Bulldogs Power Past Holy Cross
7 Yalies Tally, Elis Net 4 PPG
WORCESTER, Mass. - It was power-play day at the Hart Center with two teams combining for seven man-advantage goals on 15 attempts. Seven different Bulldogs hit the net, four on the power play, as the No. 11 Yale men's hockey team beat Holy Cross 7-3 in a non-league contest before 1,003.
Yale (5-2-2), winners of three straight, converted four of eight power plays while outshooting the Crusaders 39-23. The Elis broke open a 1-1 game in the second period with four straight goals that made freshman goalie Nick Maricic (20 saves) a winner.
The goal scoring was well spread, but sophomore defenseman Kevin Peel had three assists while senior forward Mark Arcobello and rookie forward Andrew Miller each had a pair of helpers. Seniors Sean Backman and Tom Dignard had a goal and an assist.
"We moved the puck well and waited for our chances. We didn't force anything," said sophomore Yale forward Brian O'Neill. "We let them come to us and made some nice tic-tac-toe plays."
Holy Cross (4-8-2) had most of the early chances, but the visitors got on the board first. Peel won a floating puck out of the air on his own blueline and saw a forward open on the left side with Holy Cross coming off a line change. He passed ahead to Miller, who wound up from the top of the right circle and blasted a shot that was saved by Adam Roy (32 saves). The rebound came out to the low slot where Broc Little (9th goal), going full speed to the net, was ready to flip it inside the near post at 4:32.
The 1-0 lead lasted for exactly two minutes. Mike Daly's shot from the point turned into a big opening for the Crusaders. Maricic got his blocker on the shot but the rebound zoomed out to the left circle. Brodie Sheahan (4th) got to the puck without a challenge and snapped off a shot into an open near side.
The Crusaders had the shot advantage (13-11) in the first period, but most of the action was in the Holy Cross end during the second. The Elis had 11 of the 16 shots on goal in the frame, including four goals. Three came on power plays out of six opportunities.
A bouncing puck helped the Bulldogs grab another lead in the first minute of the middle frame. Denny Kearney, skating along the Holy Cross blueline, watched as two Crusaders' sticks swiped unsuccessfully at a bouncing puck before going directly to the Yale junior. Kearney (2nd) went in alone on Roy, deked his forehand and went backhand behind the junior goalie.
The Elis, who have seven power-play goals the last two games, cashed in on a man advantage when Dignard (4th), the only blueliner on the ice for Yale, smacked a low shot from the right circle through traffic.
Yale made it 4-1 by jumping all over a 5-on-3. Backman (6th), moving toward the goal in the left circle, one-timed a perfect crossing pass from Dignard. Freshman forward Antoine Laganiere's (3rd) put-back from the high slot gave the Blue a four-goal advantage.
Holy Cross got its first two-man advantage at the close of the second and used a tip-in tally by Everett Sheen (7th) to make it 5-2 after 40 minutes. It was the home team's first power-play goal after seven chances. The back end of the advantage turned into the Crusaders' third goal 49 seconds into the third. J.P. Martignetti's blast from the right circle sailed into the upper right corner.
However, Yale's fourth power-play goal made it 6-3 at 7:18 of the third and took the wind out of the Crusaders' sails. O'Neill (5th) converted a feed from Miller, who had got the puck on a pass from Maricic.
Holy Cross pulled Roy for an extra skater but the Elis quickly put it away. With 1:37 left, junior forward Brendan Mason (2nd) fired a shot from mid ice into an empty net. That ended a Yale onslaught that included outshooting the Purple and White 17-5 in the final period.
"It was a real special teams game on both sides," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, a Worcester native who played home games his senior season of high school hockey at a new Hart Center. "It was nice to see our guys move the puck around so well and finish."
Yale, which beat Sacred Heart 8-2 last Tuesday, has 15 goals over the last two games, the most since the 1990-91 Elis scored 16 times at home during weekend wins over Clarkson and St. Lawrence.
The Bulldogs head to Burlington, Vt., Sunday afternoon to prepare for a Monday night re-match with a Vermont Catamounts team that ended Yale's 2008-09 season at the NCAA East Regional.
Kevin Peel image by Sam Rubin '95
Report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director