Yale Beats Brown
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale Bulldogs (7-3, 3-2 Ivy), down one after a four-goal Brown (5-5, 1-3 Ivy) scoring run with 8:03 left in the fourth, exploded to net the final four scores in an 11-8 win and take command of their quest for a fourth-consecutive appearance in the Ivy League tournament.
Yale began the night the way it finished against Dartmouth. The defense forced six turnovers and allowed no shots, pitching a period shutout, ensuring the ball spent the lion's share of the period in Brown territory. The offense jumped at the opportunity and opened up a three score advantage.
Brandon Mangan found a streaking Conrad Oberbeck to open the scoring, then switched roles and buried a Ryan McCarthy assist deep between the poles. Shane Thornton finished the run, driving into his defender to generate separation before unleashing a bounce shot into the net. The Blue was cruising.
Brown, however, refused to go quietly. The Bears, fighting to stay alive after two straight Ivy league losses, woke up and scored four of the next six goals to cut the lead to one just 25 seconds into the third period.
The Bulldog defense clamped down for the next 13 minutes while the offense pushed the lead back up to three. Ryan McCarthy dished out two assists, the first to Mangan for his second of the day, then to Harry Kucharczyk. Up 7-4 with 1:40 to go in the third, it would be smooth sailing to the Bulldogs' third Ivy win.
With 1:35 left in the third, the Bears cut the lead to two. With 23 seconds left, they cut it to one. Five minutes later, they tied it up, then took their first lead with 8:07 left in the fourth. The Bulldogs had fallen into quicksand, and their hopes of reaching a fourth-consecutive Ivy League tournament were slipping through their gloved fingers.
"We definitely came out to a good start, but we have to give the credit to Brown. They played us tough and came back,' said captain Michael McCormack.
Come back they did, but it wasn't enough to topple the Bulldogs. Yale hadn't connected on any of their first four man-up opportunities, but with six minutes remaining, Kirby Zdrill seized the advantage to tie the game. Brandon Mangan followed suit two minutes later, netting his third of the day and the game winner. Not finished, Zdrill added some insurance, and a hat trick of his own, before Colin Flaherty reprised his role from last weekend and iced the game, putting Yale up 11-8 with 41 seconds to go.
A game that could have gone either way, the Bulldog's showed immense grit and determination to pull out an ever-important Ivy League Victory.
"It was a tough Ivy League match. It was tough conditions - it was cold. The team played hard and that counted in the end," said coach Shay, proud of the way his team battled, "They were doubling, and we scored a few at the end. It got a little chippy, but it's a hotly contested game in the Ivy League, so it's to be expected."
Brandon Mangan ended the day with three goals and five points, Kirby Zdrill improved upon his nation-leading scoring percentage, scoring on three of four shots, and Ryan McCarthy dished out a team-high three assists.
Eric Natale stopped nine shots, four in the second and five in the fourth, while Dylan Levings won 11 of 20 Faceoffs. Harry Kucharczyk had an all-around great performance, scoring a goal, picking up five ground balls and causing three turnovers.
The Bulldogs next take the field Monday at 7pm at home against Stony Brook.
By Wes Moyer, Yale Sports Publicity Intern