January 29, 2011

York Steals Game From Elis

RPI Goalie Makes 38 Saves in 5-2 Win

TROY, N.Y. – The targets on the backs of the No. 1 ranked team were huge this weekend heading to face a pair of hot, nationally ranked squads at sold-out venues with extremely zealous fans. The home team came out on top both nights in the capitol district. Tonight, five different players scored goals and Allen York stopped 38 shots as No. 10 Rensselaer handed Yale a 5-2 loss on Big Red Freakout Night before 4,780 at Houston Field House.

The Bulldogs (17-4, 11-3 ECAC) outshot the Engineers 40-18, but RPI's junior goalie, the most recent conference goalie of the week, stood on his head to the delight of the raucous crowd and the New York TV audience. York made 13 saves in the first, 15 in the second and added 10 in the final period.

"I'm very proud of our team. I thought their goalie stole the game," said Keith Allain '80 Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. "I thought we played well enough to win."

Denny Kearney and Kevin Peel had the Bulldog goals – both on the power play - while Ryan Rondeau (8 saves) and Nick Maricic (5) combined for 13 saves.

RPI (17-6-3, 9-5), which scored on three of its seven man-advantages, allowed hated neighbor (Union) to pull within a point of the first-place Elis, who will fall from the top spot in Division I for the first time in nine weeks when Monday's rankings are released.

For the third straight game, the Elis did not light the lamp in the opening frame despite outshooting the Engineers 13-6. Chad Ziegler had Yale's best chance with under a minute left in the period with a one-timer from the low slot with no defenders on him.

Penalties hurt the Bulldogs Friday night and their first one on Saturday turned into a 1-0 deficit. Twenty-nine seconds after Rondeau stole a goal with a great save on the penalty-kill, Patrick Cullen (4th goal) one-timed Jeff Foss' pass while standing in the right circle. The shot went inside the near post at 3:34.

The Elis applied the pressure in the middle frame, keeping the puck in the RPI end for most of the first 10 minutes. In fact, the Blue did not allow a shot on net until late in the period and had a 16-3 advantage during the 20 minutes. Yale finally got one past York on its third advantage of the period when Kearney, positioned in the low slot, re-directed a Jimmy Martin slap shot from the point at 12:53. It was Kearney's 11th of the year and 40th of his career.

"I thought we dominated them in the first period and for the first eight minutes of the second," said Allain. "They didn't get many shots at even strength the entire game."

RPI grabbed the lead back with another power-play tally, this time with 2:32 left in the second. Josh Rabbani skated across the crease, holding the puck and waiting for commitments from the defense, and tucked it inside the near post for his third of the year.

Yale had a golden opportunity to even things early in the third. Broc Little's stick handling in the first minute of the third put him inches from tucking a backhander inside the right post before the puck bounced off it. And it turned around on the visitors. A minute later, on a delayed penalty, Brock Higgs (5th) tipped home a Foss shot from the point.

The home team made it a two-goal mistake. Chace Polacek (16th) cashed in on the penalty with a nasty wrister that went over Rondeau's shoulder at 2:47 to make it 4-1 and bring on Maricic, the sophomore Yale netminder.

Peel (3rd) cut the margin in half on an advantage with 2:15 left on a rising wrister from the high slot before RPI's CJ Lee added an empty-netter with 1:13 left to put the game away.

BULLDOG BITES:  This weekend's consecutive conference losses were the first for Yale since February of 2008… Nick Maricic saw action in his second game this year, the first since Jan. 2… The one change in the lineup from Friday was Antoine Laganiere in for Josh Balch on the Jesse Root, Kenny Agostino line… Yale won at Troy the last time the schools met on Big Red Freakout Night in 2008-09… RPI swept the 2009-10 series and has won three of the last four against the Blue.

 

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director

 

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