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Bulldogs Knock Off UNH

Gil Talbot image
Gil Talbot image


Palecco Nets 2, Kaczperski Stops 31 Shots


HANOVER, N.H. –  The Yale men's hockey team scored goals 48 seconds apart to break open a 1-1 tie midway through the third period on the way to a 4-2 victory over the University of New Hampshire in the third game of the Ledyard Bank Classic at Thompson Arena. Rookie forward Dante Palecco had a pair of goals and sophomore Corbin Kaczperski made 31 saves to earn the victory in his second collegiate contest.



The Bulldogs broke the deadlock at the 10:22 mark after a blocked shot by Mitchell Smith in the Yale end. Captain Ryan Hitchcock grabbed the puck and skated up ice before releasing a shot on net that bounced off the goalie and kicked out to the right side. That's where Palecco found the puck and came in alone on Tirone before going top shelf to make it 2-1.


"It started with a great block from Mitch {Mitchell Smith] in the D-zone," said Palecco. "I wasn't on ice, but after the change, Hitch [Ryan Hitchcock] saw me coming and made a smart dump on net. Their D wasn't ready for it."


Less than a minute later, Evan Smith got in on the scoring after causing a turnover behind the goal line and then firing a shot from the slot that zipped in near the left post a foot off the ice at 11:10. Palecco stole the puck off a defenseman's stick in the Yale end and hit an empty net to up the score to 4-1 before the Wildcats pulled goalie Danny Tirone again and then scored on a long slapshot through traffic.



The game's first penalty came 6:35 into the middle period and resulted in a Yale tally just seven seconds in. Snively won the puck off the draw on the left side and passed across for Curti at the point. The junior sent a low feed to the middle for sophomore forward Robbie DeMontis, who got his stick on it enough to re-direct the puck past Tirone to make it 1-0. The Bulldogs killed off UNH's first advantage but gave up a 5-on-5 goal shortly after.

"We have been emphasizing getting shots on net on the power play," said DeMontis. "Curti walked the line, and I just got lost in the slot. He made a great play to find me, and fortunately I got a stick on it and it went it."



The Blue, which was buzzing around the UNH net, had three grade-A chances in a scoreless opening stanza that had Yale with a 16-8 advantage in shots. Defenseman Charlie Curti nearly buried a great feed from forward Joe Snively midway through. Snively had his own quality opportunity a few minutes later when Tirone slid out of the crease and the puck bounced behind him. The Yale junior battled with a UNH blueliner to get his stick on the puck. The other great chance was Palecco in the low slot with just the netminder in front of him. Tirone got a piece of the Eli rookie's shot.


Kaczperski needed a few difficult stops to keep the Cats off the board, and he also got some help when needed the most. Defenseman Anthony Walsh intercepted a pass on a scary, odd-man rush.



"Tonight we had the compete level and the work ethic that's absolutely required to win a game at this level. We have to be able to bring this [effort] each and every night, and that's our challenge. He [Corbin Kaczperski] has been really good in practice, and I've been looking for opportunities to get him in. He played well tonight."



The Bulldogs are now 6-8 overall and have won 3 of the last 4… Robbie DeMontis scored his 2nd goal of the year and 3rd of his career… Palecco, who now has 6 goals this season, earned a spot on the all-tournament team… Evan Smith notched his 4th of the year… Former Eli skaters Dave Harrington '78, Jim MacDonald '78 and Scott D'Orsi '90 (father of Will D'Orsi) attended today's game… Yale's next 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.… 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