Bulldogs Could Need Help to Make NCAAs
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The Bulldogs ran into a pair of Hobey Baker candidate goalies this weekend and did not catch any breaks in a pair of losses. Today, the current candidate for the top prize in college hockey, Eric Hartzell, stopped all 30 shots and three different teammates scored as No. 1/2 Quinnipiac defeated No. 10/11 Yale 3-0 in the third-place contest of the 2013 ECAC Championship at Boardwalk Hall.
The Elis (18-12-3), who fell last night to 2012 Hobey finalist Troy Grosenick of Union, outshot the nation's top ranked team but could not find the net while looking to solidify its spot in next weekend's NCAA Tournament. Other than winning the ECAC Tournament, the Bulldogs had nothing locked up for the national tournament and needed a win against the Bobcats to make their case. Yale has to wait for Sunday night to find out if it is in the field of 16.
The Blue got most of what it needed today from senior goalie Jeff Malcolm, who made 24 saves, stopped all six Quinnipiac advantages and kept his team in the game with key saves.
The Bobcats, who had the advantage of playing the Friday afternoon semifinal and getting more rest, took advantage of two miscues and held on for a win that could keep them on top of the Pairwise and national rankings. Yale was No. 13 in the Pairwise immediately after the game, but things could shuffle with conference championship games tonight and tomorrow.
Today's opening 20, which included Yale having a 13-8 edge in shots, had great action at both ends with the two netminders notching big saves. The Bulldogs had their best opportunity midway through the first when Colin Dueck charged in from the point and one-timed a crossing feed with an open left side of the net. Hartzell kicked his leg at the last moment and stopped the puck.
The Bobcats used a Yale turnover to get the first goal in the second period. Bryce Van Brabant picked off a Yale pass inside the blueline and skated into the middle of the slot before scoring on a wrister at 4:34.
There were two official video reviews of near Yale goals over the first two frames. Neither were ruled goals on the ice, and the one in the second period required a very long review session. Those were two of the numerous grade-A chances generated by the Blue. The reviews contributed to an extremely long period that included eight penalties and five power plays.
With the Bulldogs scratching and clawing to get on the board, and coming so close so many times, they could not afford to give up the next goal. Yale was not catching any breaks in New Jersey this weekend. Cory Hibbeler's tally 2:42 into the third period made it 2-0.
The Elis amped up the pressure in the third and came close a few times but Hartzell survived the pressure and two shots off the post.
The NCAA Tournament selection show is 9 p.m. on Sunday on ESPNU… The same Elis who suited up last night were in uniform today… Last night's attendance was 3,145… The last time Yale played in an ECAC Tournament third-place game was in 1998 at Lake Placid against Harvard… Assistant coach Dan Muse, who served as video coordinator for the gold medal winning U.S. Junior National Team at the IIHF World Championships in Russia this past winter, has been named to the same post for the 2014 tournament in Sweden… This was the last ECAC Championship weekend at Boardwalk Hall with 2014 and beyond slated for Lake Placid… The Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., announced this week that it will host the Liberty Invitational in October, 2013, with Princeton, Dartmouth, Brown and Yale competing in the two-day event on the home ice of the N.J. Devils. Over the next three years, the Bulldogs and Tigers will stay in the event and be joined by different Hockey East squads.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
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