March 12, 2011

Bulldogs Win to Force Game 3

Kearney Has 3 Points in 5-2 Win Over SLU

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A sense of urgency brought the best out of the dog tonight in game two of the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal Series at Ingalls Rink. Five different players hit the net as the No. 3 Yale men's hockey team beat St. Lawrence 5-2 and forced a deciding game three Sunday night.

"Urgency was the word thrown around a lot today," said Broc Little, who had a goal and an assist. "We had total focus from the team all day, and tonight we finished our chances."

Denny Kearney had a goal and three points while the Bulldogs (24-6-1) also got tallies from Kevin Limbert, Clinton Bourbonais and Kevin Peel.

Ryan Rondeau made 29 saves, including 13 in the final frame, and halted three of four St. Lawrence power plays.

The Saints (13-21-5), outshot 33-31, got 28 saves from Matt Weninger, who prevented the home team from scoring on four of five advantages.

"We had a wake-up call last night, we were playing for our lives in this tournament," said Kearney. "We were playing with a sense of desperation."

The Elis found the net first. Peel's blast from the point hit a defenseman outside the crease and bounced to the ice next to Kearney (15th goal), who had that blueliner and the goalie between him and the net. Kearney, with the puck on his backhand, flipped it through both of their legs without much of an angle to aim from with 4:48 left in the first.

The Bulldogs came within 1.6 seconds of keeping SLU off the board in the first, but a late penalty on Kevin Limbert turned into a great opportunity to even the score. Kyle Flanagan's (12th) shot from the high slot eluded a defender and then went high on the Bulldog netminder.

Rondeau, who kept the Blue in good shape with eight saves, needed consecutive quality stops on Aaron Bogosian eight minutes into the game when the senior winger fired from close range and then smacked his own rebound back at the Yale net.

Limbert's rebound put-back at 8:37 of the second gave the lead back to Yale, but it wasn't the typical second shot. The junior center waited for the goalie to go down before he flipped it top shelf for his seventh of the year to make it 2-1.

The Elis kept buzzing the SLU end and creating chances. Bourbonais tested the Saints' goalie with a decent shot skating into the high slot and then got his own rebound and really made the freshman go acrobatic to make the save. However, Bourbonais got another chance a minute later and cashed it in. Antoine Laganiere dug the puck out of the corner and put it on the rookie's stick heading to the slot. Bourbonais uncoiled a nasty shot that went blocker side high and gave the home team a two-goal lead.

The Elis were not through scoring in the second, and this time it was Peel's turn. Brian O'Neill did the work low, Andrew Miller made a great pass through traffic and Peel (4th) took it above the circle. The junior skated toward the dot and then cut left before snapping off a low shot that went stick side on Weninger at 13:47.

The Saints continued to do what they've done all series long, chipping away and fighting back. Nick Pitsikoulis sent a fluttering shot from the high slot that sailed over Rondeau and under the crossbar with 2:19 left to cut the margin in half at the second intermission.

After scoring three times on the power play last night, the Elis went scoreless on their first three tonight before breaking through in the third. Kearney sent a lead pass low to Little who received it on is forehand and made a bee-line for the net. Just as he got to the edge of the crease, he brought it to his backhand and immediately flicked it bar-down at 8:39 for his 16th of the year. "It was a nice play by Denny [Kearney] to get me the puck. I guess I was able to get it over his [goalie's] shoulder," said Little.

"That was a goal scorer's goal. The angle that he had to get to backhand that shot," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. "You have to be a confident player to score that goal."

Meanwhile the Yale penalty kill was coming up big, especially in the third period with a short 5-on-3. SLU did not get a puck to Rondeau on either advantage.

 

BULLDOG BITES: Tickets for Sunday's 7 pm game can be purchased on Sunday at the Yale Ticket Office (203.432.1400) at 1 p.m. Remaining tickets will be sold at the rink starting at 5:30 pm… Yale's 24th win of the year ties the school record set by the 2008-09 team… The one change in the lineup from Friday was Gus Young on defense for Ken Trentowski… Mark Arcobello '10, who has seven points in 11 AHL games, had two goals and three points last night for the Oklahoma City team in a 6-5 win over Grand Rapids.

 

Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director