Special Teams The Difference for Bulldogs
HANOVER, N.H. – Special teams were the difference in a 5-0 loss to No. 17 Minnesota-Duluth this afternoon in the Yale men's hockey team's opening contest of the 2017 Ledyard Bank Classic. UMD converted three of its four power plays while the Elis were blanked on three chances.
The Blue, which had not played a game in three weeks and just returned to New Haven from a holiday break, had its win streak end at two games. Yale has another opportunity Saturday afternoon at 4 when it has a rematch with New Hampshire, which skated against Dartmouth in Friday's nightcap.
Sam Tucker stopped 19 shots for Yale which fell to 5-8 overall this season.
The Elis had a 10-6 edge in shots but were victimized by an odd, late penalty call that led to a last-second power play goal and a 1-0 UMD lead.
Yale skaters went to the box twice in the middle frame and UMD jumped all over both chances to make it 3-0.
The Bulldogs from New Haven ended up with a 29-24 edge in shots overall, but too many of them were hitting UMD goalie Hunter Shepard, who also made some excellent saves. Consecutive Duluth penalties early in the third gave the Elis an opportunity to cut into a three-goal deficit, but they could not generate enough quality looks.
RECENT NATIONAL CHAMPS
The last time Yale and UMD met was the 2011 NCAA East Regional final at Bridgeport. UMD, which went to the Frozen Four last season, won that 2011 game on the way to its first national title. The Elis had to wait two more seasons for their first national championship in 2013.
The Tournament Champion is the team that accumulates the most points in its two games according to the following: 2 points awarded for a win (in regulation or during the 5-minute overtime period) and 1 point awarded for winning a shootout (which would occur if a winner is not determined after one 5-minute overtime period). If a tie persists, the champion is determined by comparing the tied teams' total goal differential in its tournament games. The team with the greatest goal differential is the champion.
There's not much conference play this time of year, but the Bulldogs are currently part of a three-way tie for 5th place with Brown and Harvard. Yale's next ECAC Hockey contests are Jan. 12-13 at home against Cornell (3rd) and Colgate (4th).
JAN. 5 UMASS GAME ON TV
Yale's next home game, a non-conference date with UMass at the Whale on Jan. 5, airs live on Eleven Sports, which is available on DirecTV and on many cable systems.
Freshman defenseman Phil Kemp made it to the final round of cuts for the U.S. National Team that is currently competing at the IIHF World Championships in Buffalo… Both Yale and UMD had 6 freshmen skaters in the lineup… The 2018 U.S. Olympic Team roster will be announced on Jan. 1 at the NHL Winter Classic. Yalies who could get the nod on Monday include Brian O'Neill, Sean Backman, Mark Arcobello and Broc Little, all of whom competed for Team USA at the November Deutschland Cup in Germany.
By Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD/Sports Publicity Director – email@example.com