Seniors Celebrated in Victory
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale seniors Jesse Root, Gus Young and Kenny Agostino got to celebrate their last home regular season game the best way, with a dominating win. Five different players hit the net and Alex Lyon earned the shutout as the No. 14 Bulldogs beat Rensselaer 5-0 before a sellout crowd at Ingalls Rink.
Yale, which finished sixth in the ECAC standings and will host Harvard next weekend in a best-of-three playoff series, outshot the Engineers 41-18 to finish the regular season with a 16-9-5 overall mark, 10-8-4 ECAC.
Lyon, another freshman, recorded his second shutout by making 18 saves.
"It feels good to end the weekend on a positive note," said Lyon. "We just did a great job. We knew we had to be patient for scoring after last night but it finally came."
After a scoreless opening period with low save totals, the Bulldogs broke the bubble covering the goal lines with an even-strength tally midway through the middle frame.
They were close on a number of the first 17 shots on target, including a flurry of near misses, but the 18th went in the back of the net when Root pounced on a rebound in the crease. The play started with John Hayden carrying in from center ice and going around the right side of the defense through the circle. Hayden angled in and flicked a back-hander on RPI netminder Scott Diebold, who stopped it with his pads. The Yale captain followed up on the rush and won the race to the sitting puck for his 13th of the year.
"I'm really proud of the way the team played tonight," said Root. "It was a great win for us. It's really encouraging going into playoffs. All in all, it was just a great night for us."
The Bulldogs buzzed the RPI end the entire second period and outshot the Engineers 18-3. Hayden was responsible for a few of those shots and finished with a game-high six.
"I thought John [Hayden] was a force physically and offensively," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach. "You look at the game and he could've had three or four goals. It's only a matter of time before the puck goes in the net for him. He's a lot to handle the way he's playing."
Yale came out firing in the third and bumped the lead to a pair on Day's sixth of the year. The junior wing took a pass from Doherty and the two raced into the offensive zone with a 2-on-1. Day, on the left, held into the circle and fired a wrister off the inside of the far pipe and into the back of the cage.
Matt Killian ignited the game's third goal for the home team when he sent a blueline-to-blueline pass to DiChiara along the left boards. The freshman forward skated to the top of the circle and blasted a slapshot that went between the goalie's arm and chest and into the net with 7:40 left.
The only power-play tally of the night came with 1:52 left. Doherty, a step from the extended goal line halfway between the boards and the cage, fired a low shot inside the far post.
A Yale defenseman put the finishing touches on the Yale offensive output. Obuchowski's slapshot from the point with 1:18 remaining was the 24th for the Bulldog blueliners this winter.
"We're playing for our seniors," said Day. "That's the biggest thing tonight. Those are three of my best friends and three of the greatest players in Yale history."
Yale freshman Tim Bonner saw his first collegiate action tonight and was +2. He and Anthony Day were the two changes in the lineup from Friday, replacing Matthew Beattie and Chris Izmirlian... The 18 shots on goal allowed by Yale are the second fewest this season. Merrimack had just 15 at the Whale back in November.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
Don Clark image