Cornell Takes Conference Opener
Big Red Wins 6-2
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's hockey team couldn't take advantage of enough quality scoring chances and lost the battles in front of the nets at both ends while falling to Cornell 6-2 before a sellout crowd at Ingalls Rink in ECAC Hockey action.
The Big Red (1-1-0, 1-0-0 ECAC, who got a pair of goals from Joel Lowry and 29 saves from Andy Iles, never trailed in a game that marked the end of an eight-game skid against the No. 9 Bulldogs (1-1-1, 0-1-0).
Cornell outshot Yale 32-31 after watching the Bulldogs double up the shot total on the Big Red over three games last winter.
Having the advantage in shots on goal doesn't always mean a lot. That was proven in the first period tonight. The Bulldogs, while swarming around the Cornell net, had the first seven on target and 13 of the 19 combined for the frame.
Creating the scoring chances is important, but finishing them is another thing. While Yale created more, the Bulldogs did not find the net. Cornell, which did not have a shot on goal for the first eight minutes, had the period's only two tallies.
"We had a good start, but we didn't get the results we wanted in the first period," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. "The game was won in front of the nets."
"That was our best 10 minutes," said Yale captain Brian O'Neill. "When you don't capitalize on that, it's frustrating."
Iles made a number of huge saves to keep Yale off the board, and that sparked the visitors to get the early advantage. John Esposito converted a perfect feed with a one-timer from the middle of the slot at 13:49 of the first to make it 1-0.
The Big Red grabbed additional momentum heading into intermission. With 37.9 seconds left, Lowry fired a rising shot through traffic from a few feet off the edge of the crease that Jeff Malcolm (26 saves) probably could not see.
The Bulldogs notched their first goal of the year at Ingalls just 32 seconds into the second to cut the lead in half. Junior defenseman Colin Dueck (Calgary, Alb.) chipped the puck to senior forward Kevin Limbert (Fruitvale, BC), who one-handed a pass from the top of the left circle to senior Chad Ziegler (Spruce Grove, Alb.). The senior forward snapped off a low shot inside the far post for his second goal of the year.
Cornell turned around (16-8) the shots in this period as both teams lit the lamp once.
The Blue came close to the equalizer a few times in the second, but the home team figured the worst it would do is go into the second break with a goal deficit. That wasn't the case. For the second period in a row, the Elis gave up a goal with under a minute to play. Malcolm made a save and couldn't control the rebound. The puck popped up in the air and Greg Miller was in the right spot to bang it home with 52 seconds left.
Two Cornell goals in 72 seconds put this game out of reach for the Bulldogs. Lowry, who scored late in the first period, added his second 20 seconds into the third to give the visitors a 4-1 lead.
A freshman became the first Yale defenseman to score a goal this season, and that helped bring the crowd back into play. Tommy Fallen (Plymouth, Minn.), who took a pass from junior Andrew Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) blasted a shot from the left circle that whizzed past Iles at 5:14 to cut the margin in half for a second time. But that was as close as the Elis would come.
Yale, called for just three penalties, got the dagger from the second penalty of the night midway through the third. The advantage turned into Cornell's only power-play tally (Kirill Gotovets), and the Big Red added an empty-netter with 51 seconds left.
"Every time they scored, we tried harder instead of trying to be smarter," said Allain, whose Bulldogs host Colgate Saturday at 7 p.m. "We didn't respond the way we'd like to."
Bulldog Bites: Kevin Peel (Onoway, Alb.), who was not in the lineup last weekend, replaced Bennett Carroccio (Armonk, NY) on defense… Yale has two goals in each of the first three games… Yale gave up a goal with under a minute to play in each period… Senior forward Dan Otto (Lake Zurich, Ill.) played in his first home regular season game after being out with injuries his first three years.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
photo by Jason Grohoske