The Yale men’s hockey team (2–7–0, 1–6–0 ECAC) split its weekend contests against Ivy League foes Dartmouth (2–8–0, 2–5–0) and Harvard (6–4–1, 5–2–1). 

The weekend started with the Bulldogs playing the role of comeback kids against Dartmouth, as they came back twice from one goal deficits to beat the Big Green 3–2 in overtime. The win was the first conference win of the season for the Bulldogs and the team’s second in a row after beating Vermont last week 4–2. 

“Our group is feeling great,” blueliner Ryan Conroy ’24 said ahead of the Ancient Eight doubleheader. “We are a team that always wants to build off of our last game and that’s exactly what we plan to do.”

In Friday evening’s 3–2 tilt, Dartmouth took the reins after a powerplay goal midway through the first period. The Elis jumped on the scoreboard seven minutes into the second frame after a pass across the blueline from defenseman Kieran O’Hearn ’25 set up Dylan Herzog ’25 for a wrist-shot from the point. Tipped in by winger Reilly Connors ’24 for his first career point, the tally was quickly answered by Dartmouth with a rebound goal 12 seconds after the faceoff.

The 2–1 deficit was soon erased in the third period as a rebound that trickled across the goal crease was put home by center William Dineen ’25 for Yale’s first power-play goal of the year. 

“I thought we played a pretty good game throughout, but we were behind. The guys just stuck with the plan, and stuck with the plan,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said. “Our power play scored their first goal of the year, that was a huge contributing factor.”

After the equalizing goal halfway through the third, the Bulldogs entered their first overtime of the 2021-22 campaign.

Under NCAA ice hockey overtime rules, teams tied at the end of regulation will engage in three-on-three play for five minutes. If neither team scores within the timeframe, the game will result in a tie.

After three and a half minutes of sudden-death play, winger Ian Carpentier ’24 emerged as the game’s star and overtime hero. The sophomore skater notched his first career goal with a one timer feed from Conroy through the low slot. With 21 total saves, goaltender Nathan Reid ’24 secured his second win in net. 

“One of my teammates, Ryan Conroy, made a great pass backdoor to me. I didn’t do much, just tapped it in,” said Carpentier of his overtime winner. “That was definitely a team win tonight. We just listened to our coaches, believed in each other and got the win, came from behind.”

With momentum on their side, the Blue and White began the second game of their homestand on the right foot. The Harvard lineup, which boasts a total of 11 NHL drafted skaters, had suffered a loss to Brown the night prior.

Within the first two minutes of the game, Yale grabbed an early lead. Center Niklas Allain ’24 converted a rebound off of the goalpost with a quick back-hand shot. However, the Bulldogs swiftly killed their own momentum with three quick penalties in the first period, and a high powered No. 17 ranked Harvard team punished the Elis with four first period goals. Of Harvard’s four goals, two were scored on the power play with back-to-back penalties by Connors for interference and holding, respectively.

Following the transfer of netminder duties from Connor Hopkins ’23 to Luke Pearson ’25, the Ancient Eight rivals kicked off the second period with Harvard retaining a 12–3 edge on shots. After 14 minutes of play in the second, the Elis cut the Crimson’s lead to two with a goal from left-winger Cole Donhauser ’23, his second goal of the season.

A snapshot from defenseman Brandon Tabakin ’23 in the left circle beat Harvard goaltender Derek Mullahy with under three minutes left in regulation for the junior’s first career goal.

Leading the crowd of over 1,600 from their usual spot in the back-right corner of the rink, the Yale Precision Marching Band got the arena rocking as the Bulldogs searched for the comeback.

“Hockey is one of the most fun sports for us,” said drum major Alex Wynn ’22. “We don’t have to prep a whole lot, we don’t have to go outside, stand on the field, we get to sit down and play.” 

Unfortunately for the band and the crowd, the celebration could never truly take place as Harvard iced the game with an empty netter to win 5–3.

Despite dropping a game to their old rival, the Bulldogs remain optimistic about their game as they prepare to enter the new year.

Reflecting on their gutsy come-from-behind win against Dartmouth, Carpentier outlined the keys to achieving success moving forward in the season. 

“I think guys know their roles,” Carpentier said. “If we keep building off each other and play with heart, we can keep winning.”

The Bulldogs will return to action at Ingalls Rink on Dec. 10 to face off against Brown for the last ECAC game of 2021.

Trisha Nguyen covers men's ice hockey and field hockey as a staff reporter. Originally from St. Louis, she is a sophomore in Saybrook College majoring in molecular, cellular and developmental biology.
Spencer King is an Editor for the Sports desk. He has covered the Yale football and women's ice hockey teams. He has also previously covered the Yale men's lacrosse team and most things Bulldogs sports. Spencer is a junior in Davenport College and is majoring in Political Science.