Feb. 14, 2009
TROY, NY - Four different Bulldogs scored goals as the No. 10 Yale men's hockey team increased its lead atop the ECAC Hockey standings to five points with a 4-1 win over Rensselaer before 4,780 at Houston Field House.
The Bulldogs (19-5-1, 14-3-1 ECAC), who have won eight straight and have a nine-game unbeaten streak, outshot the Engineers 30-16 while getting goals from Mark Arcobello, Patrick Brosnihan, Denny Kearney and Jeff Anderson.
RPI (7-21-2, 6-11-1), with a packed house behind them on alumni night, never recovered from Yale's early goal and the Bulldogs pulled off the season sweep. Alec Richards needed just 15 saves to earn the win in goal, nearly half of those stops came on the Engineer man-advantage. One reason for the low shot total was Yale's commitment to blocking shots.
"It was an exciting place to play. One of the reasons you play college hockey is to experience that type of atmosphere," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, referring to RPI's Big Red Freakout Night, where the home team had won 17 of its last 18. "The game was touch and go until the end."
RPI goalie Mathias Lange stopped 26 shots but did not get enough support in front.
"It was a big night for them [RPI]. We just wanted to make sure we matched their intensity," said Brosnihan, who finished the weekend set with two goals.
Both teams went 0-for-4 on the power play, but the Bulldogs were the ones to actually generate offensive chances from their penalty kill.
It was a good night overall in the conference for the Blue, who have 29 points with four games left. The three teams closest to Yale all fell tonight and the margin between first and second is now five over Princeton (24), the Elis' opponent a week from tonight.
The Yale forecheck was at its best in the first period and created numerous scoring chances, and Arcobello (12th goal) hit the net on one of those. RPI tried to move the puck along the boards on the left side in their own end, but it was stolen by Chris Cahill, who quickly touched it over to Arcobello. The junior forward wheeled in from the boards and fired a high wrister from above the left circle that went stick side at 13:24 for the only goal of the opening period.
The Bulldogs had a slight (10-9) edge in shots during the second period, but the Elis seemed to have the majority of the momentum. That feeling was most evident after the visitors increased the lead to 2-0 just 2:26 in. Charles Brockett cycled the puck in the right corner and then sent a perfect lead pass to Brosnihan (5th), who one-time the feed from the low slot past Lange for his second goal of the weekend.
"Brockett rolled out of the corner and sent me an unbelievable pass," said Brosnihan. "I one-timed it as quick as I could and it went through the goalie's legs. Brockett and [Chad] Ziegler did a great job of cycling down low tonight."
The Engineers may have been reeling a bit, but they cut the lead in half with 1:02 left in the second and seized some of the momentum back. Defenseman Bryan Brutlag sent a pass from behind the Yale net that caught the forehand of Alex Anger-Goulet in stride. The rookie winger one-timed the puck inside the left post from the low slot for his sixth goal of the year.
Kearney, who had two goals on the weekend, took the wind out of the home team's sails 2:55 into the final frame when he and his linemate Broc Little combined on a goal. Little carried into the low slot and then made a move on Lange that was kicked aside. The puck sat on the goalie's pad. Kearney (7th) pulled it back and then flipped it over Lange into the upper right corner.
"Tonight we played our style. What you saw tonight is what we try to do," said Allain. "I was really excited about the way we came out skating tonight."
The Bulldogs had plenty of chances to put the game away early in the third. Chris Cahill and Ziegler both broke in alone on Lange and had their shots stopped. At the other end, Bulldog backcheckers repeatedly forced RPI to draw whistles for offsides while Eli defensemen got their bodies in front of every puck headed toward the net. Sophomore Ken Trentowski and his blueline mates certainly had the bruises for proof.
Those blocked shots led to the clinching goal with 19 seconds left. Anderson took a feed from Ryan Donald and then fired a shot from outside the RPI blueline into an empty net.
The Bulldogs are on the road again next weekend against Quinnipiac and Princeton.
Notes: Tonight's game at Houston Field House was the 32nd annual Big Red Freakout, which means that RPI fans wore and painted themselves red while the Engineers donned their home red shirts (Yale wore the home whites)... Both games this weekend were aired live for TV by Time Warner Cable... The Bulldogs played this weekend without junior forward Sean Backman (injured against Dartmouth), whose 14 goals lead the team... The Yale men's and women's hockey teams will host their annual "Skate with the Players" event Sunday at Ingalls Rink. The free event offers elementary and middle-school age Yale fans the chance to skate with Bulldog hockey players. "Skate with the Players" runs from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Fans must bring their own equipment... The Yale men do not have a game on Saturday, Feb. 28. The Elis host Colgate on Sunday, March 1, at 4 p.m. in a game that airs live on ESPNU.
Recap filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director