O'Neill, Miller Notch 3 Points Each
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, was critical of his team's inability to get shots to the net in last night's loss. Forty-nine shots and six goals later his No. 20 ranked Bulldogs came away with two points and a 6-2 win over Princeton before a sellout crowd at Ingalls Rink.
Six different Elis hit the net while Brian O'Neill (Yardley, Pa.) and Andrew Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) each had three points. Jeff Malcolm (Lethbridge, Alb.) stopped 23 of 25 shots and three of four man-advantages to earn the win between the pipes.
"I am really pleased with the way we played. We were winning races and we put the puck in the right places and went hard to the net," said Allain.
Yale brought the early heat on the Princeton goal, but the Tigers survived and notched the game's first tally at the other end. Marc Hagel, the beneficiary of a juicy rebound, sent the puck back from the high slot inside the right post at 8:31.
Before the drop of the puck on the ensuing faceoff, simultaneous Yale infractions resulted in a two-minute Princeton advantage. Yale seized the momentum by not allowing a shot on goal, and then it was Miller time. Miller had the puck in the left circle, wheeled around to create more space and avoid a defender, and fed Kenny Agostino (Flanders, NJ), who was moving toward the goal from the high slot. The pass allowed Agostino to unleash a low blast that zipped into the net low on the glove side of Mike Condon (43 saves) at 10:37.
The Elis made it two straight on an unassisted Trent Ruffolo (Coral Springs, Fla.) goal at 15:36 of a first period that had Yale with a 17-11 advantage in shots. Nicholas Weberg (Oslo, Norway) caused a turnover in the Princeton end along the boards with a hit. Ruffolo took it from the point and blasted a shot from the top of the slot for his second of the year.
Princeton came close to making it 2-2 with two grade-A chances early in the second, but a moment later Kevin Limbert (Fruitvale, BC) gave Yale a two-goal lead on a rebound put-back. Chad Ziegler (Spruce Grove, Alb.) had the initial shot and Limbert crashed the net and connected from the middle slot at 3:30 for his first of the year. Charles Brockett (Shaker Heights, Ohio) started the play by grabbing the puck at the point and getting it to his linemate. It was the only goal of a wild, hard-hitting second period in which the Elis had 16 of the 22 shots on target.
The home team used a great 4-on-3 power play midway through the second to pelt the Princeton net with rubber. Condon, who had 30 saves through 40 minutes, came up with four big saves to prevent a score, and his teammate, Andrew Calof, nearly scored a shorthander. Malcolm came up with a solid stop on the breakaway after the Blue mishandled a puck at the Princeton blueline.
Yale's fourth straight tally came off an O'Neill (11th goal) power-play, one-timer. The captain's blast from the top of the left circle was set up by another great Miller feed at 4:24 to make it 4-1.
"We got a lot of shots to the net tonight," said O'Neill. "Simplifying the game and getting pucks to the net is what we did. That means shooting quicker, and they don't have to be hard. Just getting simple pucks to the net."
Bob Prier, Princeton's first-year head coach, decided to pull his goalie when Yale was called for a penalty with 13:16 left in regulation. It took a minute and 57 seconds of the advantage, but the Tigers cut the lead in half. Derrick Pallis' low wrister from the top of the slot got past Malcolm at 8:40.
The teams were a combined 0-for-5 on the advantage heading into the third period; there were three power-play goals in the third. After all his great puck distribution, Miller got rewarded with his third goal of the season at 11:19. He followed up a nasty O'Neill shot to increase the lead to 5-2.
Condon was pulled again with just under six minutes left and his team up a man. This time it backfired when Ziegler (5th) flipped home a long shot from just inside the red line.
The Yale defense, which held its opposition to just 25 shots on goal for a second straight night, deserved a lot of credit for this victory.
"We certainly haven't given up many scoring chances over the last two games. We played good, solid, structured defense," said Allain.
The Brockett brothers were playing against each other tonight. Charles, the senior forward for Yale, was playing against Tucker, a freshman Tiger forward. Two seconds after the final buzzer sounded, they hugged at center ice… The 49 shots on goal tied for the second most by the Blue this year; the Elis had 53 against Sacred Heart and 49 against UConn… Yale's lineup was the same as Friday night… The Bulldogs came out of the locker room wearing their jerseys to sign posters for more than 400 kids as part of Yale Hockey Youth Day.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director