Cats Take 1-0 Lead in Best-of-Three
HAMDEN, Conn. – The nice thing about a best-of-three series is you have an opportunity to erase a bad night by coming back the next day. The No. 16 Yale men's hockey team has that chance Saturday night after dropping a 6-2 decision to No. 6 ranked Quinnipiac in the first game of the ECAC Quarterfinal Playoffs at High Point Solutions Arena.
The Bulldog power play connected for two goals, but that was one of the few Yale bright spots tonight.
"We never really got anything going," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach, whose squad's win streak ended at three games. "I didn't like any of our periods. Those were three sluggish periods."
Quinnipiac (23-8-6) outshot Yale 40-19 while creating tons of scoring chances.
The No. 6 seed visitors were very fortunate to get off the ice after one period down just a goal. The Bulldogs (17-10-5) had a few decent chances to get on the board, but most of the grade-A opportunities came at the other end with the Bobcats having a 12-5 edge in shots.
Yale freshman goalie Alex Lyon, who finished with 29 saves over two periods, was up for the challenge with 11 saves in the opening frame. He made a great kick save on a close-range put-back that looked like an easy goal.
Things got worse for the Blue in the second. Shortly after defenseman Rob O'Gara made a stick save on a puck sliding along the goal line, the Bobcats intercepted a pair of break-out passes and converted both for a 3-0 lead. They added a power-play tally midway through the period on the way to outshooting the Elis 21-7.
Yale used a power-play opportunity late in the second to get on the board and cut the margin to 4-1. Tommy Fallen sent the puck low to the right circle and Jesse Root passed it across to the left circle where Ryan Obuchowski was moving in. The Eli blueliner one-timed the feed into an open left side for his sixth goal of the season.
Rookie netminder Patrick Spano (5 saves), who had played in four games before tonight, took the cage starting the third period, and his teammates honored his arrival by jumping all over another advantage.
Obuchowski passed the puck to the point for Stu Wilson and the sophomore forward took a few steps before throwing a low wrister toward the net. John Hayden was in the low slot trying to screen the Quinnipiac goalie. The shot from the freshman winger came within his reach and he re-directed it over Michael Garteig's shoulder at 2:19 to make it 4-2.
The Bulldogs certainly grabbed some of the momentum back with two straight tallies, but that didn't last long enough. The visitors couldn't stay out of the penalty box, losing its own advantage before giving up a fifth goal on a 4-on-4.
Game two is 7 p.m. Saturday and can be seen live on America ONE Sports and heard on AM-1340, WYBC… Patrick Spano saw his first action since Dec. 6 against Dartmouth… The game was stopped for five minutes late in the first when a Mike Doherty got cut, was taken into the Yale locker room and left a little mess on the ice that needed to be cleared. He came back to the bench to start the second… Yale used the same lineup as last weekend.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
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