November 21, 2009

Little OT Goal Gives Yale ECAC Win

Elis Survive Late Brown Comeback

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Broc Little helped the No. 9 Yale men's hockey team avoid a late-game disaster by scoring in overtime in a 6-5 win over winless Brown at Meehan Auditorium in ECAC Hockey action.

The Blue (3-2-2, 2-1-1 ECAC), coming off an OT loss at home to No. 11 UMass on Thursday, started junior Ryan Rondeau between the pipes. He played 50 minutes and stopped 14 of 19 shots. Senior Billy Blase, the third Bulldog to play goalie this season, stopped all three shots he saw to earn the victory.

The Bears (0-6-1, 0-4-1), who erased a three-goal deficit midway through the second period, got 13 saves (on 17 shots) from Mike Clemente over the first 20 minutes before Anthony Borelli came on to stop 23 shots.

 

Yale outshot Brown 42-22 and scored two power-play goals to move into a four-way tie for fourth place in the ECAC.

 "This was a really good win for us. We had a couple of freshmen with their first goals," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. "We generated a lot of offense tonight, and we could have had a lot more."

Yale broke open a 1-1 game in the first with three straight goals. Three of Yale's goals in the 4-1 lead came from freshmen, two of whom hit the net for the first time.

 

Bulldog newcomer Antoine Laganiere opened the scoring at 2:51 when he won a faceoff and pushed the puck past the Bear center before snapping off a nasty shot. Nobody tallied for nearly eight minutes, until Harry Zolnierczyk (2nd goal) evened things at 1-1.

 

The Elis, who had a 17-5 advantage in shots over the first 20 minutes, tallied three times over nearly seven minutes to pull away. Andrew Miller, another rookie, notched his second of the year at 11:32

 

Josh Balch got his first collegiate score and power-play goal at 13:46 to make it 3-1.

The Bulldogs, who beat Brown in five close games last season, entered the contest with just four power-play goals on 33 attempts.

Brown was back in the penalty box a few minutes later and the Elis cashed in again. This time it was senior blueliner Tom Dignard, who got his second goal in four outings this year. Mark Arcobello assisted on both power-play scores and was the only Bulldog with multiple points.

 

Brown connected on a man-advantage at 8:02 of the third to cut the lead in half on a Chris Zaires goal.

However, Yale blueliner Kevin Peel (2nd) answered 13 seconds later to make it 5-2. That's when the home team began to click.

 

Jarred Smith scored at 15:39 of the second and then the home made it two in a row to cut the lead to 5-4 when Jordan Pietrus scored at 2:31 of the third.

The third straight by the Bears, and Zolnierczyk's second of the night, evened the score midway through the third frame and chased Rondeau from the Yale net.

 

Little, who has a team-high seven goals and 11 points, led all Division I freshman in game-winning goals in 2007-08. He only had one winner last year but led the nation in shorthanded tallies (5). He now has two GWG this year after converting Miller's great pass 2:32 into the OT.

 

Yale's forecheck pressure created a turnover. Denny Kearney stripped a Brown defenseman and passed the puck to Miller. The freshman forward sent it over to Little who flipped it through Borelli's legs.

 

 "We survived a big scare, showing poise and composure," said Allain. "We dominated the last five minutes and the entire OT."

 

The Bulldogs are back at Ingalls Rink on Tuesday night at 7 to host Sacred Heart in the first-ever meeting of the Connecticut schools.

 

Report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director

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