Yale Athletics

The Yale men’s ice hockey team (3–14–4, 2–10–2 ECAC) fell to both the University of Connecticut (16–8–3, 10–6–2 HEA) and Sacred Heart University (13–10–2, 8–3–1 AHA) last weekend in the Connecticut Ice Tournament, by scores of 6–1 and 4–3 respectively.

After the blowout loss against the No. 12 Huskies on Friday, the Bulldogs bounced back to play a much more competitive game against Sacred Heart. 

“I thought we did well in responding to adversity,” forward Briggs Gammill ’25 said. “Although we didn’t get the result we wanted, we played hard until the end.”

In the matchup against the Huskies, UConn forward and former Yale men’s ice hockey player Justin Pearson ’22 tallied the first goal just 8:19 into the first frame. 

Pearson, a recent graduate of Yale and now a graduate student at UConn, has scored nine goals for the Huskies so far this season. In addition to his early goal, he also managed an assist during the contest against his former team. 

With 2:17 left in the period, UConn forwards Nick Capone and Chase Bradley assisted forward Ryan Tverberg in scoring their team’s second goal of the night. 

“Big points in the standings are on the line [in our next games],” defenseman Kieran O’Hearn ’25 said. “It’s huge to be back on the home ice at the Whale [this weekend].”

The Huskies tacked on four more goals in the second frame of the contest, including two within the first five minutes. Both of those points came on the powerplay. The next two scores of the period came within its final four minutes. Forwards Matthew Wood and Samu Salminen and defensemen Roman Kinal and Jake Veilleux were the goal-scorers.

On the power play 8:57 into the final frame, Yale forward Quinton Ong ’23 finally pushed a goal through for the Bulldogs off a rebound, with forwards Ian Carpentier ’24 and Will Dineen ’25 each picking up an assist on the play

Yale goalkeeper Luke Pearson ’25, who had a .941 save percentage in nine starts entering the night, started in net and made a total of 20 saves in the first two periods. Goalkeeper Nathan Reid ’24, who took over in the third period, made eight saves and denied the Huskies another goal. 

The Elis had a total of 26 shots during the game. Defenseman Mike Young ’23 led the team with four shots on goal, followed by Ong and Dineen who each tallied three shots.

“In practice ahead of St. Lawrence and Clarkson, I think we will focus on the defensive side of the game,” Gammill said. “We struggled with our defensive zone last weekend and [are] looking to take a step forward this coming weekend.”

Against Sacred Heart the following day, the Pioneers kicked off the scoring 6:47 into the contest; forward Braeden Tuck and defenseman Julian Kislin assisted forward Daniel Ebrahim to give Sacred Heart a 1–0 advantage.

The Blue and White, however, quickly answered back less than four minutes later, when Carpentier scored on the powerplay, assisted by forward Kalen Szeto ’26 and defenseman Ryan Conroy ’24. 

“We have lots of room for additional improvement,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 wrote the News. “The team is fully committed to doing what is necessary to be the best we can be each and every day.”

Sacred Heart’s own powerplay, however, struck back in the second period. After a scoreless first 18 minutes of the frame, forward Ryan Steele took the puck from between the net and the left circle and redirected it to the left post for the Pioneers’ second point. 

The Pioneers struck again with just 28 seconds left in the period. Forward Neil Shea shot on a 3–on–1 rush, and forward Austin Magera took the opportunity to put it away. 

Sacred Heart increased their lead to 4–1 just under three minutes into the final frame, when defenseman Hunter Sansbury launched the puck under the crossbar from the right side. Yale, however, brought the score back within reach 47 seconds later, when defenseman Ryan Carmichael ’23 fired into the high slot for the Bulldogs’ second goal of the game. 

The Elis added another tally to their score at 11:33, when forward David Chen ’26 tapped it past SHU goalkeeper Brandon Milberg off an assist by forward Niklas Allain ’24 and Gammill. Despite a frenetic final push by the Bulldogs, neither Yale nor Sacred Heart scored again throughout the matchup, leaving the final score at 4–3. 

Reid was pulled from the goal to add the extra player with 24 seconds remaining in the game and ended the contest with a total of 35 saves.

“St. Lawrence and Clarkson are huge games for our group,” O’Hearn said. “Both teams play hard and fast so it will be important to be good [and] defensively sound in our own end.”

The Bulldogs will host two teams at Ingalls Rink this weekend. Yale will face Clarkson University on Feb. 3 and St. Lawrence on Feb. 4.

Grayson Lambert contributed reporting.

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.