No. 1 Yale Beats Holy Cross at the Whale
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The 25-day layoff for exams and the holidays did nothing to slow down the Bulldogs' offensive output. The No. 1 Yale men's hockey team, led by Broc Little and Kenny Agostino hat tricks, pumped out a season-high for goals in a 10-3 non-league win over Holy Cross before a packed house at Ingalls Rink.
Agostino, the freshman from Flanders, N.J., entered the game with a goal and three assists and produced three goals and five points (tied Yale freshman record) against the Crusaders. Little, a senior who leads the 12-1 Elis with a dozen goals, had four points and now leads the nation with just under a goal per game. Both helped the Bulldogs extend the nation's longest active win streak to seven.
Denny Kearney and Josh Balch each had a goal and two assists while Brian O'Neill and Mike Matczak also lit the lamp in Yale's last non-league game of the year. The Elis scored five times on Holy Cross goalie Adam Roy (16 saves), four on Thomas Tysowsky (10) and added one against Derek Kump (4) in the third frame.
Senior Yale goalie Ryan Rondeau played the first two periods and stopped 14 of 16 shots to earn his 11th victory of the year. Sophomore Nick Maricic (5 saves) played the final period, his first action of the season.
The Blue, now 5-0 all-time against Holy Cross, outshot the Crusaders 40-22 and converted two of four power plays while blanking the visitors on three man-advantages. Holy Cross (6-10-2) had goals from three different skaters and no player had more than one point.
"The boys got going and had good intensity on the puck," said Kyle Wallack, Yale's associate head coach who was taking over for Keith Allain '80 during his service to the U.S. Junior National Team. "It's hard not to be happy with that performance. We bounced back with a goal every time they scored. I think we have the hardest working team in the country."
Wallack, who came to New Haven after helping Holy Cross reach the NCAAs and upset Minnesota at the 2006 West Regional, was coaching against a guy he knew well. "It's always fun [to face your former team]. He [Holy Cross coach Paul Pearl] is a mentor of mine."
Yale put 21 shots on target in the first and left the ice with a 5-2 lead. Kearney opened the scoring at 5:31 and the home team never looked back.
Two of the prettiest goals of the game came in the opening frame. Agostino, the first Eli rookie to notch a hat trick since Little against Nebraska Omaha on Dec. 28, 2007, took a Jesse Root pass flicked a high wrister top shelf on Roy to make it 2-1 before Little took a long pass from captain Jimmy Martin (2 assists), was pulled down from behind and still flipped the puck over the goalie's shoulder for Yale's fifth tally of the day.
"It was kind of a broken play," said Little of his great play. "Jimmy [Martin] threw it up to me. I just tried to flip it up."
He did more than flip it up. He was being slashed (2 minute penalty) from behind and was on his rear end using his Bauer like a lob wedge to get it over Roy.
The Bulldogs were winning most of the loose pucks and dominating the puck possession time. There was never any doubt that they would wear out a Holy Cross team coming off a pair of one-goal losses at UConn's holiday tournament.
"We pride ourselves on working hard down low and grinding it out," said Agostino, who also had two goals against the Russians on Dec. 29. "Our speed is our strength."
Little added another highlight tally later in the game when he was on his knees with his back facing the goal and still wheeled and fired a shot past the Crusader netminder.
"That's just what Broc does, he scores goals. He is a threat every time he's on the ice," said Wallack, who has led the Elis to two wins in Allain's absence.
The Bulldogs, who last played a game that counted on Dec. 8 against Vermont, used the time off in a positive manner.
"The break was good for the team. It gave us a chance to get re-energized," said Little. "But it's only one game and we have tougher tests coming up.
Yale takes to the road this weekend at Dartmouth (Friday) and Harvard (Saturday)
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director