December 29, 2013

Yale Ends 2013 With a Bang

Bulldogs Beat Holy Cross 4-1

NEW HAVEN, Conn. –  The Bulldogs closed out 2013 with fireworks, which came in the form of hits, shots, great saves and a non-league victory to start the second half of the season. Cody Learned and Stu Wilson had a goal and an assist as No. 11 Yale took a 4-1 decision with Holy Cross before a packed house on Youth Day at Ingalls Rink.  

The Elis (7-3-3), who outshot the Crusaders 37-22 and got scoring from four different players, held a 2-0 lead midway through the second and then held on to a 2-1 advantage until halfway through the third. Learned and Wilson then found the net to put the game away.

Freshman goalie Alex Lyon stopped 21 of 22 shots, including 10 in the first period, to earn the win in net against a team that won on the road against Boston College this season.

"I'm pleased with the way we played all three periods, said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach. "They are a tough opponent. They had goaltending and they had a great chance early in the third with a power play that could have made it a different game."

The Blue got the only tally of the first period at 15:55 with a pair of seniors combining. Kenny Agostino caused the turnover near center ice. Jesse Root ended up with the puck and sent it ahead for Agostino at the blueline. Two strides into the Crusader zone, Agostino unleashed a low slap shot that went under Matt Ginn's glove for his fourth goal of the season.

The Bulldogs were buzzing in the second period, getting the first nine shots on target. The Crusaders, outshot 13-8 in the period, did not put one on target until there was 10 minutes left.

That offensive intensity – especially in its fore-check - created Yale's second goal. Wilson stole the puck at mid ice and carried over the blueline. The sophomore center spotted Anthony Day open on the right side and got him the puck before he moved into the right circle. Day snapped off a rising shot that barely caught net inside the far post on the top shelf for his fourth of the year.

The Crusaders, who played at Fenway Park last night, had a golden chance to even things at the start of the third with an advantage. However, Lyon stoned Brett McKinnon on a grade-A opportunity that was the biggest save of the day. The visitors did not get another chance like that the rest of the way.

"The defenseman ditched it in front. I wasn't sure if the forward was going to make a tip or stop it. He caught and then shot. I just got my pad on it," said Lyon, whose only goal allowed today came at 13:31 of the second. "I felt like that [power play] was going to be make-or-break for them."

The momentum from that kill carried into the goal that gave the home team another two-goal cushion. Charles Orzetti passed to Learned along the right side and the sophomore faked a shot and then fired low past Ginn at 10:55 for his second goal this season.

"It was the end of a shift. I got the puck on a breakout," said Learned. "I thought about dumping it, but we had a 3-on-2. I just tried to put it on net and it went off something."

The Yale fore-check was so impressive, Holy Cross could not find a way to get its goalie off the ice for an extra skater. By the time Ginn hit the bench, there was only 30 seconds left and the Elis were looking to get another tally.  

The Bulldogs cleared the puck out of their end and Learned and Trent Ruffolo got touches before Wilson finished the play with a rising shot that zipped past a Crusader defender in the crease with 9.9 seconds left.

"We played 60 minutes hard," said Root, the Yale captain. "We haven't played a full game that way this season. That was the difference. I think we wore them down in the third."

The Bulldogs are next in action at Vermont on Jan. 4.

 

Bulldog Bites: The Yale team was named the New Haven Register's Dave Solomon Memorial Sports Persons of the Year for 2013... The Bulldogs put their road blue jerseys on right after the game and came up to the concourse to sign team photo posters for all the fans as part of youth day. The ice at the Whale was open to all fans for skating after the game... Yale is next at Ingalls for a Jan. 25 conference game vs. Brown.

 

Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director

 

Jesse Root image by Nick Carlino

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