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Snively Nets Both in 2-1 Win over SHU

Snively scores the equalizer in the 2nd period (Steve Musco image)
Snively scores the equalizer in the 2nd period (Steve Musco image)

Tucker Has Another Strong Showing

 

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The puck is starting to bounce in favor of the Bulldogs, and it could be just in time to get their season jump-started in 2018.

Joe Snively scored his second goal of the night with 4:28 left in the game to give the Yale hockey team a 2-1 non-conference win over Sacred Heart at Webster Bank Arena on a snowy night.

"It was a transition play," said Snively of his game-winner, a team-high seventh goal of the year. "I took a pass from Ted {Hart} and skated wide around the defense. I saw Ted crashing the net and tried to get it to him. I got a lucky bounce."

The Snively pass attempt went off a defenseman's stick and over the goalie's shoulder.

The Bulldogs (5-7), winners of two straight, outshot the Pioneers 38-19 and had 11 of those shots on six power-play chances. Both Yale goals were at even strength.

"It was a real one-goal game," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach. "It was anyone's game. Their goalie played really well, but we were the team that deserved to win."

A scoreless first period with 23 shots on target was not lacking quality chances. The best may have been Ryan Hitchcock's weaving through defenseman to be alone on the SHU goalie before attempting to tuck the puck early in the game. Hitchcock also had an assist on the game-winner.

Sam Tucker (18 saves) made a top-notch save on Pioneers blueliner Josh Allen a few minutes in. Later in the frame on a penalty-kill, the Yale goalie got an important assist from teammate Billy Sweezey, who picked up an SHU stick about to deposit a puck into an empty side of the net.

The Elis answered a shorthanded tally a few seconds into the second with an even-strength goal midway through the frame. Hitchcock passed from the goal line extended up to Sweezey on the left point. The sophomore defenseman sold the goalie, Brett Magnus, on the shot, but Sweezey saw Snively open in the right circle and sent a perfect pass down low to the junior forward. Snively one-timed it into an open right side of the cage with 9:37 left.

"I saw Billy [Sweezey] with a lot of time," said Snively. "We made eye contact, He put the puck right on my platter. It was a great pass."

Yale needed some big stops by Tucker and the defense late in the second with a 5-on-3 and a one-man advantage consecutively. The Eli goalie kicked out his leg at the last second to stop Kory Kennedy on the doorstep before the visitors could get to even strength.

"Tuck [Tucker] gives us a lot of confidence out there. He is really playing well," said freshman defenseman Phil Kemp, who will be heading to Team USA camp trying to make the squad for the IIHF World Championships.

The Blue, which had 14 shots in each of the first two periods, very nearly took the lead at the end of the kill when Snively went in alone on Magnus but couldn't finish his delayed forehand.

Tucker, who made a number of huge saves down a man and 5-on-5, made a breakaway save on Matt Tugnutt with just under seven minutes left to keep the score at 1-1.

After the decisive score, the Eli defense was called on again to come up with some big plays. Yale was killing off a penalty when Magnus was pulled for an extra skater with under two minutes left. One Pioneer shot hit the pipe, but then the Blue shirts managed to clear the puck enough to earn the victory.

The Bulldogs now have a couple of weeks off for exams and the holidays before heading to the Ledyard Classic at Dartmouth at the end of the month.

"It's too bad we have the break now," said Allain. "We have some momentum going for us, but it will also be good for us to work on some things."

 

 

By Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD/Sports Publicity Director – steven.conn@yale.edu