O'Neill Scores Twice, Rondeau Makes 29 Saves
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The fans who packed sold-out Ingalls Rink anticipated an offensive flurry from the home team at some point. They just didn't figure to wait so long. The flurry came with abundance as the Yale men's hockey team erased an early 1-0 deficit with five straight goals to beat Quinnipiac 5-1 in an ECAC Hockey contest.
The Bulldogs, who remain unbeaten at 4-0 (2-0 ECAC), scored late in the second to take the lead and then broke it open with three in the third while slightly outshooting the visitors, 33-30.
Brian O'Neill hit the net twice while the Elis also got goals from Jeff Anderson and Denny Kearney, who had two points. Chris Cahill added two assists in Yale's second straight home win over the Bobcats (4-3-1, 0-1-1).
Senior Yale goalie Ryan Rondeau was as impressive as his team's offensive outburst. He stopped 29 of 30 shots and four out of five man-advantages to earn his third win of the year.
"I was confident [tonight] knowing that I had played well the night before," said Rondeau, who graced the cover and was the feature story of the weekend's game program (Ingalls Illustrated). "I have felt confident in all three games this year and have gone through the same routine."
Quinnipiac junior Dan Clarke (21 saves) held off the charge for a while before the roof caved in. He was replaced by Eric Hartzell (7) early in the third period. The two combined to stop five of seven power-plays.
"They [Quinnipiac] came out strong, and we were not moving our legs as well as we needed to," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey.
Yale's streak of periods with a goal ended at nine after the opening frame. The Elis were also outshot (14-8) in a period for the third time this season.
The Bobcats got consecutive power-play chances midway through the first and found the net on the second one. Rondeau made three excellent stops on the first advantage but was victimized by a point-blank put-back early on the next one by Jeremy Langlois (2nd) after the Yale goalie had made two solid saves.
Yale's best chance to even things came early in the second when Andrew Miller, moments after a power play, skated in alone and put a shot on target that Clarke knocked down.
Kearney finally broke the Bobcat bubble with a great move at 5:01 of the second period. The senior winger skated into the right circle, deked a defender on his backhand, switched over to the forehand and headed for the low slot where he waited for a sliding defenseman to pass by before wristing a low shot inside the near post for his fifth goal of the season.
The Blue, which had a 13-8 edge in second-period shots, made it two in a row by cashing in on its fifth power-play opportunity of the night. Moving the puck well in the offensive zone, Clarke covered the angles well. He did, however, offer a small opening and Yale jumped in. Junior wing Chad Ziegler pulled the puck from the boards and made a bee-line for the net. He slipped a perfect crossing pass to senior forward Broc Little, who gathered, waited for the Quinnipiac netminder to commit and then flicked a nasty wrister high and inside the right post at 15:42 for his fifth tally.
"Our power play (2 goals) was really good. We showed a couple of different looks with different people scoring," said Allain, whose team has played all four games at home.
The Bulldogs grinded their blades coming out of the locker room for the third, and good things happened, including three goals in just shy of three minutes.
Cahill, a senior forward, did a great job to secure possession of the puck as he skated around a defenseman in the left circle. He sent a perfect crossing pass for O'Neill, who was cruising into the low slot off the opposite post for the one-timer.
Seventy-five seconds later the home team got another advantage and quickly used to up the score to 4-1. Jeff Anderson (first goal) one-timed Kearney's feed from behind the goal line.
"We started a bit slow," said Anderson. "As the game went on, we stepped it up and began to wear them down. This is a big game for us playing our cross-town rival."
The flood gates were open when O'Neill, who now has five goals this year, hit the net for the second time and sent Clarke to the bench. Cahill made a big hit behind the net that enabled Miller to grab the puck and send it out to O'Neill, who quickly sent it to the net.
"With Mark [Arcobello] and Sean [Backman] gone, we've had to step up our goal scoring," said O'Neill, who has nine points in four games.
BULLDOG BITES: Senior forward Brendan Mason, who missed Friday's game with an injury, was back in tonight's lineup… The Bulldogs travel to Colorado College and Air Force next weekend… Yale does not return to Ingalls Rink until Nov. 23 when Sacred Heart comes to town.
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director