Little Nets Pair in Loss to RPI
TROY, N.Y. - The ECAC Hockey season did not begin as well as the regular-season opener last week for the Yale men's hockey team, which dropped a 5-2 decision at Rensselaer tonight before 3,075 at Houston Field House.
The No. 6/7 Bulldogs (1-1, 0-1 ECAC) outshot the Engineers 36-25 but could only convert one of seven power-play opportunities and lost to RPI for the first time in six games.
Allen York, who made 34 saves, stopped everyone on the high-powered Yale front lines except for junior forward Broc Little, who tallied both Yale goals and now leads the team with three in two outings.
"They beat us in the transition game tonight. Our offense to defense transition was not what it needs for us to be successful," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. "RPI cashed in on its opportunities, and we were too sloppy around the net."
Ryan Rondeau, who was conference goalie of the week after stopping 40 shots at Princeton last weekend, turned aside 20 of 25 shots and did not allow a man-advantage score on four attempts.
RPI (5-3-0, 1-0), coming off a one-goal loss to Army, has now won three of its last four. The Engineers' Chase Polacek had two goals and an assist. He gave the home team a 1-0 lead at 7:42 of the first period, and Scott Halpern scored less than a minute later to increase the lead to 2-0.
Little, who had the shorthanded, game-winner at Princeton last Saturday, scored consecutive goals two minutes and 12 seconds apart to bring the Bulldogs even with the Engineers early in the second. The Eli junior tallied on the power-play after a feed from Andrew Miller with 35 seconds left in the opening frame. He converted a Denny Kearney pass into an even-strength goal at 1:37 of the second.
Jerry D'Amigo hit the net two minutes later to give RPI a lead it would not relinquish. The Engineers padded the lead in the third period with Polacek's second and a clincher by Brandon Pirri midway through the frame.
The Bulldogs travel to Union for a Saturday night clash at Schenectady looking for their first ECAC win.
Image: Little leads the Blue with three goals this year (Steve Conn image)
Report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director