Bulldogs Streak At 6 With 3-2 Win At Cornell
ITHACA, N.Y. – One of the great, old ECAC Hockey rivalries turned into one of the best college hockey games of the year in front of a packed house at Lynah Rink. Freshman forward Stu Wilson's shot from the slot found the net with 2:32 left in overtime to give the No. 7/8 Yale men's hockey team a 3-2 win over No. 18 Cornell.
The Bulldogs (12-4-3, 8-3-1 ECAC) increased their unbeaten streak to six games by erasing a pair of one-goal deficits thanks to two goals from Wilson (in photo), a goal from Kenny Agostino and a pair of helpers each from defenseman Ryan Obuchowski and forward Josh Balch.
The game-winner followed a frenzy of action at both ends with near misses by both Ancient Eight squads that had the crowd of 4,267 standing and roaring. The noise level dropped when Balch fed the puck to Obuchowski, who fired a shot off the cross bar. It bounced out to Wilson and the Pittsford, N.Y., native sent it back to set off the celebration of blue shirts.
The victory moved the Blue up to No. 3 in the Pairwise rankings behind Quinnipiac and Minnesota with the Elis heading to Colgate for a Saturday night game.
"It was a great character win for us. We battled back and battled back, and we had to kill some big penalties down the stretch," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach. "Our guys just worked and worked. We gradually took the game over and deserved to win in overtime."
Yale senior goalie Jeff Malcolm, coming off two straight conference goalie of the week honors, was strong again with 25 saves, including two giant stops in the OT. He stopped four of five power plays.
The Bulldogs outshot Cornell 34-27, spreading them around 17 different players, while handing the Big Red its second home loss of the season.
The home team had a slight edge in shots in the first frame and the only tally, a wrister from the left circle that bounced off the right post at 7:49 by Brian Ferlin.
Malcolm came up with a few impressive stops of his own and finished the period with a dozen.
The Bulldogs, who had 11 of the 14 shots on target, dominated the second period though both teams hit the net once. And the puck possession had nothing to do with advantages because both teams had one power play. At times, skating five aside, Yale looked as if it was on the power play, moving the puck and creating space with the Red content to keep the opposition on the outside with the puck.
The Blue got the equalizer by cycling the puck out of the Cornell corner after defenseman Colin Dueck carried it low and gave it to Balch. Freshman Stu Wilson picked it up along the boards and skated out around the circle before the forward unleashed a low wrist shot from the middle of the slot that zipped past the Big Red goalie's glove at 7:22 for his fifth of the year.
John Esposito's power-play tally with 3:42 left in the second gave the lead back to Cornell, looking to remain perfect in games it led after 40 minutes. That was just one of three shots on goal for the Red.
Yale came out flying in the third and quickly made it 2-2. Agostino, who took a feed from Andrew Miller, carried to the high slot and sent a rising shot over Iles' shoulder at 1:14. The puck went in and out of the net so quickly, the officials decided to have a look at the replay, which confirmed the goal. It was Agostino's 10th this year.
A bunch of penalties called during the middle of the third gave partial power plays to both teams, but there were no serious scoring opportunities.
Both teams had great chances to win it in regulation, finishing with nine shots on target each. The defenses stiffened when needed and protected their nets to force the extra session. Antoine Laganiere may have had the most significant chance for the visitors with 15 seconds left, but the puck he was shooting from the mid slot rolled on its side and he could not control the shot that sailed over the cage.
"It was kind of lucky to be honest. Balchie threw it up to Obuchowski and he took a good shot. I thought it went in, but they didn't stop play. It came to me and I was in the right spot," said Wilson, who said he hadn't scored an OT goal since he was a little kid.
"I just banged it in and the goalie didn't get there. It went right in the middle of the net. I just tried to get it on net."
"This was a heck of a college hockey game," said Allain. "It had everything… it had physicality, it had skill, it had suspense and drama. It's the kind of games you are in college hockey for."
There was one change in the lineup from last weekend involving a pair of freshmen: Charles Orzetti replaced Matthew Beattie at forward… The game aired live on NBC Sports Network for the second straight Friday night.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director