February 10, 2012

Raiders Hold Off Bulldogs

Blue Outskates Colgate But Falls 4-2

HAMILTON, N.Y. –  The Bulldogs put enough sustained pressure on the Raiders' net to score a bunch of goals. The only problem was that the shots were not getting to the net and the Yale men's hockey team fell in ECAC Hockey to Colgate 4-2 before 1,126 at Starr Rink.

The Elis (10-12-2, 7-9-1 ECAC), who had the 35-28 advantage in shots, clearly had most of the grade-A scoring chances. Missing a lot of those opportunities and going 1-for-5 on the power play was the difference in this contest.

It also wasn't the best night for Yale junior goalie Jeff Malcolm, who gave up a pair of goals from long range and finished with 24 saves. John Lidgett had two goals and an assist to lead the Raiders (16-10-3, 10-6-1).

"We worked very hard tonight and created a lot of chances," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach, whose team is still tied for seventh in the conference standings. "We were close, but still not running on all cylinders. We will be better tomorrow night."

Six seconds into the first penalty of the night, Corbin McPherson sent a fluttering, one-timer from the point through traffic and over Malcolm's shoulder to give Colgate the only tally of the opening period at 3:26.

The Bulldogs had plenty of chances to find the net, none better than Chad Ziegler with 3:55 left in the frame. Charles Brockett did the work to set up his linemate with a nifty spin move and pass that led Ziegler to an open side. The problem was Ziegler partially fanned on the one-timer and Eric Mihalik (33 saves) dove across to make the save.

Brian O'Neill, who led the Blue with six shots on goal and could have easily ended up with at least a hat trick, had a similar opportunity with under a minute to play but he put a bouncing puck over the net.

Both teams put 12 shots on target in the first, six of Yale's came on three advantages that included crisp and timely puck movement, while the Blue won 20 of 29 face-offs.

The Elis got the equalizer midway through the second at the end of a power play that wasn't producing any shots. Jesse Root controlled a bouncing puck near the side of the cage and sent it across to Antoine Laganiere, who was looking at a large opening to shoot at. The junior forward one-timed the chance into the back of the net for his ninth of the year.

The Raiders got the goal back on their next power play when the puck bounced off the boards and squirted between Malcolm and the side of the net. When a few players converged on it, the puck came out to the low slot where Lidgett, a winger, easily smacked it into an open net at 15:14.

The Blue tied it again on the game's first even strength tally. O'Neill came in from the left circle one step ahead of the defense and was taken down while making a move. Mihalik kicked the puck out to the high slot where Tommy Fallen fired a shot over the net that bounced off the glass and came out to the side. O'Neill, who got up off the ice, had the puck in front of him and tapped it back from the left side with 14:28 left on a delay penalty call.

There were plenty of great chances to grab their first lead on the ensuing advantage but Mihalik came up big.

Colgate then grabbed lead back almost three minutes after the O'Neill goal. The Bulldogs were winning most of the draws and won another. However, an attempt to send the puck out of their end landed on a Raider stick at the point. One quick pass later, Lidgett sent a low wrister from the boards five-hole on the Yale netminder at 11:15.

The home team called a timeout with 1:32 left and the visitors went for the extra skater. Yale put two great shots on the Colgate netminder and missed on another attempt before Austin Smith skated almost the length of the ice for the empty-netter.

BULLDOG BITES: Yale has now outshot opponents in six straight games... Brian O'Neill's goal gave him 64 in his career and tied him for seventh on the school list with Mark Crear (1979-83)... Freshman goalie Connor Wilson suited up for his first road game… Antoine Laganiere has a career-high nine goals this season…The Bulldogs had two freshmen at forward and three on defense… Yale had two NHL draft picks (F Kenny Agostino, D Gus Young) in the lineup, Colgate had two on its top line and three blueliners… This game aired live on Time Warner Cable TV… The Blue is at Lynah Rink Saturday at 7 p.m. to face No. 13 Cornell.

 

Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director

Antoine Laganiere image by Bob Cornell

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