Agostino Wins OT Game At Denver

Jeff Malcolm. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Jeff Malcolm. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Malcolm Shines In Victory Over No. 2 Pioneers

DENVER, Colo. – The Yale men's hockey team has been getting better with almost every game this season. The Bulldogs' best game of the young season came with an impressive upset of No. 2 ranked Denver on the road tonight. Kenny Agostino's goal at 3:28 of overtime gave the Elis a 2-1 win before 4,766 at Magness Arena in a classic and crazy, East vs. West contest.

Yale (4-2-1) had a power play at the end of the extra session. Antoine Laganiere (Ile Cadieux, Que.) shot the puck from the point through traffic that hit someone and bounced to the right side of the net. Agostino (Flanders, NJ) got to the rebound 12 feet away from the net and just a few feet out from the goal line extended. The junior forward had a small window to hit the far side of the net and he flicked home the perfect shot to snare Yale's first win in seven meetings with the seven-time national champions.

"Lags (Laganiere) took a hard shot from around the top of the circle and Rooter (Jesse Root) did a great job screening the goalie," said Agostino. "It actually hit off Jesse (Root) and fortunately bounced to me and I was able to bury it."

Jeff Malcolm (Lethbridge, Alb.), who held the nation's top scoring team to one tally in more than 63 minutes, made 32 saves to give the Blue a 3-0 mark against ranked teams this year. He also blanked the Pioneers on five advantages.

Yale dominated puck possession in the first 15 minutes of a scoreless opening frame with tenacious fore-checking and great puck cycling that would ultimately be the difference in this game. The Elis managed 15 shots on net with just one advantage, and at one point midway through the frame had 12 of the first 15 of the contest.

Denver goalie Juho Olkinuora (35 saves) was up to the task with 15 saves in a busy first period, while Malcolm had 13 stops.

"I don't think we touched the puck in the first 10 minutes of the game," said Denver captain Paul Phillips during an ESPN radio interview after the second period.

Great saves and a controversial penalty call highlighted the second period. With 6:30 left, Chris Knowlton broke away from the defense and was stopped by Malcolm with a great glove save that snatched a puck heading for the corner of the net. Anthony Day (Buffalo, NY), a minute later, came in alone on the DU net before Olkinuora turned his shot aside.

A very light bump by Yale forward Clinton Bourbonais (Dexter, Mich.) on a Pioneer defenseman late in the second period gave the home team a five-minute power play. Bourbonais, making contact from behind the Denver player and then grabbing him before he hit the ice, got a game misconduct on a play that one of the home radio announcers called a "non-penalty" and a "bad call."

The Elis constantly cleared the puck out of their zone and looked on the way to killing off the major penalty. That's when Kenny Agostino (Flanders, NJ) was called for slashing and gave the home team a two-man advantage for more than a minute to start the third period.

Malcolm came up big with two amazing saves on the 5-on-3 to kill off the first penalty. After a flurry, the puck came out to mid ice for Josh Balch (Wilmette, Ill.) and the senior forward swooped in from the left boards. From the top of the crease he flipped a backhander between the goalie's legs and the puck was stopped but trickled behind him. Stu Wilson (Pittsford, NY) won the race with a defender to the loose puck and poked it home at 1:26 of the third to make it 1-0 with his second goal of the year. It was Yale's first shorthanded tally of the year.

The third period was the only one DU had the advantage (14-9) in shots, and the Yale netminder weathered almost all of the storm.

The Pioneers (9-2), coming off a sweep of archrival Colorado College last week, pulled their goalie with 1:33 left for the extra skater. Nick Shore won the face-off to the point and then got in front of the Yale net. He then re-directed a shot from the point that sailed over Malcolm's shoulder to even the score at 18:31.

Malcolm, who saw Tommy Fallen (Plymouth, Minn.) called for a trip shortly after the tying goal, stood on his head the rest of the way and made five saves over the last 20 seconds of regulation to put the Pioneers in their first overtime game of the year.

But the advantage continued into the OT and the Elis killed off the last 1:08 before getting a break on a call. Gabe Levin was whistled for tripping with 2:18 left, which set up Agostino's fifth goal of the year and the only power-play tally of the night.

"I was impressed with Yale. We knew they would push the pace. They are a terrific team and have a great goaltender," said Denver head coach George Gwozdecky in his post-game interview on ESPN radio. "This game could have been way out of hand without the play of our goalie. They did a great job on the penalty kill. They did all the things you need to go on the road to get a win."

The Bulldogs take on No. 14 Colorado College Saturday night. The Tigers skated to a 4-4 tie with No. 3 New Hampshire tonight at Colorado Springs.                  


Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director