The Yale men’s ice hockey team (8–13–0, 5–9–0 ECAC) will return to Ingalls Rink this weekend to play two home games, the first on Friday against Union College (12–11–1, 5–6–1 ECAC) on Friday and the second versus Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (7–16–1, 3–7–1 ECAC) on Saturday. 

After falling 1–0 to Quinnipiac in the first round of the Connecticut Ice Tournament, the Bulldogs finished out the weekend on a high note, tallying a 3–2 win against Sacred Heart in the consolation round. The Elis will travel home to face two conference opponents, Union and RPI, this weekend on Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday at 7:00 p.m., respectively. 

“I think our win against Sacred Heart was fueled by our team’s penalty kill, our ability to score timely goals and solid goaltending,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said. “We need to build on those things against two tough opponents this weekend.”

On Feb. 1, ECAC Hockey named Bulldog goalkeeper Jack Stark ’27 the Bitcoin Rookie of the Month. Stark was named ECAC Rookie of the Week twice in a row — on Jan. 8 and Jan. 15 — making 334 saves throughout this season and earning a .905 save percentage. 

Stark was also named to the Hockey Commissioners Association Tim Taylor Rookie of the Year “Watch List” on Feb. 1. The list includes 32 first-year NCAA men’s hockey players, four of whom are goalies, that may receive the Tim Taylor Award for National Rookie of the Year at the end of the season.

“Jack has been very good for us in goal,” Allain said. “Jack has done a nice job of giving the group that confidence, he has shown great poise in net for us.”

The Yale men’s ice hockey team has already met this weekend’s opponents earlier this season, logging wins against both.

Since 2004, the Elis have faced Union 38 times. Union leads the series 19–15–4, but in the past seven games, Yale has seen five wins and two losses, one of which was an OT shootout loss on Jan. 14

In their last matchup on Jan. 6 this season, the Bulldogs edged the Garnet Chargers by two goals, securing a 4–2 win. At the start of the second period, forward Briggs Gammill ’25 assisted forward David Chen ’26 with the first goal of the night, which was answered back by Union twice in the third period. 

In the final four minutes of the game, the Bulldogs tallied three goals to earn the win. Forward Niklas Allain ’24 tipped in a shot by defenseman Connor Sullivan ’25, and 51 seconds later, forward Teddy Wooding ’24 tallied another point during a backdoor opportunity. 

With less than two minutes remaining in the final period, forward Ian Carpentier ’24 added Yale’s fourth and final point with his empty net goal. 

“Carp is a big driver for our offense, and I believe he is due for a big scoring outbreak,” forward Will Dineen ’25 told the News after the Bulldogs dropped a game to St. Lawrence. “He is an elite skater.”

Since 2004, Yale has met RPI 36 times, leading the series 23–13. The Bulldogs are currently on a two-game winning streak and have won 12 of their past 13 contests. 

Yale most recently faced RPI on Jan. 5 this year, when the Elis secured a 2–1 victory. In the middle of the second period, Chen earned Yale its first point when he split four defenders entering the offensive zone to fire a shot from the slot. 

The Engineers answered back 16:11 into the third period when Rensselaer defenseman Jimmy Goffredo scored off an assist by forwards John Beaton and Ryan Brushett. Forty seconds later, however, Wooding passed to defenseman Ryan Conroy ’24, who shot the puck past RPI goalkeeper Brett Miller for the game-winner. 

“I think that [last weekend’s] game was great for my confidence individually but for our team as a whole as well,” Stark said. “Knowing that as a group we have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the country gives us a lot of confidence as we head into the final stretch of the season.”

Last weekend, Union faced RPI in the 2024 Capital District Mayor’s Cup, logging a 5–3 win over the Engineers. The Garnet Chargers dominated the game with a 31–25 lead in shots, as well as a 5–1 lead in power plays, one of which resulted in a goal by Union forward Ville Immonen in the third period. 

Union defenseman Cullen Ferguson led the game in points, with a goal and two assists, and Union forward Josh Nixon had two assists. Union goalkeeper Kyle Chauvette made 22 saves during the contest.

RPI was able to secure the lead early in the second period, after a goal by forward Tyler Hotson in the first period and Brushett in the second. In an effort to regain their lead later in the second period, after Union scored twice in five minutes, RPI forward Dovar Tinling added the Engineers’ final goal of the night. 

Playing in front of a goalkeeper with a .948 save percentage for the month of January, the Elis are ready to face their next two opponents and add two more wins to their record. 

“Overall improvement as a team defensively is a factor [in our successes] as well,” Allain said. “Hockey is the ultimate team sport.”

On both Friday and Saturday, the puck is slated to drop at 7:00 p.m., and each game will be streamed live on ESPN+.

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.