Balanced Scoring Leads to 5-3 Win
CANTON, N.Y. – Captain Andrew Miller, looking down to an empty net, flicked a slow sliding shot from his own blueline that barely went inside the left post with 43 seconds left to clinch a big road win at Appleton Arena. Five different Bulldogs found the net and goalie Jeff Malcolm made 36 saves as the No. 14 Yale men's hockey team earned an important, 5-3 ECAC Hockey victory at St. Lawrence.
The Elis (8-4-3, 4-3-1 ECAC) converted two of four power plays and put 38 shots on Matt Weninger (33 saves) to register a sweep in the season series with SLU (8-10-2, 1-5-2).
Miller, Kenny Agostino, Antoine Laganiere, Nicholas Weberg and Stu Wilson all had a goal and an assist while Trent Ruffolo notched a pair of helpers for the Bulldogs, who also won by two at home in November against the Saints, ranked 12th at the time.
"It was a really hard-fought win against a terrific hockey team that has always been tough to beat up here," said Keith Allain '80 Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach. "We got some scoring from some different areas tonight, and our second power-play unit really came through for us."
Agostino opened the scoring at 12:53 of the first period when he took a pass off the goalie's pads by Ryan Obuchowski and snapped off a wrister into the upper corner from the slot for his eighth of the season. The lead lasted just 25 seconds because Greg Carey knocked in a rebound off the edge of the crease to send the teams into intermission at 1-1. Before the goals, Malcolm robbed Carey of the top shelf from the high slot, while Weninger needed a few quality stops to keep things even through one.
Both teams had one goal in the middle frame, but the order changed. After Kyle Flanagan gave SLU the lead with an even-strength tally at 7:05, the Blue took advantage of a power play to make it 2-2 at 9:43 of the second. Ruffolo sent a crossing feed from the left circle to Wilson, and the freshman center banged home a shot from the right circle.
Yale had a one-shot edge in both of the first two periods, while both netminders had to step up their play to take away numerous quality chances. Malcolm needed a great leg save on a 3-on-1 rush to prevent another SLU tally, while the senior had six saves on the Saints' first advantage of the contest. Agostino came closest to scoring again in the period when his snapshot from the left circle hit the cross bar with 3:42 left.
The Saints put sustained pressure on the Yale net coming out of the second intermission and created a Yale penalty. The Eli penalty kill proceeded to clear the puck four times and not allow the home team to set up at all. Shortly after, Malcolm snatched a Kyle Essery shot out of the air from point-blank range. All of these efforts helped ignite the Bulldogs, leading to two straight tallies.
The visitors grabbed the lead back on their own power play at 9:43 of the third. Laganiere, with a team-high 10 goals, used a short crossing feed a few from the crease by Ruffolo to slip the puck into the open side of the cage.
"We took advantage of having three guys low when they only had two," said Miller.
The Blue continued to put the heat on the SLU net, and one of the nicest goals of the game followed to increase Yale's lead to 4-2. Miller took the puck out of his own end and sent a pass to Agostino, who got it back to Miller coming over the blueline. The captain, registering his 100th career assist, found Weberg in the middle slot and the sophomore forward banged it through Weninger's legs for his fourth goal in the last three outings.
"We had speed through the neutral zone all night and created a lot of opportunities. Ken [Agostino] made a great play across the blueline and we went to the net hard," said Miller. "We took advantage of the three-on-two and Weberg found the slot. I found him in the middle and he put the shot between the goalie's legs as he was moving side-to-side."
Twenty-six seconds later Patrick Doherty's one-timer from the slot found a hole, and it was back to a one-goal game until Miller iced it with his seventh of the year.
"To get two points on the road is a hard thing to do. We will think about it for about 15 minutes and move on to Clarkson tomorrow," said Miller. "It was my first win in four years here, so it was nice for the senior class."
Andrew Miller's assist on the Nicholas Weberg goal allowed him to become just the second Bulldog to reach 100 career assists (Bob Brooke, 113)… Antoine Laganiere played his 100th collegiate game tonight… Colin Dueck had his 100th career game at BC last week... Yale suited up the same lineup (less one goalie) as last Friday at B.C… The Bulldogs left New Haven Thursday morning, skated and ate dinner at Lake Placid's Training Center and arrived at the hotel by mid evening… The Yale Men's Hockey Alumni Game is next Saturday, Jan. 19, at 2:30 p.m. at the Whale.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director