Tucker Stops 29, Hayden Gets 10th
BOSTON, Mass. – Sam Tucker has made three collegiate starts for the Bulldogs, each against nationally ranked teams. Yale's sophomore goalie got his third chance tonight against No. 6 Boston University, and he registered a career-high 29 saves over 40 minutes of work in a 5-2 loss at Agganis Arena.
Tucker, who faced No. 20 St. Lawrence on the road and No. 14 Union at home, stopped 20 shots in the first and nine in the second tonight. His busy opening period was the most saves for an Eli goalie in a frame since Alex Lyon stopped 20 shots against Quinnipiac in 2013.
The Terriers put 22 shots on target in the first. A number of those saves by the Wilton, Conn., native were quality chances, including a rush to the net by Patrick Harper that ended in a collision with Tucker late in the period.
BU lit the lamp midway through the frame on a shot that bounced off a player in the slot. They added another in the last minute of the period to take a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.
The Elis, who had 13 shots, had some quality looks at the BU net with pucks on their sticks in the opening frame. John Hayden had a one-timer in the slot, Ryan Hitchcock made a nice move on a wrap-around attempt and Joe Snively fired a shot from the slot that bounced off goalie Jake Oettinger with 5:20 left.
The home team got two more early in the second before the Bulldogs got on the board. Hayden, the Yale captain and leading goal scorer notched his 10th of the year to make it 4-1. He got the puck from Snively on the right side and skated into the low slot with some space. Hayden went forehand and then quickly the other side of his blade before he flicked a backhander blocker side at 6:49.
Two pipes later in the second prevented the Blue from making it a 4-3 game. Frankie DiChiara hit the cross bar on a snapshot from the top of the right circle before Snively showed his blazing speed and power. The sophomore winger took a lead pass while racing a defenseman to the puck. Snively fought off the defender's stick, got control and wristed a shot off the red metal.
Instead of going into the third trailing by a goal, the Bulldogs gave up a power-play tally late in the second to make it 5-1.
The visitors continued to battle in the third, which resulted in Hitchcock's first goal of the year at 3:42. The junior center who leads the team with 13 assists grabbed the puck after defenseman Chandler Lindstrand pevented a clear and moved the puck along the left boards. Hitchcock swooped in, took possession and skated to the edge of the circle before bouncing a wrister off the right post and into the net.
The Bulldogs blanked the Terriers the rest of the way and outshot the home team 9-7 in the final period. Senior Patrick Spano replaced Tucker in the third and got plenty of action while stopping all seven shots he faced.
Agganis Arena (6,221), which opened in 2005, is named after Aristotle George "Harry" Agganis (nicknamed "The Golden Greek"), a 1940s BU baseball and football star who played two seasons with the Boston Red Sox… The Dec. 28 Ottawa game is Holiday Toy Drive Night at the Whale. Help the Yale New Haven Hospital Auxiliary Toy Closet by bringing a new toy to Ingalls that night in exchange for one GA ticket… Yale Hockey Alumni Weekend is Feb. 17/18 with Harvard and Dartmouth coming to town.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director – firstname.lastname@example.org