November 26, 2011

Eagles Avoid Bite of Bulldogs

BC Comes From Behind To Stun Yale

 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. –  Chris Kreider's goal with 39 seconds left in the third period capped a late comeback as No. 5 Boston College edged No. 8 Yale 3-2 before an Ingalls Rink sellout.

The Eagles (10-4) erased a 2-0 deficit with three straight goals, including two in the last three minutes to snatch the game away from an inspired Bulldog team that got a great performance from junior goalie Jeff Malcolm (Lethbridge, AB), who had 36 saves.

In a game where the teams combined for 12 scoreless advantages, Boston College had two more chances and ended up with more (39-33) shots as well, while the Eagles needed every one of freshman Brian Billett's 31 saves to get the win in his college debut.

"It's a tough way to lose a game," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. "We are a developing hockey team and our kids took some strides today."

BC had a slight edge (13-11) in shots over the first 20 minutes and both teams had a few grade-A chances.

Jesse Root (Pittsburgh, Pa.), who had two points, scored the game's first goal, but Antoine Laganiere (Ile Cadieux, Que.) deserves most of the credit. His fore-check down a man late in a BC power play put Yale on the offensive enough to result in an even-strength tally.  On the scoring play, Laganiere took a feed from sophomore blueliner Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.) and swooped into the slot before firing a shot that was blocked by Billett. The puck came out on the left and Root crashed the net for the rebound to bang it home before being knocked through it at 4:05.

BC had some great chances to tie it up later in the first frame. Malcolm made a great blocker save on a Kreider mini-breakaway with six minutes left.

The Eagles started the second with an advantage and got another shortly after the first expired. That contributed to Yale not getting a shot on goal until seven minutes in.

Yale still managed to get the next goal and take a 2-0 lead that lasted almost the entire middle stanza. Charles Brockett (Shaker Heights, Ohio) chipped the puck out of the Yale end to Root, who was heading up the ice with space. The sophomore center carried over the blueline and held until the last second. Root sent a low shot off Billett's blocker and the rebound came out on the other side. Kenny Agostino (Flanders, NJ) came flying in ahead of the defense and snapped it into the open side at 10:02.

The Bulldogs had a golden opportunity to make the advantage three late in the second when the visitors were called for simultaneous penalties with 4:33 left. The Eagles packed in three of their bigger players to form a small triangle around Billett and make it very difficult to get rubber to the goalie. BC limited Yale to four shots on goal in 10 attempts during the double penalty-kill that could have been the difference in the game.

"It (PK) was enormous and it definitely gave them momentum," said Yale captain Brian O'Neill (Yardley, Pa.).

The Eagles turned their momentum from the two-man kill into a goal with 21.7 seconds left in the second. Pat Mullane skated into the right circle and backhanded a pass toward the lower slot. Paul Carey re-directed the pass between Malcolm's arm and body and the puck trickled slowly over the goal line to cut the margin in half.

The visitors had three power-play chances in the first 10 minutes of the third period. Malcolm came up with quality saves during each and Barry Almeida hit the pipe on the third one.  He made two more on the fourth power-play chance in the third as Bulldogs dove to block shots around him.

After killing off the fourth one, Yale forward Kevin Limbert (Fruitvale, BC) hustled his way into a BC hooking penalty with just over three minutes left.  However, instead of getting a goal to put the game away, the home team gave up a 3-on-2 that resulted in Almedia's rising wrister over the Yale goalie's shoulder for a shorthanded tally to even the score with 2:19 left.

With 43 seconds left and a faceoff in the right circle of the Yale end, Eagles' junior winger Steven Whitney got the puck and headed around the circle and low before spotting Kreider with space off the edge of the crease. Whitney sent a perfect pass to the New York Ranger draft pick and Kreider one-timed it at 19:21 for the winner.

"We are not tough enough around our own net yet," said O'Neill.

The Elis, who lost for the second straight game, pulled Malcolm and kept the puck in the other end but could not get a shot on net.

 

BULLDOG BITES:  Yale skated without the services of injured forward Andrew Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), who was injured in the middle of the Sacred Heart game…  Jesse Root, the only Bulldog with multiple points, took his spot on the line with Kenny Agostino and Brian O'Neill… Yale is back at home Thursday night to play Brown.

 

Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director

 

Don Clark image of Jesse Root

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