MEN’S HOCKEY: Bulldogs defeat RPI, advance to ECAC quarterfinals
After a split weekend for their final regular season games of the season, the Yale men’s hockey team triumphed over RPI in the first round of the ECAC tournament.
Yale men’s hockey played a strong game against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday, winning 4–1 in the opening round of the ECAC tournament.
The 10h-seeded Elis (8–18–4, 6–14–2 ECAC) defeated the Engineers (14–20–1, 9–13–0 ECAC) on the road at the Houston Field House in Troy, NY. The victory ended RPI’s season and propelled the Bulldogs to the ECAC quarterfinals next weekend.
“Saturday was a great team win for our group,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 told the News. “We got contributions throughout our line-up for a hard-earned road playoff victory.”
Yale entered the game following a win against Colgate University and a loss to Cornell University in the final weekend of the season. The Engineers also came into the game right after a split weekend, with a 6–4 win against Princeton and a 4–1 loss to No. 2 Quinnipiac University.
While the two teams were fairly evenly matched on paper, the Bulldogs came out firing on all cylinders, with two goals tallied in the first frame. Just over six minutes into the game, defenseman Connor Sullivan ’25 drove from the half wall and tipped the puck past Engineer goalkeeper Jack Watson, scoring his fourth goal of the season.
“Against RPI, everyone was on the same page,” defenseman Ryan Conroy ’24 said. “We all knew we could trust one another to do their jobs and, when that happens, everything clicks together.”
Just over six minutes later, forward Teddy Wooding ’24 left the puck inside the zone for defenseman Kieran O’Hearn ’25, who one-touched it to forward Reilly Connors ’24 at the left faceoff circle, who then fired the puck past Watson.
The Engineers, however, soon answered back. Within two minutes of Yale’s second goal, RPI forward Ryan Mahshie received a puck in the right circle from forward Jake Gagnon on the left wing and took a wrist shot that found the back of the net, narrowing the score to 2–1.
“It was great to see our team play a full 60 minute game and get rewarded for it,” forward Briggs Gammill ’25 said. “Everybody played their role and came together.”
Just over four minutes into the second period, Wooding sent the puck towards the net, which forward Ian Carpentier ’24 attempted to grab in a scramble. Connors ultimately secured the puck and slotted into the goal, bringing Yale’s lead back up to two.
The two goals marked Connors’ third multi-point game this season. The contest against RPI also marked his second game with two goals during the 2022-23 season.
The remainder of the second frame and the start of the third were scoreless, yet the Bulldogs and Engineers maintained a high level of intensity throughout the final period, with a total of 17 shots on goal between the two teams.
“Our forecheck was hard, our transitions were quick and our goaltending was solid,” Conroy said. “We played the right way and got rewarded for it.”
As the Engineers grew desperate in the waning minutes and pulled Watson from the goal, the Bulldogs forced the puck out of their defensive zone, and, at 17:47, forward David Chen ’26 added another tally to Yale’s lead, scoring in the open net.
The goal was the first career assist for goalkeeper Luke Pearson ’25, who finished the game with 25 saves, outnumbering Watson’s 22 for the Engineers.
Chen led the team with four shots over the course of the game, closely followed by Gammill, Sullivan and Carpentier, who tallied three shots each.
“We are excited to advance to the next round where everyone in our locker room truly believes we can be successful,” Allain said.
The Bulldogs will next face the Quinnipiac Bobcats (28–3–3, 20–2–0 ECAC), who are the first seed in the ECAC tournament and the second-ranked team in the country. The quarterfinal matchup will be a best-of-three series at M&T Bank Arena in Hamden.