6 Elis Find Net in 6-3 Win
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Six different players scored and three goalies combined for 42 saves as the No. 11 Yale men's hockey team came out of its holiday break with a 6-3 exhibition victory over the Russian Red Stars before 3,145 at Ingalls Rink.
"It's a great way for us to get back into it," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach. "It's much better than a practice. You can't simulate this in practice."
The Bulldogs, who are back in regular season play Sunday with Holy Cross, couldn't simulate the feeling in practice of 45 shots the Russians put on the Yale net.
"They [Red Stars] created a lot of scoring chances and put a lot of shots on net. They were a quality opponent and we got out of it what we needed to," said Allain.
Carson Cooper, Dan O'Keefe and John Hayden found the net in a very entertaining first period that included 10 shots on target by both teams. Cooper went inside the far post with a snap shot from the right circle. O'Keefe put a long shot from along the boards through a lot of traffic.
The best play of the frame came from Hayden, who picked the pocket of a Red Stars defenseman inside their blueline. The Eli rookie did a toe drag and then went inside the far post on Artur Khaniarova (24 saves) to close out the period's scoring at 16:18.
"John [Hayden] was one of our best players tonight. It started with his intensity. He was winning races to pucks and he played with offensive confidence. He took charge tonight and almost had a couple of other goals," said Allain.
While Hayden's goal was the offensive highlight of that frame, freshman goalie Alex Lyon was the show on defense. The Minnesota native swiped a few point-blank shots out of the air and kicked aside multiple one-timers from the doorstep to finish his day's work with 10 saves. Each of the Eli netminders took a period between the pipes.
Mike Doherty, Anthony Day and Cooper hooked up on a pretty, tic-tac-toe scoring play early in the second to make it 4-0. Day, streaking down the right side with the puck, could have found the net himself but decided to swing it over to his left at the last moment for Wilson's easy one-timer into an open left side.
Day, who missed a few games with an injury, was in the lineup for the first time in a month. "It felt good. I worked hard in rehab and that really made the difference. A lot of the credit goes to Kappy [Rich Kaplan, Yale's trainer] for getting me back," said Day.
Despite the fourth Yale tally, the Red Stars were playing excellent hockey and outshot the Blue 16-10 over the middle 20.
Connor Wilson, the Bulldogs' junior goalie, came up big with 15 saves. Like Lyon, he made a few great stops to prevent the Stars from getting back in the game under his watch. Freshman Patrick Spano came on for the third and needed a big performance (17 saves) to thwart a late shift in momentum as a couple of Russian shots found the net to make it a three-goal game.
Yale defenseman Rob O'Gara's power play tally was one of two home team tallies in the third. Frankie DiChiara, thanks to Chris Izmirlian's nifty puck handling behind the net, also scored in the third to make it 6-1.
"It's great to have a game this quick after break," said Yale captain Jesse Root, who also missed a few games with an injury heading into the break. "It showed a lot of things we need to work on, and we will have a better effort on Sunday. It was good to get the win against a good team without having our best effort."
Bulldog Bites: This contest did not count on Yale's record and none of the stats are included on the team's cumulative report… Jeff Malcolm '13, the goalie who helped the Elis win the 2013 national title, was back at Ingalls on an off-night from the AHL Hartford Wolfpack. He was the second intermission guest on Yale's Ivy Digital Network broadcast… The Red Stars beat the EJHL All-Stars 5-4 on Monday... Tickets are available for Sunday's 4 pm game with Holy Cross on Youth Day at the Whale. Yale players and coaches will be available for autographs following the game.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
image by Nicholas Carlino