February 23, 2013

Bulldogs Beat Princeton, Claim Ivy Championship

Cooper Nets Winner Late in 3rd

PRINCETON, NJ – The 2012-13 Ivy League Championship was decided tonight with 1:56 left in the game. The No. 13/14 Yale men's hockey team, needing a win to clinch the title, got it by scoring two late goals in a 4-3 win over Princeton with the game-winner coming from freshman Carson Cooper.

The Bulldogs, who earned their third Ivy title in four years, erased a pair of deficits, including one late in the third, and moved into a tie for fourth place in ECAC Hockey. The top four teams earn first-round byes in the ECAC Tournament.

"I saw the puck go around the point to Tommy Fallen," said Cooper, who got his first collegiate goal tonight. "Coaches have been preaching to us to get to the front of the net to get a rebound. I did that and just got lucky enough. It popped out and I got a backhander on it. I shot it and then got knocked over, but I did see it go in. It was unbelievable."

Senior Jeff Malcolm was in the lineup for the first time since Feb. 1 and made 17 saves while stopping three of four Tiger advantages. His presence had to help ignite the spirits of a Yale team looking to end a skid.

"It was great to be back," said Malcolm."I hate not being in the lineup, and I'm sick of watching hockey. The guys did a great job in front of me. Lots of guys are banged up, I'm not the only one. I was shaking off some of the rust, but it felt great."

Four different Bulldogs found the net, led by Fallen, who had a goal and two assists.

The opening frame may have been the wildest one Yale has been a part of this winter. It wasn't just about the four goals that were scored, but more of the end-to-end action that put so much pressure on both netminders.  

Princeton, after surviving an amazing flurry of Bulldog power-play shots, took advantage of an odd-man rush to get the first goal. Jack Berger's third of the year gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead at 5:21.

The visitors answered with two tallies in 36 seconds. First, on a delayed penalty, Fallen sent a perfect lead pass to Anthony Day, who picked up the puck at mid ice and sprinted in alone on Mike Condon (24 saves). Day held the puck to the low slot and then sent a low wrister through the goalie's legs at 8:09.

The Elis then jumped all over the advantage with a great sense of urgency. The result was Andrew Miller dropping off a pretty feed for Fallen in the high slot. The sophomore Yale blueliner held, let the defense shift and then sent a snap shot inside the far post at 8:45 to make it 2-1.   

The line of Berger, Andrew Calof and Andrew Ammon was getting its typical ton of ice time, and it paid off for another goal. Calof found the net with 7:48 left in the first to make it 2-2.  

A five-minute major on Princeton's Kevin Liss midway through the second could have been a monumental swing for the visitors, but the Tigers killed off half of the infraction before the Elis took a penalty. Both teams ended up scoreless on two advantages in a frame that had Yale with three more shots on goal.

The Tigers took a 3-2 lead on the power play at 9:12, but that lasted just 92 seconds. Clinton Bourbonais broke through on the fore-check and grabbed a puck along the boards in the home end. He dumped it off for his defenseman, who was following in over the blueline. Rookie Ryan Obuchowski jacked up the pace and headed for the net before sending a low wrister through Condon at 10:44.

"It was a hell of an effort by both teams for the full 60 minutes. I give our guys a lot of credit," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach, whose team clinched home ice for the ECAC Tournament. "Not having won in a couple of weeks, and being behind late in the third and battling back to win, was a true testament to the character in the locker room. It was also great to see two guys (Day, Cooper) get their first goals of the year."

BULLDOG BITES

Yale took the Ivy title by going 7-2 and having 14 points with one game remaining against Cornell next Saturday. Dartmouth and Brown each have 10 points with one contest left… Yale needs four points to clinch a bye in the first round of the ECACs. The Elis are tied with Dartmouth for fourth at 21 points, one behind SLU and two back of RPI… Yale is now No. 13 in the Pairwise Rankings with one weekend left in the regular season. The Elis host Colgate and Cornell this Friday and Saturday at 7.

Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director