Goals 21 Seconds Apart in 3rd Give Yale Win
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The best way to head into a long break from competition is on a winning note. The No. 15 ranked Yale men's hockey team, facing a 19-day gap between contests, used goals from four different players and 27 saves from Jeff Malcolm to beat UMass 4-2 before 2,865 at Ingalls Rink.
The Bulldogs (7-3-2) can wag their tails heading into the holidays thanks to a great performance by their senior goalie. Malcolm made nearly half (12) of his saves in the third period.
The Minutemen (5-9-2) had the edge in shots (29-26) in a game that saw the teams combine for two power-play goals on 15 attempts, including a pair of lengthy two-man advantages.
"It was kind of an ugly game, which happens when you play three games in five days and you have a couple of guys banged up," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach. "I thought we came together as a team. We did the things you have to do to win a game like getting the puck out of our zone, getting it deep and other intangibles you have to take care of."
Yale broke open a one-goal game with two third-period tallies while putting 14 shots on Kevin Boyle (22 saves) and earning a fourth straight non-conference win.
UMass, which trailed after one by a goal, had a slim advantage in shots in the first period and had some quality scoring chances. Malcolm stopped all six chances including two grade-A chances that ended up drawing Yale penalties and were killed off efficiently.
"Malcs (Malcolm) came up huge early in the game and we fed off that," said Miller.
Nicholas Weberg, a Yale sophomore forward, got the game's first goal with a nifty shot at 3:24 of the first. Weberg took a feed from Clinton Bourbonais and buzzed in through the left circle before snapping off a wrister inside the far post.
"Kenny (Agostino, 2 assists) made a good play on the wall and got the puck out. I gave it to Clint (Bourbonais) and he made a good play back to me. I put it up top," said Weberg, Yale's first Norwegian hockey player. "Coach has been talking about the goalie locking up and that the top is going to be open. I was just following instructions."
Allain added this about Weberg: "He's been really good all week. His game has become more consistent and he's been more confident. He's a smart and quick player who can create time and space well."
The Elis killed off three power plays in the middle frame including a two-man advantage for two minutes. Yale limited UMass to two shots on target during the 5-on-3 and then jumped all over its own chance on an advantage with the momentum.
A Yale defenseman's long wrist shot from the point saw its way through traffic on the ice at 9:21 to make it 2-0. Tommy Fallen created space with the puck and saw an opening to get the puck on net for his third of the season.
The two-goal lead lasted until late in the second when Steven Guzzo tallied his fourth of the year. He flicked a five-footer through the five-hole that made it 2-1 heading to the third.
Yale had a chance to put some distance on its opponent with a five-minute major called on Conor Sheary and another UMass penalty shortly after. The home squad had two shots that looked like they were about to hit the net but instead got deflected at the last moment.
The Blue had to be concerned when it failed to take advantage of the great opportunity and saw the visitors gaining some steam from the kill while trailing by just a goal.
Miller (5th goal) came in through the left circle and set up Ryan Obuchowski with an excellent chance in the low slot. However, the Yale rookie put it back to the Yale captain, who one-timed it a few feet from the right post at 6:08.
"We executed something we worked on in practice all week," said Miller, in reference to the goal that broke things open. "We were working on keeping the puck out of the zone against a pinching defense, and then working the two-on-one. It was good work."
Wilson, who has three goals in his first college season, had Yale's fourth goal. He flew in from the right side and let go a rising slapper from the right circle that went top shelf at 6:29.
The Minutemen, who pulled their goalie with two Bulldogs in the box, scored 6-on-4 at 17:35 with Rocco Carzo's eighth goal of the year. But that was all the Hockey East team had in its comeback.
One of the key elements of the victory was Yale blocking 15 shots.
"I think he (Weberg) blocked three shots tonight. And they were huge ones that got the puck out of the zone. That won't be on the score sheet," said Miller.
Yale suited up the same lineup as Saturday night against Union… The Blue is off for exams and the holidays and returns to action by hosting a Russian touring team on Dec. 28 at 7 p.m in a game that can be seen live on CPTV as well as Yale All Access… After the game, the hallway outside the varsity area in Ingalls Rink was lined with National Hockey League personnel looking to speak with Yale players.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
Watch the Yale All-Access Broadcast: