sam Vigneault kicked the puck in, the officials thought otherwise. And as the clock ran down in the third, the goal stood as the only score of the night.
Golden Knights goaltender Greg Lewis stopped all 25 shots he faced, and even with Lyon pulled for the final 1:08, the Elis were unable to convert.
“Obviously losing twice this weekend was disappointing, but we know we are capable of being successful in college hockey,” forward John Hayden ’17 said. “We need to bear down offensively — you can’t win if you don’t score any goals.”
Even with the two losses, however, the Bulldogs remain confident as they look to host Princeton at Ingalls Rink this upcoming weekend. Luckily for the Bulldogs, the scoreless night against Clarkson is not indicative of Yale’s offense. Yale has scored 12 goals in its last five contests, and the Elis’ last shutout loss was more than two months ago in a 4–0 game against St. Lawrence.
“We take a lot of pride in being a good team on the road, so it was no excuse for what happened; we know we can be better,” forward Ryan Hitchcock ’18 said. “Overall, we’re putting this weekend behind us and looking forward to having a good weekend against Princeton and Quinnipiac.”
Yale’s matchup against Princeton is slated to begin this Friday at 7 p.m.