Yale Athletics

​​The Yale men’s hockey team (1–2–0, 1–2–0 ECAC) dropped two games this past weekend in their first homestand of the 2023-24 season. On Friday night, the Bulldogs fell to Cornell (4–0–0, 2–0–0 ECAC) 3–1 and Saturday night’s game resulted in a 7–1 loss to the Colgate Raiders (3–4–1, 1–1–0 ECAC). Both games were played at home at Ingalls Rink.

It was a tale of two teams for the Elis in their matchups over the weekend.

I think the biggest takeaway our team learned this past weekend was that the games are completely about us and not about the opposing team,” sophomore David Chen ’26 told the News. “Our preparation and work are what will lead to our success. The positive is that we have learned such a crucial lesson early on in the season and have an opportunity this upcoming weekend to show improvement.”

On Friday, Yale went toe-to-toe with a top-ranked Cornell squad. The Big Red came into the weekend following two dominant victories over the strong Minnesota Duluth team and looked to carry that momentum with them into New Haven.

The Bulldogs matched Cornell all night long, even thoroughly outplaying them for some stretches of the game. In the second period, Yale attempted 20 shots compared to Cornell’s six. Ultimately, however, Cornell goalie Ian Shane, a Hobey Baker Finalist last year, proved tough to beat and the Bulldogs were only able to put one goal on the board. 

Yale senior goalie Nathan Reid ’24 performed well, following up a strong showing against Brown last week with more standout play against Cornell. Reid gave up two goals on 23 shots, but the Big Red were able to pot an empty-netter in the final minute of the game bringing the final score to 3–1.

First years David Andreychuk ’27 and Iisai Pesonen’s ’27 performances were also bright spots from the Cornell loss; They combined on a goal early on in the first period to give the Bulldogs the lead.

Although Yale struggled to find the back of the net against a standout goalie and a Cornell team known for their sound defense, the Elis proved that they are more than capable of matching top teams in the nation on any given night.

“Skating is the biggest key, when we are driving our legs with and without the puck we are hard to play against, we will create scoring chances, and cut down on chances against,” said head coach Keith Allain. “When we don’t skate as hard as we are able every time we are on the ice, we allow our opponents too much time and space.”

Saturday night’s loss to Colgate was a tougher pill to swallow. 

First-year goalie Jack Stark ’27 got the nod, and he had some moments of brilliance, but the entire team seemed a step behind from the drop of the puck.

“There are no excuses for us being a step slow on Saturday,” Allain said. “We only get so many opportunities to play at Ingalls and represent Yale. We need to cherish and respect each and every one. Our sense of urgency has to be there each night of the weekend.

Colgate sophomore Daniel Panetta opened the scoring at the 12:49 mark of the first period, beating Stark high-glove, and the Raiders’ racked up first-period offensive zone time. 

The Bulldogs struggled with clearing out traffic in front of Stark all game, and Colgate star Ross Mitton took full advantage when he doubled the lead with a seeing-eye slapshot from the blue line.

Yale’s pace of play improved dramatically in the second period, and the whole team was able to string together consistent, hard-working shifts. First-year defenseman Rhys Bentham ’27 even dazzled the crowd with a fantastic shot from the high slot after a great feed from Chen to cut Colgate’s lead to 2–1.

Yet, the Raiders scored a little over a minute into the third period when Yale was unable to clear a bouncing puck from in front of their net, and Colgate never looked back after that.

With Yale struggling on offense over the two games, the team may be feeling the absence of injured senior forward Ian Carpentier ’24. Carpentier led the team in goals and points last season but left the ice injured in the Bulldogs’ opening night win against Brown.

The Elis will also need to generate more offense on special teams as the season progresses. Although the power play has been able to create some chances, the two units have struggled to capitalize on those opportunities and put numbers on the board. 

“I personally believe that the stats do not show the full picture of our power play so far this year,” said Chen. “We’ve had great looks on the power play and will continue to work on the details such as entries and puck movement when we set up to finally capitalize on the power play.

The Bulldogs will be back in action this weekend with two away games. They play Princeton (0–1–1, 0–1–1 ECAC) on Friday night and Quinnipiac University  (5–3–1, 1–0–1 ECAC) on Saturday.

Tommy Gannon covers men's ice hockey. He is a first-year in Branford college majoring in history and economics.