Blue Scores 4 Straight To Stun Green

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Kenny Agostino. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Agostino Goal with 34.8 Seconds Wins It

HANOVER, N.H. – Kenny Agostino's goal with 34.8 seconds left in the third period capped a wild, come-from-behind, 5-4, Yale men's ECAC Hockey victory over Dartmouth. The Bulldogs, who trailed by three in the first period, scored the game's last four goals to stun the Big Green before a packed house at Thompson Arena.

Agostino led the Bulldogs (9-10-2, 6-7-1 ECAC) with two goals as they outshot a Big Green squad (36-33) that had scored 10 goals in their first four periods (6-2 win over Brown Friday) of this weekend.

"It was a tremendous win. Our guys did a great job of overcoming adversity. This was a real testament to their mental toughness," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey.

Yale goalie Nick Maricic (29 saves) was tested off the opening draw with a long, crazy bouncer that he stopped, but the pressure would increase in a nightmarish first frame that included 20 shots, 16 saves and four goals to take Dartmouth into the intermission up 4-1.

Maricic made plenty of quality saves in first 20 minutes, but there were too many odd-man situations and too many available rebounds.

For the second straight night, the Elis were down early. Tyler Sikura flicked one top shelf after toe-dragging for space on a defender at 3:49.

The Blue, which managed 13 shots on goal and had plenty of other great chances, tied it at 1-1 almost a minute later when Jesse Root's shot was saved and linemate Kevin Limbert smacked it into the net for his third of the year.

Dartmouth grabbed the lead again when a defenseman Connor Goggin's shot from the point bounced off the boards and to the stick of Troy Mattila for an easy put-back at 9:26. Twenty-five seconds later, Eric Robinson's wrister from between the circle and the goal line found the net and it was 3-1.

Paul Lee became the fourth different Dartmouth skater to score in the penalty-free frame when be put a shot back from the low slot through a pile of players at 16:08.

"Our senior class showed tremendous leadership after the first period to get their teammates going," said Allain.

Yale cut the margin in half midway through the second by killing off (just 3 shots total) the game's first two penalties and getting some sustained pressure on Dartmouth goalie James Mello (31 saves). That pressure resulted in the visitor's second goal.

Antoine Laganiere fought off a defender and won the puck in the corner. He quickly found Agostino with space in the middle slot at 9:59 and the sophomore forward snapped off a low shot for his seventh tally this season.

Yale's first advantage since the first period at Harvard didn't produce a goal but the Blue still cut the deficit to 4-3 early in the third. With the fore-check buzzing and shots coming from all places by guys in blue shirts, defenseman Tommy Fallen whizzed a low shot inside the near post at 4:49 after hard work and a great feed from Brian O'Neill.

The second power-play chance for the Elis produced a third straight goal and the equalizer with 11:18 left. Root's shot from the right circle, which followed a pass from Nick Jaskowiak, stunned the capacity crowd.

"I shot it and didn't see what happened after. It must have hit a Dartmouth player," said Root, who notched his third goal.

The game looked like it was heading for overtime, until Colin Dueck and Agostino connected on what Yale faithful might term "The Pass." It was almost "Hail Mary-like" in its improbability.

Dueck collected the puck in his end and looked up ice as the Big Green changed lines. The junior blueliner flicked the puck 30-feet in the air and it sailed from the Yale end into the Dartmouth end.

"I was just trying to get it where something good could happen. I didn't have anyone to pass to and was hoping we might get to it," said Dueck.

The fluttering puck landed where Agostino, who was just on-side, could get it first, despite three white jerseys close by. He moved around a defender with three steps and was already on the doorstep with a good look. Agostino, on the left post, snapped it home to cap the comeback and set off a celebration on the Yale bench.

"I was able to get a fortunate bounce," said Agostino, who has eight goals. "The defense cheated toward O'Neill and I was able to beat him on the shortside."

 

Bulldog Bites: The Yale women's basketball team, which takes on Dartmouth Sunday afternoon, was in attendance to root on their friends… The Elis had one power-play opportunity through this weekend's first five periods… There were many changes in the Yale lines compared to Friday, including a pair of freshmen shuffles: Nicholas Weberg in for Trent Ruffolo at forward and Bennett Carroccio in for Matt Killian on defense… Kevin Limbert now has two goals in his last three games… One of the referees, Jean-Yves Roy, from last night's game at Boston worked this contest… The Bulldogs are home next weekend to host SLU and Clarkson.

 

Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director