The Yale men’s hockey team returned to New Haven from a weekend road trip to Hamden and Princeton with a pair of losses to No. 4 Quinnipiac and Princeton.
Against longtime rival Quinnipiac (21–6–1, 10–5–1), the Elis struggled to find their pace, ultimately giving up four goals and notching none of their own. That unfavorable momentum carried through at the following night’s game against the Tigers (7–14–2, 5–10–1). After scoring an early goal, the Bulldogs were unable to hold on to their lead and concluded the game with a 4–1 loss. The Bulldogs (11–9–3, 9–6–1 ECAC Hockey) are now ranked fifth in conference standings, five points behind leader No. 10 Cornell.
The Bulldogs entered the weekend on a two-game winning streak after defeating Brown 4–3 last Saturday. Forward Mitchell Smith ’20 captured an early lead less than six minutes into the game before forward Joe Snively ’19 beat the goalie in a one-on-one to extend Yale’s advantage. Brown cut the margin in half during the second period, but Snively found the net for the second time that night off a feed from forward Tyler Welsh ’21. Defender Jack St. Ivany ’22 finally notched the game-winner a minute into the third period. Though Brown made a comeback by scoring two additional goals of its own, the Bears were too far behind to turn the game around.
However, this Friday told a different story, as the Bulldogs suffered their worst defeat of the season. The Bobcats applied heavy offensive pressure from the beginning and dominated the flow of the game. Though goalie Corbin Kaczperski ’20 did not allow a tally on four Quinnipiac power plays and stopped a career-high 46 shots, the Bulldogs’ offense was only able to produce 23 shots on goal.
“I had the same mindset I have going into every game,” Kaczperski said. “I focused on making sure my feet were set before the shot and not reach[ing] at pucks and let[ting] them come to me. As for the game, we were awful from the start from top to bottom. None of us showed up to play, and we were dominated because of it. The outcome speaks for itself.”
Just over eight minutes into the first period, Bobcat Nick Jermain notched his first goal of the season after shoveling a deflected puck home. Throughout the remaining periods, three more Bobcats found the back of the net. William Fällström took a well-executed pass from Peter DiLiberatore and slotted the puck past the goal line early into the second period. Just over two minutes later, Luke Shiplo beat Kaczperski one-on-one in the five-hole. The Bobcats’ fourth and final goal came 17 minutes into the third period when three Quinnipiac forwards peppered Kaczperski with shots. Though the junior goalie made an impressive save initially, Michael Lombardi put home a rebound to secure the 4–0 win for Quinnipiac. On the other side of the rink, goaltender Andrew Shortridge recorded his fourth shutout of the season, continuing to lead the nation with his 0.955 save percentage.
The next day, the Bulldogs jumped to an early lead against Princeton but ultimately failed to capitalize. Late in the first period, Smith received a pass from forward Brett Jewell ’21 and fired a wrist shot over goalie Austin Shaw’s left shoulder. Refusing to remain scoreless in its home arena, Princeton responded, and the equalizer came midway through the second period, when Tiger Joey Fallon put his squad on the board. In the final 10 minutes of the game, Princeton scored three goals in an offensive surge led by all-time leading scorer Ryan Kuffner, who claimed two of the tallies.
Princeton entered the match with a shuffled lineup, placing defender Josh Teves in a forward position while forward Jackson Cressey moved to center. Despite the change, all four lines ended up contributing to the scoring.
The Bulldogs will face Colgate and Cornell this weekend at Ingalls Rink, with the puck dropping against Colgate at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Lucy Liu | email@example.com