MEN’S ICE HOCKEY: Elis drop two ECAC matchups
The Yale men’s ice hockey fell to Union College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute this weekend.
After winning two games the week before, the Yale men’s ice hockey team (5–16–4, 4–12–2 ECAC) lost two games this past weekend, continuing an uneven season of play.
On Friday, the Elis ventured to Schenectady, New York, where they took on Union College (13–15–2, 7–10–1 ECAC). The Bulldogs fell 3–1 to the Dutchmen. Following the loss, the Blue and White traveled to Troy, New York, the next day, where they battled Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (12–17–1, 7–11–0 ECAC), ultimately falling 4–2.
“We were disappointed with the results last weekend,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said. “There were long stretches where we controlled the play in both games but did not play our game for the full 60 minutes and paid the price for that.”
Union was the first to scratch the scoreboard on Friday, with Cal Mell picking up a goal at 17:22 in the first frame on a power play. Tyler Watkins and John Prokop assisted the goal.
After the early score, neither team’s offense could generate a goal in the second period. However, both coaches made adjustments during the second intermission, so the third period saw a flurry of scoring.
Under three minutes into the period, Union’s Nate Hanley found the back of the net off an assist by Cullen Ferguson and Nick Young.
Yale finally found a point at 11:26 in the third frame. Forward Kalen Szeto ’26 kept the puck in play at the blueline, then forward Will Dineen ’25 grabbed the puck and passed it to forward Cole Donhauser ’23, who broke down the left side and found the back of the net.
The Dutchmen responded just two minutes later to put the game back out of reach. Josh Nixon put the puck away off an assist from Hanley and Ben Tupker, tallying Union’s third and final goal. Yale could not manage to pull back within a goal.
Goalkeeper Luke Pearson ’25 made 35 saves in goal as he faced an offensive onslaught from Union. Szeto and Dineen extended their point streaks to three and five games, respectively.
“It was a tough weekend,” said forward Briggs Gammill ’25. “We didn’t play to the best of our abilities, and it showed in the results. We have a big weekend coming up and are just trying to move our focus towards that.”
During Yale’s match-up against Rensselaer the following day, RPI attacked early, scoring less than five minutes into the first period. Lauri Sertti and Mason Klee assisted Jakob Lee.
Only four and a half minutes later, at the 8:43 mark, Lee scored again for RPI, this time assisted by TJ Walsh in addition to Sertti. Sertti then found the back of the net with just seven seconds remaining in the first frame, assisted by Jake Gagnon and Klee. The three first-period goals put the Bulldogs in a difficult position heading into the locker room at the first intermission.
Midway through the second period, Danny Ciccarello netted RPI’s fourth and final goal off an assist from Sertti.
Yale returned to the ice in the third frame ready for a fight. At 5:38, defenseman Ryan Conroy ’24 and forward Henry Wagner ’24 assisted defenseman Ryan Carmichael ’23 in tallying the Blue and White’s first goal of the game.
Slightly over two minutes later, at 7:51, Yale took advantage of the 5-on-3 power play, when Donhauser found forward Quinton Ong ’23 by the right faceoff dot, where he shot and scored for the Elis’ second tally of the game. However, the deficit proved insurmountable, as Yale failed to bring the margin back within one.
“We did not see the results we wanted this weekend as a team, and it can be hard to take positives from the games,” defenseman Kieran O’Hearn ’25 said. “We need to learn from our mistakes as we prepare for the final two weekends of the year and into playoffs.”
The Bulldogs next hit the ice Friday, when they will travel to play on the road against in-state rival Quinnipiac University (24–3–3, 16–2–0 ECAC). They will then travel to Princeton University (11–14–0, 7–11–0 ECAC), where they will take on the Tigers Saturday night.
Both pucks will drop at 7:00 p.m.
“We have an exciting weekend coming up against two talented teams on the road,” Allain said. “It should be a great challenge for our group, and we will work hard this week to prepare.”
The Blue and White only have two more weeks remaining in their regular season. They will return home for their last two games where they will play host to Colgate University (13–14–3, 10–7–1 ECAC) and Cornell University (16–7–2, 13–4–1 ECAC).
“I’m excited for the last two weeks of the regular season. The last two weeks are very important as home ice in the playoffs is on the line,” forward Ryan Stevens ’24 said. “The point differential is pretty slim between the ECAC, so I think right now we’re all working to have a good last two weeks and hopefully get a home playoff game.”
Yale is currently ranked No. 11 in ECAC standings.