The Bulldogs will play two conference games this weekend, the first against Colgate (6–7–0, 1–3–0) in  Hamilton, NY on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and against No. 10 Cornell (5–1–0, 3–1–0) at Lynah Rink in Ithaca, NY at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

After falling in its last two matchups, a 6–3 defeat against Army (3–5–1, 1–2–2–1 AHA) and a 3–1 loss to Sacred Heart (4–4–3, 1–1–2 AHA) in an exhibition game, the Yale men’s hockey team (0–4–0, 0–3–0 ECAC) is itching for its first win. 

“Everyone is really excited for the games this upcoming weekend,” defenseman Ryan Conroy ’24 said. “We are preparing to play two highly competitive teams and I know that our group will be ready come Friday night.”

In their first three conference games, the Bulldogs were unable to tally a win, with its most recent ECAC match coming against Princeton on Nov. 6 when the Elis fell 6–2 at home.

Since 2004, Yale has played Colgate 28 times, with a program record of 15–9–4. In their most recent matchup on Feb. 22, 2020, the Elis defeated the Raiders 2–0. The Bulldogs started off the game with a tally from forward Dante Palecco ’21, and later, for their third goal, Pearson nailed the puck in at the doorstep off a deflected shot. 

“Even though they had some offensive zone possession time, I felt we defended well,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said to the News in 2020. “We kept them from our net pretty well [and] a lot of their shots were off angle from the side. To me, the big goal of the game was the 3–1 goal. Up until that point, it was anyone’s game.”

Colgate began their season on Oct. 2 with a 5–2 win against Rochester Institute of Technology, which was followed by two wins against Vermont, split sets to Merrimack and Arizona State and losses to No. 13 Western Michigan, Dartmouth and No. 9 Harvard. On Nov. 12, the Raiders were able to overcome their five-game losing streak in a 5–2 match against Rensselaer. 

In its most recent game, Colgate was shut out by Union, 2–0, although the Raiders outshot the Dutchmen 33–25. 

“We did a lot of good things tonight,” Colgate head coach Don Vaughan said to Colgate Athletics after the loss. “We created scoring chances but we couldn’t find a way past their goalie … We worked hard but didn’t score. I don’t know everything but I do know if you don’t score a goal you can’t win.”

Following their match against Colgate, the Bulldogs will transition towards their Saturday game against Cornell.

In recent history, the Elis have a record of 13–14–3 with the Big Red, only winning twice in the past two games. 

“This is our first overnight trip, which is great for some team bonding between the time spent on the bus, at the hotel and [the] arena,” Conroy said. “We are going into this weekend looking for [two wins] through playing a solid defensive game while making sure to capitalize on our offensive chances.”

No. 10 Cornell enters the matchup riding on a three-game winning streak, with wins against ECAC competitors Dartmouth, Union and RPI. The Big Red kicked off their season with a 5–0 defeat of Princeton in an exhibition match on Oct. 16. 

The Elis are looking to add a tally in the win column this weekend, despite their opponents’ strong starts.

“Right now we are just focused on getting better every single day,” goalie Connor Hopkins ’23 said. “Every single game is important in this league, so we’re looking forward to getting the first win under our belts and then more will follow.”

The puck drops in Hamilton at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in the Class of 1965 Arena and in Ithaca at 7:00 p.m. at Lynah Rink on Saturday. Both games can be watched via ESPN+.

Amelia Lower covers football, men's ice hockey and men's lacrosse. She is a senior in Jonathan Edwards College from Rye, New York, double-majoring in Spanish and the History of Science, Medicine and Public Health.