The last time the Yale men’s hockey team defeated Quinnipiac before tonight, the victory crowned the Bulldogs as the 2013 NCAA National Champions at the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh. While no trophy awaited the Bulldogs in the locker room on Friday night, the Elis earned a hard-fought 3–2 victory to best their Nutmeg State rival, and more importantly, slide past Quinnipiac for the eighth spot in the ECAC standings race with just five games left to play.
In front of a sold-out crowd at Ingalls Rink, Yale gave its throng of fans a reason to celebrate when defender Billy Sweezey ’20 wristed the game’s opening score past Quinnipiac netminder Keith Petruzzelli at 11:32 in the first period. Sweezey, who entered Friday’s contest without a goal, showed off some superb stickwork by dangling a Bobcat defender and going five hole to give the Elis a 1–0 lead.
But the Bobcats, who saw a late first-period penalty killed off by Yale, were granted a reprieve when a Bulldog penalty at 19:23 gifted the away team an extra attacker. Quinnipiac would make no mistake the second time around, as Brandon Fortunato scored to make it 1–1 and spoil an otherwise spectacular first-period performance by goalie Sam Tucker ’19. The Bobcats would replicate that sequence shortly into the second period when Odeen Tufto scored a power-play goal to make it 2–1 Quinnipiac just 72 seconds into the period with Sweezey in the box.
Trailing by a single goal, the Bulldogs turned to forward Ted Hart ’19 for a spark on offense who scored two consecutive goals at 13:58 and 16:57 in the middle stanza to put the Bulldogs back ahead 3–2 heading into the third period. After protecting its lead for most of final frame, the Bulldogs went on the penalty kill ahead by one goal with 2:04 to play following a cross-checking infraction. With the goalie pulled, Quinnipiac seemed destined to draw level with two minutes of 6-on-4 hockey in Yale’s defensive zone but a remarkable penalty killing effort by the Bulldogs sealed the deal for the Elis, who notched their first win over the Bobcats in their last 12 tries.
Yale will return to Ingalls Rink looking for a weekend sweep against Princeton tomorrow night at 7 p.m.