November 12, 2011

Otto Scores Two as Bulldogs Roll

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - After averaging just over four goals a game last season, the Yale men's hockey team had scored only two goals in each of its first five games. But the Bulldogs finally found the offensive explosion they were looking for Saturday night, thanks in large part to senior forward Danny Otto. The senior forward tallied his first career points in grand fashion, scoring two goals in the Elis' best offensive showing of the season in a 4-0 win at Union.

The scoring started in a familiar place - with captain Brian O'Neill - who got the Bulldogs on the board with a power play goal. Defensemen Tommy Fallen and Kevin Peel assisted, the Elis' sixth power play goal of the season in 24 chances.

The Bulldogs continued to generate chance after chance until Danny Otto found the back of the net off a feed from freshman Nick Weberg. That was the first point of Otto's injury-riddled career, and came in just his seventh outing as a Bulldog.

"On the first goal, it was a great play by my linemates, Weberg and (Jesse) Root. A lot of hours went into achieving a moment like that. It was definitely worth it," said Otto. 

 "The bench erupted," Malcolm G. Chase Head Coach Keith Allain said of Otto's first goal. "Anyone who knows what he's gone through just to get in the lineup...it was great."

Just 16 seconds later, fellow senior Charles Brockett added another, giving the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead off a feed from sophomore Kenny Agostino.

The Elis carried that lead to the intermission, and came out firing again in the second. Otto didn't wait long to grab his second career tally, scoring less than three minutes into the second period on a wrister, upping the Bulldog lead to four. 

But the scoring stopped there for the Bulldogs, who were outshot 38-10 in the last two periods. Luckily, sophomore Jeff Malcolm recorded his third-straight shutout with an impressive 45 saves, giving him 111 saves over the past three games.

"He's been rock solid for us," Allain said. "We've relied on him back there and he's been there to make the big save when we needed it."

The story of the night, however, was Otto, who suffered an injury before his freshman season and has battled ever since just to be able to play. His two-goal outburst was an integral part of the Bulldogs' four goal output, which Allain cited as a starting point, rather than evidence, that the Elis are finally where they expect to be.

Nevertheless, the Bulldogs have settled in after a tough loss to Cornell last Friday night, and head into next Saturday night's non-conference showdown with UConn with some momentum. The Bulldogs have just two ECAC games - both against Brown - before breaking for the holidays, but have non-conference dates against perennial powers Boston College and UMass left before a three-week winter break.

"We've got a long way to go as a hockey team," Allain said. "But we saw some good things tonight."

Report filed by Chelsea Janes '12, Yale Sports Publicity.

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