January 21, 2012

Elis Fall Short in Comeback

Yale Outshoots RPI 46-18 But Drops 2-1 Game

NEW  HAVEN, Conn. – Pelting the opposing goalie with shots just wasn't enough for a Yale men's hockey team desperate for goals and a victory during a weekend power shortage. The Bulldogs attempted 90 shots and put 46 on the net but still fell 2-1 to a stingy Rensselaer team before 3,324 at Ingalls Rink.

The problem for the Elis (8-9-2, 5-6-1 ECAC), in addition to going 0-for-5 on the power play (0-9 on the weekend), was running into a hot Engineer goalie, Bryce Merriam, who stopped 45 of those shots on target.

RPI (6-17-1, 3-8-1) only attempted 36 shots, finishing off its four-point road trip through New England. Sixteen of those were stopped by Yale goalie Jeff Malcolm, but two off the stick of junior center Marty O'Grady hit the back of the net.

"I was real proud of the way we played. Not just the third period. We had a great start and we dominated the second and third periods. The only way we are going to win is to play like that. I thought we deserved to win tonight," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach.

Merriam, who knocked aside all 36 Brown shots the night before in a 3-0 win, was the busier goalie in the first period, making eight saves and stopping both Yale power-play chances.

Malcolm made some amazing stops in the second including picking a point-blank snap shot out of the air from Zach Schroeder with just over six minutes left.

Yale had the buzz (19-7 in shots) around the RPI net for a good portion of the middle frame, but the Engineer goalie came up big. He made a great leg save on Anthony Day's mini-breakaway with 4:19 left and was jumping on everything else coming his way.

Merriam swiped a Kenny Agostino shot headed for the upper corner from the air early in the third. It was the only save he needed on a Yale advantage that never really got set up.

A third-period Yale turnover on a breakout from its own end was the difference. CJ Lee picked off a lead pass and wheeled back in the other direction over the blueline. He got the puck across to Marty O'Grady, who quickly snapped off a blistering low shot from the high slot at 8:59.

A little more than three minutes later, O'Grady and Lee were at it again. Lee's shot was stopped by Malcolm but the rebound was just out of the goalie's reach. O'Grady got a stick on it and flicked it over the fallen Bulldog.

The desperation for a goal grew on the ice and in the stands as Yale blueliner Nick Jaskowiak hit the cross bar with a sizzler. A minute later Agostino hit Andrew Miller with a perfect lead pass and his re-direction attempt from the low slot settled into Merriam's stomach at 6:22. There were plenty of other chances during a second straight period of the home team having 19 of the 26 shots on goal.

The Bulldogs called a timeout and pulled Malcolm with under two minutes left. The plan worked as Kevin Limbert took a pass from Miller in the corner. Limbert, in the middle of the slot, wound up and partially fanned on the shot. He got just enough to send it to the right spot, and it was just enough of a changeup to throw off the hot goalie and cross the goal line at 18:18 for his second tally of the year.

After the ensuing draw, Malcolm came off again with 67 seconds left and his teammates kept the puck in the RPI end the rest of the way. Merriam survived eight more shots, stopping three headed for the net, while his teammates froze and cleared pucks to run out the clock.

"He [Merriam] stole the game," said Allain.

 

BULLDOG BITES: Jeff Malcolm got the start in net, a night after Nick Maricic started against Union… The other change in the Yale lineup from last night was freshman Anthony Day (Buffalo, NY) in for sophomore forward Brad Peltz (Mount Kisko, NY)… Neither team scored with the advantage… The Elis are at Harvard (NBC Sports Network) and Dartmouth next Friday and Saturday nights.

 

Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director

 

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