Yale Beats RPI 2-0
TROY, N.Y. – Junior goalie Jeff Malcolm (Lethbridge, AB) registered his second straight shutout by stopping all 27 shots in No. 10/13 Yale's 2-0 ECAC Hockey win over Rensselaer at Houston Field House.
Malcolm, who now has two career shutouts (2-0 win over Colgate on Nov. 5), stopped 13 shots in the second period and all six RPI power plays to help the Bulldogs (3-1-1, 2-1-0 ECAC) to a second straight victory that moved them into a tie for first place in the conference standings with four points.
"Special teams and good goaltending are what you need to win games on the road. We had a very good defensive effort tonight," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey.
The Engineers (1-9, 0-3), playing their sixth nationally ranked team in 11 games, had two man-advantages in an opening frame that included six shots on goal by both sides with one goal (even strength) scored by the visitors.
The Bulldogs jumped all over a turnover by defenseman Pat Koudys at mid ice. Josh Balch (Wilmette, Ill.) picked up the blueliner's stick, grabbed the puck and took off down the left side of the rink.
The junior forward held the puck with looks to linemates, swooped in from the left and made a move on goalie Bryce Merriam (27 saves). Balch deked toward his backhand, dragged the puck across the net and tucked it forehand on the ice before the two minute mark.
"The goal opportunity started by a hard forecheck that caused them to turn it over," said Balch. "That allowed [Clinton] Bourbonais and me to go on a 2-on-1."
Nobody found the net in the second period, but that didn't mean there weren't plenty of chances. While Merriman made some quality stops, like consecutive Bulldog odd-man rushes early in the period, including a great opportunity for Chad Ziegler (Spruce Grove, AB), most of the action came in the other end.
The action in the Yale end was not necessarily a result of puck possession or fore-checking, rather it was power-play time. The Elis, outshot 13-8 in this period, were called for three penalties in the middle frame and Malcolm came up with a number of great saves to keep RPI off the board.
The fact that his teammates did a fine job of keeping sticks in passing lanes and back-checking like crazy in the defensive zone helped Malcolm's effort.
The best opportunity for a Yale tally in the second came off the stick of Kenny Agostino (Flanders, NJ) from the low slot. The Blue, which may have been less desperate for a goal, had the edge (15-8) in shots in the third period and kept the home team from getting quality chances.
The work in the offensive end resulted in the game's final goal for Yale on the man-advantage. "It was a pretty good effort in third period. We won lot of battles and blocked a lot of shots. That's what you have to do to beat a good team on the road," said Allain.
The Elis, who converted one of three chances, notched a big one to put the game out of reach at 18:21 of the third. Clinton Bourbonais (Colchester, Conn.), who also scored in the last game, converted a pass to the slot from Agostino for his second goal of the season.
That opportunity was made possible by the effort of freshman forward Nicholas Weberg (Oslo, Norway), who drew a tripping penalty. The Elis then worked the puck around for a good 30 seconds before finding the net again.
Yale avenged a 2010-11 loss at Troy, half of arguably one of the toughest road trips in ECAC Hockey. Next up is No. 8 Union, upset tonight by Brown, Saturday at 7:30.
Bulldog Bites: Yale has scored two goals in all five games this season… The Elis have goals from seven different players this year… The Engineers wore special black uniforms as part of "Black Friday" at Houston Field House. The uniforms are auctioned off for a charity… Former RPI goalie Allen York signed early and is on the Columbus Bluejackets roster.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director