Bulldogs Beat Big Green in Battle of Ranked Teams
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – There was a heavyweight battle at Ingalls Rink tonight and the fans got a title-like fight out of two great teams. The No. 12 Yale men's hockey team scored on both of its power-play chances against No. 11 Dartmouth on the way to a 4-2 win before another packed house at the Whale.
The fact that Yale (11-4-3, 7-3-1) only had a pair of power plays in an emotional and physical game like this was interesting enough. Going two-for-two against the nation's best penalty-kill, was a statement-making accomplishment.
"Getting two power-play goals was really big," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach. "They had only given up four power play goals all year, and that's ridiculous."
Four different Bulldogs found the net and Jeff Malcolm stopped 27 of 29 shots as Yale moved its unbeaten string to five games, earned a second straight conference weekend sweep, moved into second place in the ECAC standings and avenged a loss at Hanover early in the season in this battle of top-five Pairwise squads.
"Our focus was there. We knew we were going to have to be really good tonight. It was a hard-fought victory, and this is the best Dartmouth team I've faced," said Allain.
Dartmouth (10-6-2, 6-4-1) was held to one advantage tally on five chances, while getting four of those opportunities in the third period during a frantic effort to even things.
The Bulldogs got on the board 4:36 into the game with a goal earned by a pretty pass and great shot. First the puck bounced off of something near the Dartmouth bench and was scooped up by Antoine Laganiere (two points), who sent it across for Clinton Bourbonais. The junior center skated in from the left and drew the goalie's angle. Just as he looked like he would shoot, Bourbonais sent it back for defenseman Tommy Fallen, who was crashing the net. Fallen (4th goal) one-timed it from the middle of the slot past Cab Morris' glove.
"We've been talking about the transition from the neutral zone," said Fallen. "I saw an opportunity when Lags [Laganiere] had the puck. I jumped in the play as the high man and had a great chance to score a goal. This was definitely one of our best weekends of the year."
Malcolm came up with six saves in the first, but none bigger than robbing Tyler Sikura, who was alone in the middle slot on a kick save with seven minutes left.
The game's second power play produced the second tally off the stick of Laganiere at 10:17 of the middle frame. The Bulldogs were moving the puck around the point well, going from Ryan Obuchowski to Gus Young and then into the right circle for the big senior forward. Laganiere (12th) took the pass, held for a second and then fired a shot inside the near post when it looked as if Morris had closed all the angles.
The Big Green finally cut the lead in half with under a minute left in the second when Rick Pinkston put back a rebound into an open side of the cage. Malcolm, who needed 14 saves in the frame to keep his team ahead, had just swiped a tough shot out of the air off the stick of Nick Bligh, but this tally was difficult to prevent.
Yale's second advantage also was successful, moving the lead back to two early in the third. Jesse Root backhanded a shot from the low slot that went inside the near post on the ice at 2:12 for his sixth of the year.
"That was kind of a broken play," said Root. "It was a great pass by Miller to Agostino. They jumped him pretty quick and he still got the puck to the middle. The puck popped to me and I was able to turn around and shoot it."
Dartmouth once again cut the lead to one (3-2) when Eric Neiley scored on a Big Green power play at 12:38. The visitors got another advantage and their best opportunity to catch up to the Elis with four minutes left, but Yale stepped up on the penalty kill. Three clears and winning battles for loose pucks helped the Blue prevent a shot on goal during the advantage.
That kill also forced the Big Green to pull their netminder with 51 seconds left, and Andrew Miller got an opportunity to score Yale's longest goal of the year. The puck came to him on the dot in the face-off circle in his end. He took one stride and then flicked it down the ice. The puck rolled on its side and was heading for the left side when it bounced off the left post and slipped to the back of the net to clinch the victory with 24 seconds left.
"Dartmouth is a really good team, a huge test for us. We battled for 60 minutes. If we let up at all, it easily could have gone the other way," said Root. "It doesn't sit well with us losing 7-4 to them earlier. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best."
Yale remained at No. 5 in the Pairwise after the victory… The Blue has had three empty-net goals over the last four games… The Yale lineup was the same as Friday against Harvard… The White beat the Blue 15-14 in the annual alumni game played this afternoon (Jim Trowbridge '60 was the oldest player in the game).
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
Anthony Day image by Don Clark
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