Feb. 20, 2009
HAMDEN, Conn. - The good news is the Yale men's hockey team increased its unbeaten streak to 10 games with a 3-3 overtime tie against Quinnipiac and have a four-point lead atop the ECAC Hockey standings with three games left. The bad news for the No. 7 Bulldogs, who allowed second-place Princeton to edge closer, was they probably should have come out on top despite not playing their best hockey.
Mark Arcobello scored two goals and Alec Richards stopped 29 of 32 shots, but the Elis had to settle for one point after leads of 2-0 and 3-2 before a packed (4,673) house at TD Banknorth Sports Center. Senior forward Matt Nelson had the other Yale tally while sophomore defenseman Ken Trentowski notched two assists as the boys from New Haven finished 1-0-1 this year against their Hamden rivals.
Yale outshot Quinnipiac 39-32 and got the game's only man-advantage goal. Two of the seven shots headed toward Bobcat starting goalie Dan Clarke found the net. Bud Fisher came on to halt 29 of 30 and allow the home team to erase a pair of deficits and move to 15-13-3 (8-8-3 ECAC).
"We did some things well tonight, but we didn't play our best game," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. "We had a number of opportunities to put the game away in the third. We weren't as solid as we should have been."
The Bulldogs (19-5-2, 14-3-2), who outshot the home team 11-6 in the first, got on the board first with a nasty snap shot from their captain just 6:57 in. Trentowski dropped a pass along the left side for Nelson (3rd goal), who one-timed a laser inside the near post and stick side on Clarke.
Brian O'Neill grabbed the puck along the boards on the left and quickly sent it across to a speeding Arcobello (13th), who got it in stride and headed over the blueline. Two strides later, the junior center's wrister whizzed between Clarke's pads at 12:36. That goal prompted Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold to pull his freshman netminder in favor of Fisher, a senior.
"O'Neill just laid it out there for me and I shot it through a screen," said Arcobello, who tied his career-high for goals in a game.
The Bobcats cut the lead in half by crashing the net and finding a loose puck on the edge of the crease. Jean-Michael Beaudoin's shot was blocked by an Eli defenseman and the puck stayed in the slot, bouncing between skates. That's when Chris Myers got to it and smacked it past Richards at16:59 of the first.
Holt carried over the Yale blueline, moved to the left circle and flicked a backhander off a defender's pads. The puck stayed in the low slot for two seconds before Spencer Heichman swooped in to flick a wrister from 10 feet out on the right side of the crease that barely hit inside the left post.
Yale jumped all over a great opportunity created by Sean Backman, which drew a Bobcat penalty after he carried the puck to the goal and got pulled down. The ensuing power play worked like a charm as Arcobello (14th) took a crossing pass at the top of the left circle, took a few steps toward the net and then fired a rising wrister top shelf on the left side that gave the lead back to the Bulldogs, 3-2 at 8:47.
The Bulldogs had many chances to put the game away in the third, the best one coming with a near empty net. Yale sophomore forward Denny Kearney had an open look at a Quinnipiac net that had only a defenseman standing in the crease. Fisher had come out to make a play and got caught in the slot. Kearney, to everyone's surprise, fired wide.
The Cats continued to press. Richards came up with a number of big stops on grade-A chances until Greg Holt broke through. The junior winger took a pass and moved into the low slot using white jerseys to form a screen. Holt sent a low wrister that Richards tried to squeeze the leg pads on but the puck trickled through with 3:04 left in the third.
Kearney had another great opportunity with 48.5 seconds left in regulation from 15 feet away, but Fisher came up with a nifty save to send the game into overtime. Then with 4:23 left in OT, Kearney was at it again. This time Fisher stole one headed for the upper right corner.
The Bulldogs, who have a four-point lead on the Tigers (five over Cornell), travel to Princeton for a 7 p.m. game Saturday.
Recap filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director
Video by David Dikranian