The Yale men’s hockey team will battle ECAC foes St. Lawrence and No. 9 Clarkson in New Haven this weekend.
The Bulldogs (1–5–0, 1–5–0 ECAC Hockey) had the home ice advantage last weekend against Dartmouth (3–2–1, 3–1–1) and No. 10 Harvard (5–0–0, 5–0–0). Still, the Elis fell 4–3 and 6–1, respectively. Though St. Lawrence (3–8–1, 1–3–0) holds a 60–37–11 advantage over the Blue and White, the host team looks to get their second mark in the win column this season. Yale currently has a two-game winning streak and a 16–9 goal tally advantage in the last five games against the Saints.
The Elis have not won consecutive games against Clarkson (8–3–1, 3–1–0) since 2013 when Yale won the NCAA tournament. Since then, the two teams have an even record for games at Ingalls Rink. Last season, the Bulldogs won both of their opening games against St. Lawrence and Clarkson, though the latter team defeated the Elis in the ECAC quarterfinals last March.
“We have been working hard to break through offensively,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said. “The first step is to have offensive zone puck possession and create scoring opportunities, and I think we have done a good job in that regard over our last several games. Next we have to be more committed to making the opposing goaltender move and get second chance opportunities, tip-ins, screens and rebounds. We are very close to making this happen.”
St. Lawrence enters the weekend in the heels of two losses against Colgate and No. 2 Cornell, the same teams that the Bulldogs failed to top just two weekends ago. The Yale and SLU match-up appears to be fairly even this year, though the Elis may demonstrate a slight edge. The Saints lost 4–1 to the Raiders while Colgate had a narrower 2–1 victory over the Blue and White. Similarly, Cornell bested St. Lawrence 6–1, yet the Big Red fell 6–2 to the Bulldogs.
St. Lawrence also appears to be the less dominant foe this weekend, as they have already lost twice to Clarkson. Though both competitions went into overtime, the Golden Knights are ranked significantly higher than the Saints both nationally and within the conference. However, based on ECAC play thus far, St. Lawrence ranks one spot above Yale.
In their most recent game against Cornell, the Saints kept up with the Big Red for the first period, ending in a 9–9 tie in shots and a neutral 1–1 score. However, St. Lawrence was unable pace Cornell on the back side, as the Big Red outshot the Saints 26–7 to eventually secure the 6–1 decision. Currently, forward Zach Risteau leads the Saints in goals, assists and points. Last season, Risteau led the St. Lawrence rookie class in both of those categories despite missing six games due to injury.
“I don’t think we need to change a whole lot; we’re getting chances and I think we’re playing the right way,” forward Luke Stevens ’20 said. “I do think we have to be more opportunistic and capitalize on our grade A chances. We feel like we’re on the verge of breaking out offensively, and hopefully we can do so this weekend.”
Last season, Clarkson lost to Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA tournament after winning the ECAC Hockey championship.
The Knights are currently ranked fourth in the league and have only lost to one ECAC team thus far. The loss came in a 2–4 decision against Cornell. The most valuable player on the Clarkson roster is arguably graduate student and forward Devin Brosseau. Graduating in three short years, the 24 year-old continues to aid the Knights for his fourth year on the team. Last season, the Quebec native won the league’s Student-Athlete of the Year award and Most Valuable Player of ECAC Championship Tournament, scoring two of three goals for the Knights in the finals. The 24-year-old has served as captain for the past two years.
“Clarkson is a very good team, and last year they were a top five team in the nation,” Allain said. “In our playoff series on the road against them, I thought we played very well outside of the first period in game one. The difference in the series was special teams; they were able to execute on the power play, and we were not. Both teams are different this season due to the normal losses and additions in college hockey, but Clarkson remains a
The only other graduate student on the team is goalie Frank Marotte. The Canadian transferred from Robert Morris University and is now Clarkson’s starting netminder. At RMU, Marotte was the program’s all-time leader in wins and recorded a 0.917 career save percentage.
As for the Elis, a sophomore trio leads the Blue and White. Defenseman Jack St. Ivany ’22 leads the team in points, forward Curtis Hall ’22 leads in goals and forward Justin Pearson ’22 trails closely behind. While goalie Corbin Kaczperski ’20 has started in goal for every game, goalie Nicholas MacNab ’21 has also seen some action.
“The team’s mindset is definitely positive,” defenseman Brandon Tabakin ’23 said. “For us, every week is a new challenge, and we’ve been locked in during practice to improve all parts of our game. We know that our games against Clarkson and St. Lawrence will both be tough. That being said, we also feel that we are capable of beating anyone and expect nothing less of ourselves than two wins this weekend.”
The Bulldogs host St. Lawrence on Friday and Clarkson on Saturday. Both games will begin at 7 p.m.
Margaret Hedeman | firstname.lastname@example.org