January 10, 2010

Arcobello, Malcolm Lead Blue to Victory

Senior Gets 2 Goals as No. 6 Elis Win at Hanover

HANOVER, N.H. - Points are tough to come by on the road in ECAC Hockey, especially when facing an old rival that is looking to pull off an upset and grab a home weekend sweep to start the new year. Mark Arcobello made sure the No. 6 Yale men's hockey team avoided the potential pitfalls by scoring twice while freshman goalie Jeff Malcolm made 29 saves in a 4-2 Bulldogs win before 2,954 at Thompson Arena.  

A 1-0 Yale lead after two periods turned into a wild, five-goal third period with 21 shots on target, four Dartmouth man-advantages and 11 Malcolm saves. A 3-0 lead by the visitors with nine minutes left suddenly became a one-goal contest with players shuffling in and out of the penalty boxes.

Arcobello had the game's first goal and the eventual game-winner in the third. Jeff Anderson and Brendan Mason, who had two points, had the other two tallies to help the Blue increase its unbeaten streak (4-0-1) to five. The Mason, Anderson Brockett (Charles) line combined for four points despite the Bulldogs being outshot 31-27 and going scoreless on four power-play chances.

"It was a tough, hard-fought road victory. I was very pleased with the play of our young goalie, who came up with some big saves for us," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey.

It may have been a scoreless first period, but there was plenty of action at both ends with 10 shots on net from each side. Both squads had two or three grade-A opportunities, and each required a quality save. The Elis' best scoring chance came on a 2-on-1 break with Denny Kearney and Andrew Miller heading toward the Dartmouth net with speed. Kearney fed Miller in the left circle but the freshman center could not get it past O'Neill.

The Bulldogs (9-3-3, 5-1-2 ECAC) still got on the board first, and it came while killing off a penalty early in the second period. Defenseman Jimmy Martin stole the puck near his own blue line and sent it ahead for Arcobello. The senior center carried along the right boards with Sean Backman on his wing and just one defender in the way. Arcobello, looking for his first collegiate shorthanded tally, held the puck as he moved through the right circle, waited for the defenseman to commit and flipped the puck past O'Neill at 3:08.

"My first thought was to pass it," said Arcobello. "The d-man slid down, I pulled it around him and took it to the backhand."

If the first period was a road race, the second was roller derby with goals. Yale had the edge (9-8) in shots but the guys between the pipes made it a defensive struggle. Malcolm made a few stops on an abbreviated 5-on-3, got a pad on a clear Kyle Reeds breakaway and blocked a classic tip-in chance from the edge of the crease, just to name a few. The Yale newcomer came up with another huge save early in the third when Evan Stephens went in alone and tried to fire past Malcolm from point-blank range.

"I felt really comfortable in net today. It's always nice when you can see pucks," said Malcolm, who earned his team-high fourth win. "My teammates kept them [Dartmouth] outside and out of scoring areas. I tried to stay in position and not do too much. This is another big win against a league school, but we need to put it behind us quickly and focus on Harvard."

O'Neill, who had 94 saves in two games against the Blue last year, was almost as stellar through two frames, especially in the second. He was off to one side of the net while Kearney deked and went the other way to find a huge opening. The Yale forward, expecting an easy shot to the net, saw his attempt stopped when O'Neill's stick came from nowhere to knock it aside.

The Elis finally managed to create space with a pair of tallies in 24 seconds of the third period. The visitors used a pair of great passes to help Jeff Anderson notch his second of the year at 6:15. Brockett led Mason, who feathered a beauty to the high slot. Anderson's wrister from the middle of the slot went low stick side.

Less than a shift later, Arcobello had the puck in the left corner along the boards and fired a low pass that caromed off a Dartmouth player into the net at 6:39 to make it 3-0.

"I was trying to hit Backs [Sean Backman] in front of the net, but it went off the Dartmouth defenseman's skate," said Arcobello, who now has five goals this year. "I've been getting my chances all season, but finishing has been a problem. It feels good to find the back of the net a few times. I hope this is a sign of good things to come."

The Green finally found the net on its seventh man-advantage. Adam Estoclet re-directed  a shot from the point at 12:03 to cut the lead to 3-1. A 6-on-5 rebound, put-back tally with 1:58 left by Mark Goggin brought the crowd and the home bench back into the game.

The Big Green (4-11, 2-7), which pulled O'Neill a few times over the last three minutes, continued to put the pressure on Malcolm. But the home team lost all hope when Mason, who somehow lowered his shoulder to put an enormous hit on a Dartmouth defender a split second after taking a shot from the blueline, found the empty net with 1:10 left.

"The Mason-Brockett-Anderson line did a good job of setting the tone for us," said Allain. "It was their defensive play, offense and physical play. They had the whole package tonight. As a group, they were very difficult to play against."

Notes:  The Bulldogs, who stayed at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vt., return to New Haven tonight and head up to Boston on Tuesday for the Jan. 12 game against Harvard... Saturday is Ingalls Rink dedication and hockey alumni day. The Blue-White alumni game is 9:45 AM, followed by a 2:30 dedication ceremony, a 4:00 women's game and the 7:30 men's game with Brown... Tickets are available for the Brown game and can be purchased by calling (203) 432.1400 on Monday... Skate with the Bulldogs (Men's and Women's teams) is Feb. 7 from 2:15 to 3:30 pm. It's open to the public and tours of the renovated facility are also available. 

 

Report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director