Bulldogs Play Holy Cross Saturday at 4
SOUTH BEND, IN. – They skated to an overtime tie six days ago in Potsdam, N.Y., and the only difference today was that one team had to advance in the 2016 Shillelagh Tournament. It goes down as a 2-2 OT draw for the NCAA, but the tournament requires Yale or Clarkson to advance, and the Golden Knights took the shootout, 3-1.
The score, the shots (29-29) and the power-play chances (4) were the same. The road to those final numbers included Yale erasing an early, 1-0 deficit with two straight in the second period. The ice tilted a little for Clarkson over the last 25 minutes as it had 11 of the 18 shots on target and used a tip-in tally with 5:24 left in regulation to even the contest.
The Elis prevented the Knights from scoring with an advantage, but it wasn't enough to get a victory. An excellent middle period provided many opportunities to put this game away. Those grade-A chances didn't register.
Clarkson had an 11-8 edge in shots and notched the first period's only goal, 3:14 into the game.
The Bulldogs came out buzzing in the second period with a pair of goals to take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. Yale, which outshot the Golden Knights 14-7, got things started with an advantage early in the frame.
Defensemen Adam Larkin and Henry Hart connected on a pass at the point and then Hart dropped it for Frankie DiChiara, who was cycling through. The senior forward zipped around the top of the left circle into the high slot and then unleashed a low snap shot that whizzed past Jake Kielly's glove at 7:05 for DiChiara's second tally of the season.
The Blue continued winning the small battles to help generate more shots. One of those battles in the neutral zone, combined with Yale's up-tempo mode, created the second goal of the period.
Henry Hart moved it up ice to Ryan Hitchcock and then bolted over the blueline with offensive support. Hitchcock dropped it for John Hayden at the top of the left circle. The captain skated a few strides and then sent a crossing feed that was one-timed by Joe Snively at 18:56 to make it 2-1.
"Joe [Snively] did a great job of letting me know he was there," said Hayden, who leads the team with 10 points.
Meanwhile back at the other end, Patrick Spano (27 saves) was making some big saves. The senior backstop knocked away all seven shots in the second and eight of nine in the third. The one that got past him was re-directed in the slot and Spano had no chance to make the save.
"We played a lot of great hockey tonight, but winning usually requires 60 minutes of solid play. We'll learn from this and start focusing on the task at hand tomorrow," said Hayden.
All three Clarkson shooters hit the net in the shootout to send the Knights to the championship contest.
Yale skates against Holy Cross in the third-place game at 4 pm on Saturday. The Crusaders lost to Notre Dame 5-3... The Bulldogs, who skated at The Compton Family Ice Arena on Thanksgiving Day, flew to Chicago on Thursday morning and then drove down to South Bend. Yale's holiday dinner was at Tippecanoe Place in South Bend, a mansion built by legendary automobile maker Clem Studebaker in 1889 that was turned into a restaurant… The Elis are staying at the Morris Inn, the official hotel of the university, which is like living a Notre Dame fan's dream. Everything in the hotel is ND Fighting Irish, logos, colors, images, etc… Tonight's game was a non-conference game. Playing ECAC Hockey schools in tournaments is normal for the Elis. Most recently, Yale played Princeton in the 2015 Capital City Classic… The last time the Bulldogs played in a Thanksgiving weekend tournament was during the 1999-2000 season when UMass-Lowell hosted UConn, Air Force and Yale at Tsongas Arena. The Elis lost to the Falcons before beating the Huskies. That was the last time Yale and UConn met at a non-campus site. They will do it again on Jan. 7 at the XL Center in Hartford, the new home of UConn hockey… Alex Lyon '17 stopped all 28 shots he faced on Wednesday night in his first professional shutout. The Lehigh Valley Phantoms beat Binghamton 1-0 in AHL action.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director – firstname.lastname@example.org