After a disappointing weekend in which the Elis dropped games against Clarkson and St. Lawrence, the No. 16 Yale men’s hockey squad got back on track in a pair of home contests against Princeton and No. 18 Quinnipiac.
The Bulldogs (12–6–3, 7–5–2 ECAC) sit at fourth in the ECAC, just seven points from league leader Quinnipiac and just two points behind Harvard. In their weekend tilt, the Elis tied the Bobcats (16–8–2, 11–2–1) 2–2 and shut out the conference’s last place squad, Princeton (1–12–1, 3–15–2).
Predictably, Yale won a controlled and efficient match against Princeton, with goaltender Alex Lyon ’17 recording his second shutout in just two weeks and the Bulldogs notching a 4–0 victory. Though the Tigers held on defensively in the first period, Yale blew the contest open in the second through a flurry of goals. Capitalizing on power plays proved key for the Bulldogs as forward Frankie DiChiara ’17 gave Yale a lead 37 seconds into the second period during Yale’s first power play of the game. Forward Stu Wilson ’16 then doubled the Eli advantage just a minute and a half later in the midst of a second power play. On the night, the Elis were two for three in man-advantage situations, proving the presence of a much-needed offensive bite.
On the defensive side, Lyon and defensemen Nate Repensky ’18 and Tommy Fallen ’15 were at the top of their games, keeping Princeton’s forwards at bay and providing some offensive contribution of their own, as Repensky assisted on two Eli goals and Fallen recorded a key pass en route to Wilson’s second period goal. With four goals in the second period and Yale’s squad firing on all cylinders, the contest was all but finished.
“Our defensive core is incredible,” Lyon said. “They play so well every single night, and our forwards are outstanding defensively as well. I feel confident moving forward, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.”
The shutout was Lyon’s sixth of his career, tying the Yale all-time record held by three goaltenders, including Jeff Malcolm ’13, most notable for his 4–0 shutout of Quinnipiac in the 2013 Frozen Four championship game.
In Yale’s second match of the weekend, the Elis took on league leaders Quinnipiac and played them to a thrilling overtime tie.
The Bobcats looked sharp early as they took a 1–0 lead 10 minutes into the first period on a goal from forward Sam Anas, who ranks third in the conference with 16 scores on the season. However, Yale fought back from an early deficit and tied the game when forward Carson Cooper ’16 scored midway through the second period.
The Elis were forced to fight back from another deficit when Quinnipiac scored again in the third period; however, defenseman Ryan Obuchowski ’16 emerged as a savior for the Elis when he fired a shot past Michael Garteig in the game’s final 20 minutes.
Though the match went into overtime, strong performances from Garteig and Lyon prevented either team from scoring in one of the most deadlocked ECAC matches this season.
“I figured it was going to be a tight game,” head coach Keith Allain said. “I knew it would be about a one or two goal game going into the third period, my expectation was that we would win it, though.”
Garteig and Lyon stood on their heads and produced 29 saves each in the match, while both Yale and QU fired off 31 shots over 65 minutes of back-and-forth play. Though the Elis did not emerge with a win, they did prevent a juggernaut Bobcat team from increasing its lead atop the ECAC table, while demonstrating the ability to compete with the conference’s top team.
“We felt great this weekend and definitely played with energy and competitiveness,” forward John Hayden ’17 said. “Going forward we need to bear down more offensively and continue to grow as a team.”
Yale’s next contest comes against Harvard on Friday at 7 p.m. at Ingalls Rink.