Elis Off to 2-0 Start After Beating Dartmouth

Kevin Limbert and Denny Kearney. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kevin Limbert and Denny Kearney. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Blue Erases Deficit with 6 Straight Goals

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A second straight slow start didn't prevent the No. 5 ranked Yale men's hockey team from starting its 2010-11 season 2-0 after a 7-3 win over Dartmouth in the finale of the Ivy Shootout at Ingalls Rink. The Bulldogs erased a pair of early deficits and scored six straight times to help senior Ryan Rondeau get the win in goal.

Rondeau looked sharp with 23 saves, including 11 in the first period, but an offensive explosion over the final 40 minutes was the difference maker in this contest. Broc Little, who had three points, and Kevin Limbert had two goals each while Denny Kearney contributed a goal and three assists as the Elis outshot the Big Green 39-26.

After an opening night full of special-teams goals in a 7-4 win over Brown, the only power-play tally tonight came late in the third from the visitors, who got 32 saves from Jody O'Neill.

"Dartmouth came out forechecking hard and really gave us some problems," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. "They gave us all we could handle, but we weathered the storm."

Dartmouth got on the board first at 6:35 of the opening frame. Nick Walsh tried to take a shot but the puck squirted out to the opposite side of the slot. Jason Bourgea was all alone on the other side with the loose puck and easily shot at an open side.

The Bulldogs got the first-period equalizer almost eight minutes later. Denny Kearney's spin move in the left circle got him enough time to see Broc Little open on the far post. Kearney slipped a sneaky pass through the defense. Little reached out and re-directed it past O'Neill's glove at 14:30.

The visitors took the lead again early in the second. Rondeau's quick reaction to the crossing feed stopped the first shot, an outstanding save, but the rebound came right to Scott Fleming for a routine put-back at 4:10.

The shots were nearly even in the first 20 minutes but that began to change with the momentum shift toward the Blue later in the period.

Kevin Limbert, skating with the puck near mid ice, had his head up and saw Little breaking ahead of the defense on the right side. Little took the lead feed and crossed between the circles before Mike Keenan whacked him off his skates. The Yale senior, a step or two ahead of three green jerseys, was awarded a penalty shot at 9:46. Little took off from the red line, stick handled back and forth all the way to the edge of the crease and then deked left and slipped a backhander between O'Neill's arm and the side of his shirt. Only the folks sitting behind that net knew the puck had gone in until the referee pointed to it.

Brian O'Neill and Kearney worked together to give Yale it's first lead with 1:16 left in the middle frame. O'Neill carried low on the left and drew all the attention before sending the puck across to Kearney on the right side. The senior winger buried the one-timer in the upper corner for his fourth of the weekend.

Yale fans were entertained often in this one and O'Neill's goal to make it 4-2 in the third was no different. The junior skated over the blueline, dragged his toe and pulled the puck back before flicking it home.

"We didn't have a lot of pop in our steps in the first, and I'm not sure why," said O'Neill. "We started getting pucks to the net and things changed. We are a third-period team, but we need to get better starts."

The Bulldogs made it four straight tallies with great puck movement by the Kevin Limbert, Kearney and Little line. Little got it to Kearney who fed Limbert for the one-timer at 11:17. Less than a minute later, Clinton Bourbonais became the first Yale freshman to hit the net this season with a rebound put-back to make it 6-2 and put the game out of reach.


Bulldog Bites: After being outshot  in the first period, the Bulldogs had a 12-6 advantage in the second and a 16-8 difference in the third… Yale hosts Princeton and Quinnipiac next weekend in a pair of ECAC Hockey contests at 7 p.m… Tickets are available for both games and can be purchased by calling 203.432.1400.


Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director