January 30, 2010

RPI Knocks Yale From First

Engineers Take 4-0 Game at Ingalls

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale was 7-2-1 against RPI over the last 10 meetings heading into this season. The Engineers have turned the tide this year with two convincing victories including a 4-0 win over the No. 6 Bulldogs before a third straight sellout crowd at Ingalls Rink.

Rensselaer had a 26-22 advantage in shots but only converted one of nine power-play chances. The Bulldogs were blanked on seven chances while being swept by the Engineers for the first time since 2004-05.

Freshman netminder Nick Maricic, who had 22 stops, couldn't help Yale (12-6-3, 8-4-2) avoid a second straight conference weekend split (4-3 win over Union last night) that knocked the Blue from first place.

Allen York, RPI's second-year goalie, made22 saves and blanked Division I's top scoring offense while handing the Elis their second (6-2-1) loss at Ingalls Rink this winter. York notched his first shutout of the season and the second of his career.

This was the second time Yale was shut out this year (at Vermont) and the first at home since November of 2008 against Alabama-Huntsville.

The Engineers (14-12-2, 7-6-1), who have six National Hockey League draft picks on the roster, had more shots on goal than the Elis in the first and third periods while preventing the home team from gathering any momentum all night. It was just the six time in 21 games that Yale had been outshot overall.

Both teams were a little testy after big, opening-minute hits at both ends, which may have been the reason for a very non-offensive frame. First Bulldogs' forward Jeff Anderson sent Jerry D'Amigo to the bench after a behind-the-net collision.  Anderson's hit was clean and officially approved, but C.J. Lee appeared to be retaliating when he got called for boarding (Jimmy Martin) a moment later at the other end.

The Elis were held to a season-low five shots on target in the first period while giving up 11 and the only tally of the period at 6:18. Bryan Brutlag (5th) took a short pass from Brandon Pirri, while he was cruising in from the right circle, and slipped a low wrister through some traffic.

Maricic, stepped it up from there and was tested often over the last half of the frame before finishing with 10 saves.

Chad Ziegler, who came close to scoring as time ran out in the first, had the puck on his stick on the edge of the left crease and barely missed the target.

Yale had a 12-4 shot advantage in the second but could not find the net again. It looked as if the 1-0 score might stand for the second intermission until the visitors jumped on a defensive breakdown in the home end. Chace Polacek, one of the nation's leaders in goals this year, skated in alone from the outer edge of the left circle and sent a low shot under Maricic at 18:23 for the junior's 18th of the year.

Prior to that, both Anderson and Sean Backman had good power-play chances with sneaky shots that York got his body on.

In the final frame, Yale had a man-advantage and a chance to cut the margin in half, but got burned on a loose puck in the neutral zone that turned into a two-on-one rush. Mark Arcobello was the one back and he tried to dive and swat the puck away but may have deflected the puck off D'Amigo's stick at 2:12 for the 3-0 lead.

The Engineers put the game away with a power-play tally by Pirri at 4:47 and York continued to shine.

"We just weren't good enough in any facet of the game tonight," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. "We have to tighten up some areas of our game."

The Bulldogs are back at Ingalls next weekend to host Dartmouth (Friday, 7) and Harvard (Saturday, 4) in a pair of ECAC and Ivy rivalry games.

 

Recap filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director

 

Nick Maricic image by Mike Butler

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