Lyon Stops 30 Shots, 6 of 7 PPs
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – An inspirational penalty kill was the ignition the Bulldogs needed to grab two important ECAC Hockey points. No. 13 Yale killed off six of seven power plays by No. 18 Colgate on the way to a 4-1 win before the second Ingalls Rink sellout this weekend.
On a night with 92 combined penalty minutes, the Yale special teams allowed fewer than two shots on target per advantage while freshman goalie Alex Lyon stood on his head with 30 saves.
Penalties and injuries forced the Bulldogs (11-6-4, 6-5-3 ECAC) to play most of the game with nine forwards, so having a 34-31 advantage in shots on goal was quite an accomplishment.
Ryan Obuchowski had a goal and an assist and Kenny Agostino had two assists as Yale scored the first three goals of the game and then tightened up the defense even more to sweep the season series with the Raiders.
"We were sharp tonight. It was the epitome of a total team effort," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach. "You have to give the guys a lot of credit. The guys certainly had a heightened sense of awareness on the bench."
The Blue used the momentum from an excellent penalty kill to fuel the only tally of the opening period, the result of a blocked shot by Obuchowski. Yale's sophomore defenseman went down to block a shot from the point and the puck kicked out to the blueline. Agostino grabbed it and sent a lead pass for Nicholas Weberg, who had jumped out of the penalty box and was sprinting up the center of the ice. Weberg, with a defender a step away, took it to the low slot and then flicked a wrister stick side on Eric Mihalik at 14:16 for his third of the year.
Lyon and Mihalik were busy in the first, combining for 26 saves, including a variety of top-notch stops. The two were at it again in the second as the action heated up another notch. That included 21 minutes of penalties and majors for both sides.
"I was in awe of him in the beginning of the season on just how calm, cool and collected he was for a freshman," said Agostino of his goalie. "He's really a guy we can lean on because he is that good and special of a goaltender."
For the second time, a Yale penalty kill ignited an offensive outburst. Just after wiping out a two minute bench penalty, Yale went on a 3-on-2 rush that ended with Charles Orzetti's put-back from the slot. Agostino, who got it from Orzetti in the Yale end, carried the puck through the neutral zone, hit Jesse Root with a pass and the captain put one on net with the big sophomore forward crashing the net. Orzetti, smacked it back inside the right post at 8:18.
"I was a little concerned about us being fatigued because we had a short bench and we were using a lot of guys," said Allain. "But in terms of focus and toughness, there were no questions at all."
There were eight different penalties called over the last four minutes of the second, and the Raiders had a 5-on-3 for nearly a minute late in the second. Rob O'Gara blocked a shot and Lyon made a nifty save before another series of penalties canceled the two-man advantage.
In keeping with the trend, the Bulldogs followed a third-period penalty kill with a goal to go up 3-0. This one came off the stick of Obuchowski, whose rising shot from the top of the right circle went over the goalie's shoulder at 8:53. The Eli blueliner was in position to find the net because of a Frankie DiChiara pass.
"Any time you can win in this league, it's a great accomplishment," said Agostino, who has 21 points this season. "That's a Yale hockey win right there."
The Raiders pulled Mihalik with 1:59 left for the extra skater and a face-off in the Yale end. Lyon made a great diving save on Ryan Johnston with 68 seconds left and then his teammates put the game away. Gus Young took a pass from O'Gara in his own end and flipped it from the slot into an empty net with 41 ticks left.
"We had all kinds of guys playing out of position. [Matt] Killian did a great job up there [at forward], but he's just one of the many," said Allain.
BULLDOG BITES: With 3:57 left in the second, Matt Beattie was given a 5-minute major for kneeing with a game misconduct (Colgate got a minor at the same time); Colgate's Kyle Baun got the other misconduct (head butting) in the second period… Freshman forward Dan O'Keefe suited up for his first collegiate game.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
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