Weberg Scores Twice
NEWARK, NJ – The first win of the 2013-14 season was a complete team effort, the perfect way to head into ECAC Hockey play. Two different Bulldogs hit the net and five others had assists as the Yale men's hockey team beat Princeton 3-2 in the finale of the Liberty Hockey Invitational at the Prudential Center.
Yale (1-1) outshot the Tigers 30-24 and won most of the other battles to split the weekend tournament at the home of the New Jersey Devils. Princeton (1-1) scored both of its goals on the advantage, including a 6-on-4 with eight seconds left in the game.
Freshman Patrick Spano, playing in his first collegiate regular season contest, stopped 22 shots including 11 in the third period.
"That looked more like Yale hockey to me [compared to yesterday]," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach. "Everyone contributed. We were quick to pucks and won a lot of races. We won a lot of puck battles. As well as you think you played, it was a one-goal game."
A New Jersey native got Yale a 1-0 lead three minutes into the opening frame. Matthew Beattie, from Whitehouse Station, took a pass from defenseman Mitch Witek and skated over the blueline. Beattie held the puck until he got to the top of the left circle and then fired a low wrister past Bonar.
The Blue upped the lead to two on a great pass by Carson Cooper. The sophomore forward, who took a pass from Ryan Obuchowski, carried toward the net and then sent the puck back to Trent Ruffolo, who shot it low. Junior forward Nicholas Weberg, who had two goals, was on the edge of the crease and managed to re-direct it past Bonar at 6:14.
Three straight Yale penalties helped the Tigers claw back in the first, but not before Spano made two nice saves on close-range, grade-A chances.
Tyler Maugeri's power play, one-timer made it 2-1 late in the period, and Princeton ended the 20 minutes with 10 shots on target.
Sophomore Stu Wilson, who scored a goal last night against Brown and earned a spot on the LHI All-Tournament team, made a spectacular play while killing off a penalty in the second that gave the Elis a 3-1 advantage. He checked a Tiger off the puck in their end, took it low and deked around a defenseman and then found a passing lane to hit Weberg heading for the cage. The perfect feed was deposited into the net by Weberg at 9:59.
That goal capped a middle frame dominated by Yale, including an 11-2 advantage in shots on goal. The Bulldogs buzzed on the fore-check and put bodies on Tigers all over the ice. Four different Elis had punishing hits that elicited ooze and aahs from the crowd.
"We took a step from last night to tonight. We have to grow as a hockey team and are still a long way from where we need to be," said Allain.
There was plenty of great action at both ends of the rink in the third, including a couple of near misses on an open Princeton net in the last minute with Yale up two goals.
Four different Bulldogs scored goals this weekend… Yale and Princeton return to the LIH next October with a pair of Hockey East teams… The Blue hosts St. Lawrence and Clarkson next Friday and Saturday on the opening weekend of conference play at the Whale. Friday night the 2013 National Championship banner gets unveiled and a limited number of SRO tickets are available… Today's other LIH game was a 5-3 Brown win over Dartmouth… Tickets are available for the Jan. 11 Rivalry On Ice game against Harvard. Go to rivalryonice.com to order tickets now.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stu Wilson image by Bruce Adler