Elis On 3-Game Unbeaten Streak
SOUTH BEND, IN. – Yale's trip to Notre Dame for the 2016 Shillelagh Tournament included a win and a tie. Today's 3-1 win over Holy Cross at The Compton Family Ice Arena also gave the Yale men's hockey team a three-game unbeaten streak.
Yale outshot the Crusaders in two of three periods and finished with a 35-22 advantage while dominating play for most of the contest. The Blue was winning the 50-50 pucks and the races and doing the little things that either kept the puck in the offensive zone or got it out at the other end when needed. The result was three hard-working goals and an excellent overall defensive effort.
The Bulldogs got on the board first when Snively and Ryan Hitchcock played give and go. Snively had the puck along the boards on the right and passed ahead for Hitchcock, who skated over the goal line toward the back of the cage. The junior flicked a pass from behind that bounced off the side of the net and came to Snively for a perfect one-timer and the sophomore's third goal of the year, just 1:45 into the game.
Holy Cross evened it at 3;18 on a power play, but the rest of the period was all Yale, including 16 shots to three and many near misses on some pretty passes.
The Blue grabbed the lead again early in the second as Frankie DiChiara made it goals on consecutive days. Carrying over the blueline, he left the puck for John Hayden who zipped up the middle and fired a low shot off the goalie's pads. The rebound popped out to the left side where DiChiara's backhand was ready to tuck it home.
"Hayds (Hayden) was calling for it, so I dropped it and headed for the net," said DiChiara, whose third goal of the year turned out to be the winner. "Coach was saying how we need to bury a rebound, and we finally did. It was nice to get one. It was a great shot by Hayds, and I was all alone in front."
The Crusaders nearly had another quick answer for the Yale goal, but Spano rose to the occasion with a penalty-shot save on Scott Pooley with 10:59 left in the second. That was one of three stops he needed in the second as the Elis continued to pelt Paul Berrafato with rubber, including 11 of the 16 shots on target in the period.
The Elis continued to win the small battles and put pressure on the Holy Cross net and it resulted in a two-goal advantage. Snively had the puck behind the net and put the puck on the stick of Andrew Gaus, who quickly fired it off Berrafato. Another rebound popped out, this one on the edge of the crease on the right. Snively got a whack at it and the puck stayed on the ice next to the net. He smacked it a second time and it got through at 17:03 for his second of the night.
"I saw the loose puck and had an opportunity to get it to the net," said Snively, Yale's all-tournament selection who now has four goals this season. "I collected the rebound and took another shot at it before I saw it cross the goal line."
That was the clincher, but it was not the end of the excitement. Holy Cross went on the power play with its goalie pulled and then got an additional advantage with 23 seconds left. Spano, who earned his seventh career win, made a great, 6-on-4 glove save and then let his teammates do the rest to run out the clock.
Patrick Spano's penalty-shot save was the first for a Bulldog since Ryan Rondeau in 2011 against Brown… The Bulldogs were the home team and got to wear their home whites… Yale and Holy Cross last met on Dec. 30, 2014, at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass. The Elis won that game 3-0… The Bulldogs entered the game with a 6-1 mark against the Crusaders; the only Holy Cross win was during Yale's 2012-13 national championship season on neutral ice at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass… Holy Cross has now played four (BC, Yale, Union, Providence) of the last five national champions this season.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director – firstname.lastname@example.org