Facing the best and worst teams the ECAC has to offer on a road trip to upstate New York, the Yale men’s hockey team suffered a pair of hard-fought defeats in the Empire State.
Yale (9–11–2, 6–9–1 ECAC Hockey) lost by three goals to No. 4 Clarkson (19–4–3, 11–1–2), falling to the Golden Knights’ balanced attack and stellar netminding from Jake Kielly. Another brilliant performance in net by St. Lawrence’s Arthur Brey, who recorded 53 saves on Saturday, kept the Bulldogs at bay for the second straight night as the Saints (2–11–1, 6–18–2), who had been winless in league play entering the weekend, rode their goalie’s performance to a 1–0 victory over the Elis.
“Obviously, it’s not great to go on the road and get swept, but we have to be encouraged by the fact that we were playing the game the right way,” goalie Corbin Kaczperski ’20 said. “I thought we were the better team in both games, and we did a lot of good things this weekend. Unfortunately, it just didn’t show on the scoreboard.”
On Friday night, Yale put up a respectable fight against No. 4 Clarkson but ended up falling by the same three-goal margin it did when the two teams first met in November. The Golden Knights outperformed the Elis in the first frame, outshooting them 14–10 before taking the lead midway through the period. It was the ECAC’s leading scorer, forward Sheldon Rempal, who lit the lamp for the home team at 10:05, for his 29th point of the season. Still, Bulldog goaltender Sam Tucker ’19 saved 13 shots and the Eli penalty kill unit successfully killed off a five-minute major penalty to keep the score to a one-goal difference heading into the second period.
Despite trading penalties throughout the middle frame, Yale gained momentum and played its best period of the game. The Bulldogs outshot the Golden Knights 11–4 and evened the score halfway through the contest. After forward Ted Hart ’19 was sent to the box for tripping, the Elis sent their penalty kill out, which has been almost as effective offensively as the power play unit this season. Forward Robbie DeMontis ’20 showed why Yale ranks first nationally in shorthanded goals, when he notched the shorthanded equalizer, assisted by Yale’s leading scorer, forward Joe Snively ’19.
Unfortunately, Yale’s special teams faltered five minutes later when the Golden Knights scored during a four-on-three with both DeMontis and Yale forward Evan Smith ’20 in the penalty box. This time it was Terrance Amorosa who managed to slide the puck past Tucker for the Clarkson goal. The Bulldogs held their ground for the remaining minutes of the frame and entered the third period still trailing by a single goal. Despite both tallying seven shots on goal in the final 20 minutes of play, Clarkson’s ability to finish offensive opportunities helped them notch two more goals in the contest to pull off the 4–1 win. Devin Brosseau, Clarkson’s leader in assists, scored the first of the pair early in the third period, while the final goal was an empty-netter tallied by Sheldon for his second goal of the night.
“We need to keep our competition level high,” defenseman Adam Larkin ’18 said. “Despite losing … this weekend, our team competed hard and, in a lot of respects, was better than our opponents. We understand that working as hard as we can gives us a chance to win, but winning is never a guarantee.”
One night later, the Bulldogs skated into Appleman Arena looking to salvage a weekend split against a St. Lawrence squad coming off a 3–2 victory over Brown on Friday, the Saints’ first conference win since early November. After making 37 saves on 39 shots against the Bears, St. Lawrence goaltender Arthur Brey carried over the prior night’s momentum into the first period of Saturday’s bout by holding the Elis scoreless in the opening frame. Even with a power-play chance for each team in the opening period, the two squads headed into the first intermission scoreless.
The referees continued to go to the whistle as play progressed in the second period, which featured six combined penalties and three power-play opportunities for Yale’s special teams. But the Bulldogs, who tallied three goals with an extra attacker in last weekend’s ECAC split, failed to sneak the puck past Brey on the trio of power-play chances. The Saints, however, found the game’s opening score on a power-play goal from Alex Gilmour midway through the second period seven seconds after a hooking penalty taken by defenseman Anthony Walsh ’19. Despite besting Friday’s total of 28 shots with 34 in the first 40 minutes of play, the Bulldogs continued to be kept off the scoreboard by Brey, who carried his team into the third period ahead with a fragile 1–0 advantage.
The third period featured a brief sequence of unorthodox skating when two penalties by St. Lawrence and another simultaneous infraction by Yale created two minutes of 4-on-3 hockey for the Bulldogs halfway through the final frame. But despite the prime scoring chance late in the game, the Elis failed to capitalize on the open ice and extra attacker, as Brey continued to stand on his head for the Saints, making another 19 saves in the third period. An additional penalty by St. Lawrence with under two minutes remaining ultimately proved fruitless, as Yale exited upstate New York with its first pointless weekend in ECAC play since November, while Brey finished the game with a 53-save shutout, the first of his career.
“We felt we played two strong games,” DeMontis said. “We are developing really strong habits, which is encouraging. But at the end of the day you either win, or lose, and so [this] weekend was unacceptable.”
With three remaining weekends of conference action, Yale currently sits in seventh place in the ECAC standings and will look to get back on the winning track as it returns home to host Arizona State this Friday and Saturday.
Joey Kamm | firstname.lastname@example.org
Jane Miller | email@example.com