January 16, 2010

Bulldogs Bite Bears 8-5

Balanced Scoring for No. 5 Bulldogs

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The nation's top scoring team showed a standing-room-only sellout crowd at Ingalls Rink why its offense has been so productive. The No. 5 ranked Yale men's hockey team tallied three times in the second and third periods and had five power-play goals in an 8-5 win over Brown.

The Bulldogs had a season-high 53 shots on target (most since 55 at Dartmouth last winter) and converted a season-high five man-advantages to improve to 10-4-3, 6-2-2 in conference play. Yale had goals from seven different players and no Bulldog had more than two points.

Broc Little had two goals while Jeff Anderson, Mark Arcobello and Brendan Mason each had a goal and an assist to help the Blue outshot Brown 23-8 in the second period alone. Denny Kearney, Ryan Donald and Tom Dignard all assisted on two scores in a game that featured nine special teams goals.

The Bears' sophomore goalie Mike Clemente had 45 saves and was busy all game, including 20 stops in the middle frame.

"We made some changes on our special teams and it certainly worked out for us," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, who was most pleased with the balanced scoring. "Any time you can get scoring from all your lines, it picks them up."

Brown (5-11-1, 3-6-1 ECAC Hockey), which had 28 shots on goal and scored on two of three power plays, scratched and clawed its way back into the game many times on a night when the Ingalls crowd was electric. Yale freshman goalie Jeff Malcolm stopped just enough (23) shots to earn the win.

"It was a big game for us. We knew we had to focus on keeping it simple," said Donald, the Yale captain. "We need to be better defensively. We need to bear down more in our end."

All three goals in the opening frame were from special teams while Yale had the shot advantage, 16-10. Jordan Pietrus, one of the Brown captains, was killing off a penalty when Jack Maclellan (three points) flipped the puck out of his end along the right boards. Pietrus saw he could win the race and grabbed it by the blueline. He swooped in across the right circle, faked to the right and tucked a backhander inside the far post at 6:37.

There were still a few seconds left on the advantage when the Elis evened the score, just 12 seconds later. Anderson took a lead pass from Jimmy Martin and skated into the inner edge of the left circle. The junior did not have much of an angle but fired a wrister inside the near post at 6:49.

The Blue went up 2-1 with its next power play. Little took a feed around the board to the corner, skated out to the middle of the extended goal line and needled a rising shot inside the far post. Clemente bent over just enough to create a small window for the Yale junior winger, who notched his 13th of the year.

The Bears used consecutive man-advantages early in the second to even things. They didn't tally on the first but Harry Zolnierczyk (7th goal) fired a low snap shot from the middle of the slot past Malcolm at 5:05.

Kevin Limbert has been playing well for the Elis but had not hit the net since the season opener on Halloween night at Princeton. His drought ended exactly two minutes after the Zolnierczyk tally to give Yale a 3-2 lead. Limbert, a sophomore forward, was moving in from the high slot and found a rebound off Charles Brockett's shot with some space to shoot.

The Elis converted three of their first four power-play chances and Mason got in on the scoring to give Yale its first two-goal lead when he banged home a shot from the edge of the crease with a lot of bodies going down around the net. It was his fourth of the year.

The Bears did a good job of crashing the net, especially with an advantage. With 5:36 left in second, Devin Timberlake's (3rd) put-back of his own blocked shot cut the margin to one again.

The Bulldogs' power play continued to click. There were 10 seconds left on their fifth man advantage when Arcobello blasted a long slapshot past Clemente's glove at 18:51 to go up 5-3.

The two-goal cushion lasted less than a minute because Yale gave up an odd-man rush that ended up in the back of the net. Maclellan's shot from the right circle was blocked by Malcolm, but the puck bounced over his head and off his back before rolling into the net with 33 seconds left to make it 5-4.

Yale's third two-goal lead came at 10:02 of the third. Freshman Andrew Miller did most of the work and linemate Chad Ziegler (3rd) got the primary benefits. Miller skated around a defenseman and moved into the high slot holding on for a good look. He put the puck on Ziegler's stick in the perfect place, a one-timer into the open side from the lower right circle.

Once again, the visitors closed the gap, and this time on a tip-in play. Aaron Volpatti re-directed a Maclellan shot at 11:51. And the Bulldogs answered once again. A behind-the-back pass from Arcobello, ended up as a powerful one-timer by Backman from the lower left circle that went inside near post to put the game out of reach.

The Bears pulled Clemente with under two minutes left but could not get a shot on target. The Elis jumped all over that and Kearney found Little open at the Brown blueline. Little had to move quickly to beat a chasing defender to an empty net with 49 seconds left.

Yale, 8-2-1 over the last 11 games, goes to the North Country (Clarkson, St. Lawrence) next weekend.

Bulldog Bites: Rowland Betts '68, the senior fellow of the Yale Corporation and a former Bulldog skater, took part in the ceremonial drop of the puck tonight to commemorate the re-dedication of Ingalls Rink. The official dedication took place in the Schley Room at Ingalls a few hours after the morning alumni hockey game.

 

Recap filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director

 

 

 

Video highlights by David Dikranian: