Bulldogs Bite Tigers On Road

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Charles Brockett. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

No. 3 Yale Improves to 5-0

 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado College head coach Scott Owens said in his pre-game radio interview that the No. 3 Yale men's hockey team would be "out of their comfort zone, playing out West and playing on an Olympic (100x200 feet) sheet." However, it was the Tigers who looked uncomfortable in the World Arena as the Bulldogs outshot the home team 40-25 on the way to a 5-1 win.

The Elis, who had goals from five different skaters, improved to 5-0 by winning their first game on the road. Charles Brockett, Brendan Mason and Andrew Miller each had two points.

Senior goalie Ryan Rondeau made 24 saves to earn his fourth straight win in the Yale net, but the best defense for the Blue on this night was puck possession at the other end. The nation's top scoring team nearly reached its average of six goals per game by peppering freshman Josh Thorimbert, who finished with 35 saves.

"They [Yale] have great jump and a great game plan. We couldn't match their intensity and skating," said Owens, whose Tigers (5-6-1) were scoreless on four power plays. Yale showed why they are No. 3 in the country. They had us on our heels the whole night."

The Bulldogs did not hit the net on any of their three advantages but spread the offensive opportunities so well, the missed chances didn't matter. In fact, the Denny Kearney, Broc Little and Kevin Limbert line which has 13 goals and 26 points, was not a major factor in this win.

A 15-4 advantage in shots by the visitors produced a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. And the scoring came from different sources.

Yale junior forward Brockett got his first collegiate goal while notching the contest's first tally. He got to celebrate with linemates Mason and Jeff Anderson, who set up his linemate with a solid attack on the Colorado College net.  Anderson got it from Mason and came down the left side and fired a shot from the left circle that was saved. The rebound bounced out to the opposite side. Brockett beat the defense to the right side and slapped the puck through a closing door along the right post at 5:46.

"Andy [Anderson] came streaking down the left side. The puck came out quick and was rolling. I was fortunate to stop it, but it was a pretty easy one," said Brockett. "I shouldn't say that because it was my first, and nothing has been easy. I am just happy to get it [the first goal]. It's good to get it out of the way."

The Elis, who had two power-play chances including 65 seconds of 5-on-3, could not cash in on any advantages. However, that didn't stop them from making it 2-0 before intermission with spectacular passing in front of Thorimbert.  Miller, a sophomore forward, one-timed a perfect crossing feed from Little for the sophomore's first goal of the year and sixth career tally.

The home team nearly cut the lead in half with 75 seconds left in the first. David Civitarese's point-blank shot was swiped out of the air by Rondeau, who saw just enough shots to stay sharp.

Mason and Brockett were at it again in the offensive end to help Yale go up three. Mason moved it over to Brockett who quickly flipped the puck toward junior right wing Chad Ziegler. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Alberta native converted Brockett's feed just 2:48 into the second.

The 3-0 score didn't last long. Stephen Schultz had the puck in the lower left slot, wheeled into the circle and wristed a shot off Rondeau's shoulder at 5:07. Jayden and Rylan Schwartz, whose sister Mandi is a member of the Yale women's hockey team, picked up assists on the play.

Limbert's third goal of the season, a blast from 35 feet out, zipped past Thorimbert's shoulder at 7:43 of the second to make it 4-1. Limbert, a center, took a back feed from linemate Denny Kearney.  

The Tigers, coming off a win over Air Force last night at Cadet Ice Arena, entered the game with 10 goals in their last 20 man-advantages. They didn't get their first chance until the middle of the contest, but Rondeau made two or three solid stops. The senior netminder, who faced 13 shots in the period, needed a few more big saves at the close of the frame to retain the margin.

The Bulldogs held CC to just one shot on target through the first 11 minutes of the third before the Tigers flicked seven more on the Yale net.

Senior Chris Cahill put the finishing touches on the road win at 12:52 when he snapped off a shot from the left circle that went inside the far post for his third goal.

Ingalls Rink is 200x85, which means the World Arena is 15 feet wider. That difference, combined with the travel and altitude change, could have been a big competitive advantage for the home team. Brockett said he and his teammates enjoyed the larger playing surface.

"There was a lot more room for us to use our speed and skill, and having a couple of practices before really helped us adjust. The size of the rink allowed us to buy more time for ourselves."

 

BULLDOG BITES: The Bulldogs had not played the Tigers since 1985, a 6-5 OT win for Yale at New Haven… Nine seniors and six juniors were in the Yale lineup tonight… Colorado College President Richard F. Celeste graduated from Yale in 1959… The Elis skate at Air Force Sunday night at 8 E.T. in a game that airs live on B2TV.com.

 

report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director