No. 5 Bulldogs Improve to 3-0
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The conference season began with a bang for the two-time defending regular season champions. Chris Cahill scored twice and added an assist and Ryan Rondeau stopped 27 shots as the No. 5 Yale men's hockey team improved to 3-0 with a 5-3 win over Princeton on the first night of ECAC Hockey action at Ingalls Rink.
The Bulldogs, who outshot the 0-3 Tigers 46-30, had a real battle from the visitors, playing their third straight (Ivy Shootout last weekend) game at Ingalls Rink.
Rondeau made six saves in the first, nine in the second and finished with a dozen big saves in the final frame. The Elis, who killed off six of seven Princeton advantages, had multiple 5-on-3s to wipe away as their senior netminder reeled off big save after big save.
"Ryan made some big saves at some big times," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. "They [Princeton] were fast and physical and made you fight for the puck in front of the net."
At the other end, Alan Reynolds was huge with 41 saves including 19 in the middle period.
Cahill, enjoying his first two-goal collegiate game, hit the net in the first and second (man-advantage) periods and helped the Blue convert two of its eight power-play chances.
"It's nice to be back and contribute to the team," said Cahill, the senior who was not in school last year. "We were working well together with a lot of chemistry. Everyone is so unselfish and just trying to make plays all the time."
The Elis, coming off a 14-goal weekend to start the season, notched three, including a power-play tally, to go into the first intermission with a 3-2 lead.
Just two of the goals last weekend were on the power play, but the Elis jumped all over their first chance against the Tigers. Sophomore wing Chad Ziegler banged home a rebound at the side of the net for his first goal of the year. Mike Matczak's shot from the point bounced off the boards behind the net and came out to the opposite post where Ziegler was in position to pounce.
Cahill, whose last goal was the only Bulldog score in the 2009 NCAA Tournament game against Vermont, converted a nifty feed from sophomore Andrew Miller to make it 2-0 less than two minutes later.
The Tigers didn't get down. They cut into the margin with a true hustle play from Andrew Calof, who got his first collegiate goal by following his rebound and flicking a shot off the back of Rondeau's pads at 7:02.
Broc Little's forechecking produced a two-goal cushion for the home team. The senior forward stole the puck off a defenseman's stick in the right circle and went in alone on Reynolds. Little (2 points) deked one way and fired the other for his fourth goal of the year.
Princeton was trying to put the puck on net any way it could to test Rondeau. It worked for Michael Sdao, who found a rebound that slid out to the high slot. He quickly flipped a rising wrister over the goalie's shoulder at 15:07.
The Bulldogs buzzed the Princeton end even more (20-9 in shots) in the second, but Reynolds kept coming up with big saves during massive flurries. Finally, on Yale's final man-advantage of the middle frame, the Elis broke through to make it 4-2.
Cahill, getting plenty of chances with great passes to the low slot on the power play, took a feed from the point off Antoine Laganiere's stick. Cahill spun to the left and backhanded a low shot inside the left post.
Matt Arhontas has three of Princeton's five goals this season. His third cut the lead to 4-3 early in the third period and could have been the momentum changer that the Tigers needed to get even. Arhontas one-timed a crossing pass for Princeton's only man-advantage tally.
Both teams had plenty of chances to score, but defenseman Kevin Peel's snapshot from the point found the net through traffic for his second of the season and turned out to be the finishing touches on the conference victory.
"As a coach, you have to love the way we gutted it out over the last 10 minutes of the game. We killed a lot of 5-on-3 time," said Allain, who got goals from three different lines tonight.
Bulldog Bites: Senior forward Brendan Mason and freshman blueliner Gus Young were not available for this game with injuries… Yale hosts Quinnipiac on Saturday at 7 and there are still some tickets available. The Ingalls Rink Ticket Office will open at 5:30 pm.
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
Video by David Dikranian: