Yale Athletics

The Yale men’s hockey team (10–15–2, 7–11–2 ECAC) fell 4–1 to Princeton (10–14–3, 8–10–2 ECAC) at Ingalls on Friday night in front of a packed crowd. 

Although the Bulldogs outshot the Tigers in every single period, it was special teams and the Elis’ struggle to capitalize on their opportunities that were the two deciding factors.

“The reasons we struggled were twofold, our lack of discipline and our inefficient offensive game,” head coach Keith Allain told the News. “We took three major penalties against a team that has the number two power play in the nation. That is not a recipe for success.”

Allain added that the Bulldogs “created some chances” offensively but stand to improve on “working early to get inside the game” — and the team plans to work on that this week as they head into the playoffs. 

For the Bulldogs, senior Nathan Reid ’24 got the start in net and he was solid all night long, putting together a 16-save performance. In the first period, the Bulldogs held Princeton scoreless and even killed off a five-minute major penalty.

In the second, the Bulldogs also carried the pace of play, but a sloppy turnover behind their defensive led to a wide-open one-time opportunity for Tiger forward Ian Murphy in the slot, and he capitalized to put Princeton up 1–0. However, Allain had only positive takeaways from the first two frames.

“I think the big positive of our game on Friday is that we played exactly the way we needed to the first two periods,” said Allain. “Although we were down 0–1 going into the third, I felt that we were the better team and if we continued on that path, we would have won the game.”

In the third, the Bulldogs were called for another five-minute major, but this time the top-ranked Tiger power play capitalized. Ian Murphy notched his second of the game just three seconds into the man advantage on a one-time slap shot from the top of the circle. 

Later in the period, the Tigers added two more tallies with a beautiful tic-tac-toe three on two goals, and then another Ian Murphy bury off a rebound in front of the net. Yale got one back late in the third when first-year Iisai Pesonen scored his fourth of the season late in the third but it was too little too late.

The Bulldogs will finish out the regular season with two away games this upcoming weekend. They will face Harvard (5–10–5, 5–17–5 ECAC) on Friday, March 1, and then they will travel to Hanover, New Hampshire to face Dartmouth (9–9–9, 7–6–7 ECAC). Harvard comes into the weekend with only one regulation victory in their last eight games played while a streaking Dartmouth team is unbeaten in their last four.

Currently, Harvard sits on 25 points in the ECAC, one more than Yale. The Bulldogs sit in tenth place in the conference, but only five points behind the sixth-place Union Garnet Chargers.

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