Bulldogs Win 9th Straight, 4-2 at Harvard
4 Elis Score, Rondeau Makes 29 Saves
BOSTON, Mass. – The nation's longest active win streak is now at nine games, and an 8-0 conference record goes with it after a big rivalry victory on the road. Four different players scored and Ryan Rondeau stopped 29 shots as the No. 1 ranked Yale men's hockey team beat Harvard 4-2 before 3,076 at Bright Hockey Center in an ECAC game.
Kenny Agostino, Chris Cahill, Brendan Mason and Chad Ziegler found the net for the nation's top scoring team on a night when the Bulldogs (14-1 overall) outshot the Crimson 39-31 and converted two of seven power plays.
Rondeau, who made 61 saves in the two road wins this weekend, had a dozen stops in the first, seven in the second and 10 in the third to help the Elis win for the fifth time in 44 games at the Bright Center.
"We used our speed to try and wear down the defense. We work very hard. Our defense did a great job getting in the shooting lanes and pushing them outside," said Rondeau, who fashioned one of his best weekends as a collegiate netminder.
The Crimson (3-11, 2-9 ECAC), who got 35 saves from senior Ryan Caroll, had a pair of goals from Danny Biega. They hung with the first-place team for a little more than a period until the Bulldogs started clicking on offense.
"We gave up more chances than we would have liked and didn't convert as many as we wanted in our offensive zone," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. "Our D [defensive] corps has been really good. It has also been good at moving the puck out of the defensive zone."
The Bulldogs saw a scoreless first period with end-to-end action for the second straight night. Harvard had more of the grade-A scoring chances, but Rondeau was steady in net with 12 stops. Carroll's 14 stops were less noticeable with few close calls. Yale's best chance to find the net was a one-timer from Broc Little on the lower edge of the right circle.
The similarities with Friday's game at Dartmouth continued in the middle frame with Yale scoring twice and the home team hitting the net once.
Agostino opened the scoring at 2:57 when he banged home a rebound off his own tip-in attempt. He re-directed a Josh Balch shot from the point before hitting the net for the fifth time this year with a backhand shot from eight feet away.
"The rebound was just sitting there for me. I'm not sure if the goalie ever saw it," said Agostino.
The Blue, on its third man-advantage, made it 2-0 when Cahill converted a fabulous long pass from Andrew Miller that caught the Crimson defense slightly off guard. The senior forward wound up from the top of the left circle and blasted a shot over Caroll's shoulder 48 seconds after Agostino's tally.
The momentum had clearly titled toward the visitors, and many quality chances were to follow without further success. Little set up Jesse Root with a nifty feed that gave him an open net from 10 feet away, but the freshman's shot went off the pipe. Little and Balch also had point-blank opportunities that the Harvard netminder counted among his 13 saves in the second period.
Rondeau made seven stops in the middle period but one did get away on a Biega shot from the right circle. A Harvard skater may have put his stick in the way of Rondeau, who was in the zone all night.
Mason made it 3-1 at 4:53 of the third when he scored off a Charles Brockett pass from behind the net. "I came off the half boards and Chuck [Brockett] sent it out to me. It was a one-touch snapshot that went five-hole," said Mason. "You have to be a little humble [being No. 1], and everyone is shooting for you. You have to work harder to counter everyone always going after you."
Yale's speed had Harvard chasing and that resulted in frustration and penalties.
When Matt McCollem was called for a five-minute boarding penalty (on Root), the Bulldogs jumped all over the chance. Little found Ziegler in front of the net at 7:35 and the junior winger one-timed a shot from the low slot to increase the lead to three.
The rest of the game was a Rondeau highlight film. He snatched Luke Greiner's shot out of the air from 10 feet away and turned aside other quality chances before a meaningless power-play tally with 36.9 seconds left squeezed inside the post.
"This was the first time we had back-to-back games since the break and I think it took its toll," said Allain.
Bulldog Bites: Broc Little, who had one assist, made a number of great passes that nearly resulted in goals… Last night was Keith Allain's first game with Yale since helping the U.S. Junior National Team win a bronze medal at the IIHF World Championships in Buffalo. He missed games with the Red Stars and Holy Cross… Yale has a home-and-home (Saturday-Sunday) series with travel partner Brown next weekend, both 4 p.m. starts.
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director