A slow start for the No. 15 Bulldogs did not stop the team from getting back in the game when it counted tonight, as the men’s hockey team faced No. 12 Union.
After Friday night’s shocking 6–1 loss to RPI, the Bulldogs (6–3–2, 3–3–1 ECAC) buzzed all over the ice from the minute the puck dropped against Union (8–3–4, 3–3–3 ECAC). Despite strong special teams play on both the power play and penalty kill, the Elis were not able to keep Union’s No. 1 ranked power play from scoring. Yale was, however, able to capitalize when it counted and score two garbage goals to come back from a 0–2 deficit to end the game in a tie.
Just over halfway through the first period, Union took advantage of a five-on-three power play, collapsing their box in around the Bulldogs, moving in closer on Jeff Malcolm ’13. Kyle Bodie got the puck at the point and slid it over to Greg Coburn. Coburn then hit Wayne Simpson on the backdoor and Simpson one-timed it off the post and just over Malcolm’s shoulder to put Yale down a goal.
Frustrated by the strong start, but unlucky odd-man situations in the first period, Yale cranked up its second period intensity. Unfortunately for the Elis, Union equally increased its intensity, and the second period saw no scores from either team.
As the third period opened up, the Dutchmen came out with the idea of ending the game early. Union was awarded another power play and more magic from Coburn, and Bodie gave the Dutchmen a two-goal lead over the Bulldogs.
After an incorrect hand-pass call on Antoine Laganiere ’13, the Dutchmen won the ensuing faceoff in the Bulldogs’ end. Bodie sent the puck over to Daniel Ciampini on the lower-left circle. Ciampini then hit Coburn in the middle of the slot and Coburn slammed it past Malcolm.
But the Bulldogs remained composed despite the two-goal deficit and finished the game with heart.
Two minutes later, Clinton Bourbonais ’14 drove the puck wide and made a drop pass to Laganiere. Laganiere then fired on net and forward Charles Orzetti ’16 flew through the slot and bashed his first career goal past last year’s Hobey Baker candidate Troy Grosenick to cut down Union’s lead to one.
Reinvigorated with some momentum after scoring their first goal late in the game, the Bulldogs attacked the Dutchmen relentlessly for the next 10 minutes without anything to show for it on the scoreboard.
Then, something clicked.
Defensemen Matt Killian ’15 hit captain Andrew Miller ’13 streaking down the left boards. Miller fired a shot off Grosenick’s far pad, and the rebound came straight out to Gus Young ’14 at the point. Young had time and space as he skated down the slot and quickly blasted the rebound past Grosenick’s right pad to tie the game. Young was instantly swarmed by his teammates as they formed a Bulldogs-pile on the player.
The last five minutes of regulation were played with intensity, but no goals came to either team, and Union played its third straight overtime game against the Bulldogs.
Overtime brought solid scoring chances for both teams, and Laganiere one-timed a shot from the middle of the slot but Grosenick was able to get a glove on it and keep the game tied.
The Bulldogs remain 0.500 in the ECAC after tonight’s tie and will play next at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night against the University of Massachusetts at Lowell in Ingalls Rink.
After scoring the first and only goal of the first period, the men’s hockey team was unable to convert the rest of its 35 shots, ultimately losing 6-1 to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute during Friday night’s home game.
In the beginning of the game, the Bulldogs (6–3–1, 3–3 ECAC) came out strong, physical and fast, wearing down the RPI Engineers despite an early penalty against Kenny Agostino ’14 only 1:39 minutes into the game. But RPI (3–6–3, 1–5–1 ECAC) remained unfazed by Yale’s onslaught and was ready to attack in the second and third periods.
Tommy Fallen‘s ’15 early goal came 14 minutes into the first when he intercepted a breakout pass, screamed down the slot and ripped a shot over RPI goaltender Jason Kasdorf’s shoulder, a move that marked both the beginning and end of the Bulldogs’ attack.
In the second period, RPI scored early and often. Starting just about eight minutes in, the Engineers tied it up when forward Mark Miller dropped the puck to line mate Mike Zalewski at the point. Zalewski then made a quick give and go pass with right-winger Milos Bubela and fired it low stick side.
Just about a minute later, RPI took the lead when Curtis Leonard passed a puck cross-ice to left-winger Matt Tinordi, who then fed Bubela on the back door. Bubela chipped it over Jeff Malcolm’s ’13 shoulder to bring the score to 2–1.
The Engineers then scored again with roughly four minutes left of the game, when RPI’s Ryan Haggerty beat Yale to the puck and passed it to Brock Higgs behind the net. Higgs walked out in front of Malcolm uncontested and slid the puck across the crease to Jacob Laliberte, who then slammed it in the empty net.
Starting the third period, Yale came out with more speed than they had in the first, but were quickly matched by RPI’s physical play. A couple of rough hits and pushes from behind gave Yale some power-play chances, but the Bulldogs were unable to convert on all six of their man-advantage opportunities tonight.
Despite Yale’s initial momentum and attempts to sway the game back in its favor, the Engineers scored just two minutes into the final period of action. Mark Miller picked up his second point of the game when he picked a Yale defender’s pocket on the bottom of the right circle, fired a shot off Malcolm’s pad and picked up his own rebound, putting it just out of Malcolm’s reach on the far side.
Johnny Rogic widened the Engineers’ lead to four when he picked up his own rebound and scored a spectacular spinning backhand shot just 40 seconds later.
After five goals on 30 shots, Yale head coach Keith Allain decided to replace Malcolm with Connor Wilson ’15 to give Wilson his first time in net this season.
Ryan Haggerty finished out the scoring for the Engineers with a one-timer over Wilson’s shoulder on a feed from teammate Travis Fulton.
RPI’s goaltender Jason Kasdorf made scoring difficult for the Bulldogs throughout the game, blocking 36 of 37 shots for a 0.973 save percentage.
Yale will face Union tomorrow night at 7 p.m. for another conference game and a chance to break their .500 record in the ECAC.
The men’s hockey team is predicted to finished fifth in the 2012-13 ECAC standings, according to the ECAC Men’s Hockey Coaches’ Poll released Wednesday.
The Bulldogs received 77 points in the annual poll, but no first place votes. The poll predicts Union to come in first, notching 118 points and eight first-place votes, followed by Cornell, Harvard and Quinnipiac. The pre-season All-League Squad did not include any Yalies.
Last year, Union won the ECAC title. The Bulldogs (16-16-3 overall) tied with Clarkson for sixth place in the league. The Bulldogs beat Princeton in the first round of playoffs, but fell to Harvard in the quarterfinals. Yale last won the ECAC championship in 2010-11 and in 2008-2009.
For the second straight night, it was overtime for the men’s hockey team in its best-of-three ECAC quarterfinal matchup against Harvard (11–9–11, 8–5-9 ECAC).
But unlike Friday, when Kenny Agostino ’14 scored the game-winner in overtime, there would be no hero for Yale (16–15–3, 10–10–2) tonight as the Cantabs won 4–3 in double overtime to even the series at 1–1.
Defenseman Dan Ford broke through for Harvard almost ten minutes into the second extra frame on a wild final play.
Ford took advantage on a rebound that nobody else on the ice seemed to be able to locate. Conor Morrison initiated the madness with a shot from the high slot that the Eli defense blocked. As the Bulldogs attempted to locate the missing rubber in front of the net, Ford skated to the left circle and fired a moving puck for the win.
“I don’t think anyone in the building knew where it was,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said. The puck got shot into a pile and it took half a second for it to come clear. It went right to the one guy who was facing the goal.”
Yale looked like it might be coasting to an easy win after the first period. Despite having been outshot 15–10, the Elis headed into the locker room with a 2–0 lead. Defenseman Colin Dueck ’13 kicked off the scoring with a shot from the blue line for his third goal of the season just five minutes into the action.
About ten minutes later, the Bulldogs struck again when Andrew Miller ’13 picked out Chad Ziegler ’12 for Ziegler’s eighth goal of the season. Ziegler one-timed a Miller pass from the slot to give Yale a comfortable two-goal cushion.
But the Bulldogs’ woes on special teams kept them from pulling away for good. Yale failed to score a goal in 11 power play opportunities.
The Elis could not match the Cantabs’ ability to contain the power play. Harvard scored on three straight power plays and took a 3–2 lead with about nine minutes remaining in the game.
After that goal, it appeared that Yale was finished for the night. The Elis pulled their goalie, Nick Maricic, from the net in a desperate attempt to even the score.
But Antoine Laganiere’ 13, who notched a hat trick last weekend against Princeton, prolonged the fight when he stepped up again to tie the game with just 27 seconds left on the clock.
After taking a pass from Kevin Peel ’12, Clinton Bourbonais ’14 fired a shot from the left circle. The puck bounced off Harvard goaltender Raphael Girard’s pads and Laganiere, who was standing in the slot, knocked it in as he fell to the ice.
Yale took the momentum into overtime and appeared to have the upper hand. The Bulldogs outshot the Crimson 16–11 in the first extra frame. Allain said he thought the Elis were playing their best hockey of the night.
“I thought the third period was our best period to that point, and then I thought the first overtime was better,” Allain said. “I thought we were getting stronger as the game went on.”
Still, the Blue and White could not put one over the goal line as Harvard warded off two more Yale power plays en route to the exhausting victory.
It’s playoff time.
The men’s hockey team rounded out its regular season with a 2–2 tie at Quinnipiac University on Saturday night to finish sixth in the ECAC. The sixth-place finish puts the Elis (13–13–3, 10–10–2 ECAC) in position to host Princeton for the opening round of the ECAC playoffs this weekend.
Quinnipiac (17–11–6, 9–8–5) and Yale went back and forth in a deadlocked early on in the first period. The Bulldogs came out hot and had the upper hand for the first ten minutes and led in shots on goal by an 8–3 margin. But Quinnipiac picked up the pace in the second half of the period. Heading into the first intermission, the Bobcats led 15–10 in shots on goal. Yale goaltender Nick Maricic ’13 made some big saves in the final ten minutes of the period to keep the score knotted at one. Maricic said facing tough shots early helped him later on in the game.
“It’s nice to get the shots early, that’s what you hope for,” he said in a press release. “When you can make a good save at the beginning of the game, it really helps you.”
While neither side managed to score in the first period, during the middle frame the teams combined for four goals. Yale kicked off the action just 30 seconds into the period when Jesse Root ’14 notched his first of two consecutive goals off an assist from Charles Brockett ’12.
“I was calling for it as I came out,” Root said in a press release. “It was a really nice play. He hit me in stride. I had a lot of room to make a move.”
However, Yale squandered the momentum by committing two straight penalties that gave Quinnipiac a chance to get back into the game. The Elis made it through the first penalty unscathed but did not get so lucky when Kenny Agostino ’14 went to the box just 40 seconds later. It took the Bobcats all of 33 seconds to slip one just past Maricic’s leg and tie the score.
With Quinnipiac building momentum, Yale caught a bad break at the wrong time. Just 35 seconds after Quinnipiac tied it at one, the referees ejected Antoine Laganiere ’13 for five minutes for making contact to the head. With a five-minute penalty kill coming up, things looked grim for Yale.
But Root struck again with a shorthanded goal to deflate the Quinnipiac crowd and give Yale a 2–1 lead. Forward Clint Bourbonais ’14 took advantage of a bad touch by a Quinnipiac defenseman and stole the puck at the Bobcats’ blue line. With the blueliner on his back, Bourbonais carried the puck to the net and shot an off-balanced backhand that Bobcats’ keeper Eric Hartzell stopped. With the puck free in front of the net, Root swooped in, grabbed the rubber and finished an easy goal to give Yale the lead again.
With seven minutes remaining in the second period, Quinnipiac put away another goal on a beautifully executed power play while Laganiere was still off the ice.
After the flurry of goals in the second period, the teams returned to a stalement in the third. Quinnipiac controlled the pace of the game for most of the period and outshot Yale 15–5. With less than five minutes remaining, the Bobcats looked as though they were going to score when they went on a power play. Quinnipiac had moved the puck effortlessly against Yale on the power play all night, but the Bobcats could not capitalize on their scoring chances.
In overtime, the Bulldogs recorded two shots on goal to Quinnipiac’s zero. Head coach Keith Allain ’80 said he was pleased with Yale’s overtime effort.
“I thought we were the stronger team in overtime, and that’s very important,” Allain said in a press release. “Our team has the skill and grit to beat anyone in the league. If our attention is there, and our focus is there, we will see [in the playoffs] if we are good enough.”
On senior night, the men’s hockey team did what it does best: score goals.
The Bulldogs (12–13–2, 9–10–1 ECAC) dominated the tempo of the game from the beginning, scoring three goals in the opening period, and throttled the visiting Harvard Crimson (8–7–11, 6–4–9) 7–1. Captain Brian O’Neill ’12 notched three assists and forward Kenny Agostino ’14 finished with two goals and two assists, the third time this season he has had multiple goals in a game. Head coach Keith Allain ’80 said he was pleased with the team’s effort over the weekend.
“I think it’s been our best weekend of the year, certainly at home,” Allain said. “To get the sweep was big, and we go on the road feeling pretty good about ourselves.”
8:46 into the game, O’Neill gave the sold-out crowd at Ingalls Rink a lesson on puck handling. As the Bulldogs’ first power play winded down, the senior forward sprinted into the slot, drawing three defenders toward him. O’Neill then quickly passed the puck to a waiting Antoine Laganiere ’13 who knocked it in for the opening goal.
The Elis kept their red-hot offense rolling less than a minute later. Agostino skated down the right side of the rink and sent the puck across the ice to Andrew Miller ’13, who squeezed the puck past Crimson goalie Steve Michalek to widen the Elis’ lead to 2–0. Agostino said that the Bulldogs’ strong transition offense was accountable for much of their success this weekend.
“Transition hockey is so big in college hockey, and we capitalized on transitions numerous times,” Agostino said. “That’s how we got a lot of our goals this weekend.”
With less than two minutes left in the opening period, as Harvard struggled to set up its offense in front the Yale net, Agostino slipped behind the Crimson unnoticed. Laganiere took possession of the puck and sent it to a wide-open Agostino for the easy breakaway goal. The Elis ended the opening period with a 12–3 lead in shots on goal.
In a desperate attempt to score, the Crimson pulled Michalek off the ice for an extra skater with less than a minute to go in the opening frame. But the gamble paid off in an unexpected way.
Miller and defenseman Nick Jaskowiak ’12 were called for holding and elbowing, respectively, with 24 seconds left in the first period. This gave the Crimson a two-man advantage and Danny Beiga scored 23 seconds into the second period to pull Harvard within two.
But the Bulldogs answered a minute and a half later as forward Kevin Limbert ’12 scored on a breakaway to give the Elis a 4–1 lead. Allain said Limbert’s goal was a pivotal moment in the game.
“For us to answer the way we did was huge,” Allain said. “When they scored it was a potetntial for the momentum and the game to slip into their favor, but I think with Limbert’s goal, we put our hands right around it again.”
Tempers flared as the Crimson players increasingly favored an aggressive and undisciplined play style. In a span of three minutes, the referees whistled seven penalties, five of which were assigned to the Cantabs.
The Crimson finished the game with 13 penalties while the Bulldogs had eight of their own.
The momentum swung back in Yale’s favor as Agostino took advantage of the chaos and scored an unassisted power play goal 8:48 into the second period, putting the Elis ahead by 5–1. Michalek was pulled in favor of Raphael Girard after the play.
Ten different Yale players finished the game with at least one point. Limbert attributed the high-flying attack to Yale’s skaters having more awareness around the net.
“People are putting the extra effort in and making a solid tape-to-tape pass, and the receiver on the other hand too is ready to shoot the puck,” Limbert said. “I think everyone is making crisp passes and is ready to release the puck as soon as its on their stick.”
The Elis’ night was only marred by Chad Ziegler’s ’12 game misconduct penalty after being called for delivering a hit to the head. The penalty resulted in an automatic ejection with 4:24 left before the second intermission. But the Crimson could not score another goal even with the five-minute power play chance.
“That was just a great kill,” Allain said. “That’s the number one power play in the country, and they had five minutes. We used six players, we kept it short, we kept it hurried and we stuck to the plan and blocked some shots.”
With 1:29 left in the game, Limbert tallied his second goal of the night after off a rebound by Matt Killian ’15. 1:14 later, Agostino fed forward Anthony Day ’15 for the latter’s first collegiate goal.
The Elis will be back in action next weekend when they travel to Princeton and nearby Quinnipiac for their final regular season contests of 2012.