MEN’S HOCKEY: Bulldogs break into the win column
The Blue and White secure their first victory of the season after defeating the University of Vermont at home.
In its second non-conference match-up of the 2021-22 campaign, the Yale men’s ice hockey team nabbed a 4–2 win over the University of Vermont.
During the weekend prior to their Thanksgiving Eve matchup against the Catamounts (2–9–1, 1–4–1 HEA), the Bulldogs (1–6–0, 0–5–0 ECAC) made their way down to New York for back-to-back contests against ECAC foes Colgate (8–8–0, 3–3–0) and Cornell (8–1–0, 5–1–0). After being stunned 3–0 in both competitions, the Blue and White returned home, still vying for their first win.
Wednesday evening’s victory featured goals from four different Elis, with two skaters notching their first career goals. Despite the 25 shots that the Catamounts had sent towards goaltender Nathan Reid ’24, the sophomore netminder only allowed one even-strength goal.
“It felt great to get our first win under our belt,” Reid said. “We have been itching for it for a while so we plan on continuing that success going forward. I thought we played our best team game for all 60 minutes all season and I’m glad it showed in the result.”
After the opening puck drop, UVM quickly found itself outworked by the Bulldogs. Just three minutes into the contest, defenseman Ryan Carmichael ’23 banged in a one-timer from the point through traffic in front of the net. As soon as the Greenwich, Connecticut native’s first collegiate goal was announced to the home crowd at the Whale, fellow blueliner Graham Lillibridge ’22 jumped on a rebound from the left circle. Assisted by Henry Wagner ’24 in his first game of the season, the Elis’ captain put the squad up by two.
A goaltender interference call placed the Bulldogs on the penalty kill late in the first period. The Catamounts managed to cut Yale’s lead in half after defenseman Robbie Stucker’s wrist shot from the point found the back of the net.
With just four minutes remaining in regulation, a clearing attempt by the Catamounts was denied with a poke check from center Niklas Allain ’24 and two-on-zero break quickly ensued. After deking and beating netminder Tyler Harmon to the post, forward Teddy Wooding ’24 notched his second tally of the season.
“The win was so huge. We played a great game as a team and stuck to it the entire time and we look forward to building off that,” Wooding told the Athletic Department following the match.
53 seconds later, however, UVM responded once again, as a one-timer beat Reid to the blocker post. After the Catamounts pulled Harmon with a minute left, a shot attempt by UVM was cleared by Yale, allowing center William Dineen ’25 to put home an empty netter for his first career goal.
While shots on goal just slightly favored the Catamounts 25–24, it was the Bulldogs that went home for the holiday on a high.
“We waited a long time between wins,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 told Yale Athletics. “It was valuable to the team to have to protect a lead in the third period and gut it out the way we did.”
The Blue and White are set to host conference competitors at Ingalls Rink for the first time in three weeks. The upcoming weekend will pit the Bulldogs against two other Ancient Eight squads: Dartmouth and Harvard.
Despite the challenges that Yale has faced thus far in the season, Reid emphasized that the Elis’ passion and confidence have yet to waiver.
“The team’s mindset hasn’t changed all year, but I do think that with such a young group, feeling the experience of winning definitely makes us crave it more,” Reid said. “We don’t like using any excuses as to why we’ve struggled early and we think we are a group that can have a lot of success going forward.”
Since 2004, Yale has posted a 3–2 home record against the University of Vermont.