The Elis are set to play the University of Connecticut (11–10–0, 8–6–0 HE) in the first round of the Second Annual Connecticut Ice Collegiate Hockey Tournament this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Yale will then play against Sacred Heart (9–11–3, 7–8–2–2 AHA) or No. 2 Quinnipiac (18–2–3, 9–1–1 ECAC) on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. for the championship game or at 1p.m. for a consolation game in Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. 

After going undefeated in its last three games — a 2–2 shootout win with Colgate (8–13–2, 3–6–2 ECAC), a 5–3 win against RPI (11–14–3, 6–7–0 ECAC) and a 3–2 overtime win against Union (7–12–3, 5–7–1 ECAC) — the Yale men’s hockey team (5–10–1, 4–7–1) is ready to continue its winning streak. 

“This past weekend was huge for our team,” forward Ian Carpentier ’24 said. “Coming out of a road trip with two wins is a huge confidence booster for us, and we are only moving forward from here.”

In their most recent game, the Bulldogs were able to secure a win in the last minutes of overtime, with an intercepted Dutchman pass flicked by forward Teddy Wooding ’24. 

The last the Yale squad has faced the Huskies was on Jan. 26 of 2020, where the Elis defeated UConn in a decisive 3–2 victory. Despite being outshot 44–24, Yale players forward Curtis Hall ’23, forward Luke Stevens ’20 and forward Justin Pearson ’22 scored to give the Elis the win. Bulldog goalie Corbin Kaczperski ’20 made a season-high of 42 saves over the course of the game. With their first meeting during the 1971-72 season, the Bulldogs currently lead the series 14–1. 

“Connecticut’s always had a rich, deep hockey history,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said in a Connecticut Ice Coaches Media Call on Tuesday. “And I think what’s happened over the years, just in the short time that I’ve been at Yale, is [that] the depth of the talent is coming through.”

Currently in seventh place in the Hockey East standings, UConn began their season on Oct. 2 with a 6–3 win against Sacred Heart, followed by wins against No. 10 Boston University, No. 20 Northeastern, Maine, No. 15 UMass Lowell, Colgate, No. 18 Boston College, New Hampshire and No. 19 Merrimack. This season, both Yale and UConn have won against Dartmouth — Yale winning 3–2 and UConn 4–1 — and fallen to Harvard — 5-–3 and 6–3, respectively. 

In its most recent game, UConn won 3–2 against Merrimack. In the bout, the Huskies scored three goals in a span of less than two minutes over the third period to secure the victory. Yale’s matchup with Merrimack, scheduled for Jan. 1, was canceled. 

“Our team has been playing to our identity these last few games, a hardworking [and] fast paced team, which has led to our success,” defenseman Ryan Conroy ’24 said. “As a team we have stayed committed to our development [and] everyone is really excited for the upcoming Connecticut Ice tournament. All the teams share rivalries, which is going to bring an exciting edge to the upcoming games.”

Following their match against UConn, the Bulldogs will face either Sacred Heart or Quinnipiac in the second round of the tournament. 

The Elis fell 3–1 in their exhibition match against Sacred Heart this season. In the game, forward William Dineen ’25 had a goal off an assist by Justin Pearson. Goalie Luke Pearson, who earned his first college win in goal against Union last Saturday, kept the first two periods against the Pioneers scoreless. 

In recent history, the Elis have a 6–2 record against Sacred Heart, with their longest winning streak of four games lasting from 2013 to 2019. 

“We look forward to continuing [our] momentum through a hard working week of practice and into Connecticut Ice this weekend,” Wooding said. 

The Bulldogs last played Quinnipiac in their home season opener on Nov. 5 of 2021, where they fell 3–0 to the Bobcats. It was the first collegiate hockey game for goalie Nathan Reid ’24, who blocked 34 shots. 

Quinnipiac enters the matchup off a 2–1 loss to No. 8 Cornell in overtime. Previously, the Bobcats secured wins against ECAC teams Brown, Clarkson, St. Lawrence, RPI, Union, No. 18 Harvard, Dartmouth, Princeton and Colgate. On Jan. 19, the Bobcats shut Princeton out with a 9–0 score. 

Despite Quinnipiac’s current high ECAC ranking and the strong starts of their opponents, the Bulldogs are ready to defend their winning streak and add another win to their season. 

“We’re all excited for the Connecticut Ice Tournament this weekend,” Carpentier said. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase how much we’ve grown as a team this year already, but nothing changes after a big weekend. We’ll  keep preparing the same way, every day, ready for our next task.”

Sacred Heart won the championship game against Quinnipiac 4–1 in the 2020 Connecticut Ice Tournament. 

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.