New Haven, CT. – It was a night of much pomp and circumstance, as Yale raised its National Championship banner based on last year’s accomplishments but tonight was a new night and the banner did little more than signify just that. Early in the first, the play was controlled territoriality and speed wise by St. Lawrence. The Saints took an early 1-0 lead at five minutes, 30 seconds of the first period when Woody Hudson brought it down the left wall, shot a puck toward the net and it chromed into the net off a defender. The Saints doubled its lead late in the first, as Greg Carey took a turnover into the slot, all alone, and wristed it past the Yale goaltender. Yale brought it to within one late in the first when Kenny Agostino took a shot from the high slot that Jesse Root tipped past Saints goaltender, Matt Weninger to send the teams into the first intermission 2-1.
The second period belonged to Yale, as it outscored its opponent 2-1 in the period. St. Lawrence would make it 3-1 early in the second, as Justin Baker scored a power-play goal. But Yale dominated the rest of the period sending 16 shots at the SLU net. Anthony Day would score at 8:37 of the second period to make it 3-2 and in the waning moments of the period, Rob O’Gara put one past Matt Weninger to tie it at three going into the third period.
The third period was an entertaining battle as Yale and SLU traded chances throughout the period but neither team was able to solve the other’s goaltender. The overtime was much of the same, as Yale and St. Lawrence would skate to the 3-3 tie at Ingalls rink. Yale goes to 1-1-1, 0-0-1 ECAC on the young season and SLU goes to 4-2-1, 0-0-1.
What I Saw
- It was all St. Lawrence early in the first and second periods, but when Yale came on it looked pretty unstoppable at times to say the least. Yale was able to use its speed to its advantage, especially in the second period. It was able to take advantage of many strange bounces on the ice but unfortunately the chances didn’t turn into goals, early. In one instance Matt Beattie pick-pocketed a SLU defender, came in all alone, only to have the puck bounce off his stick when he was in prime scoring area in front of the net. This was just one of many weird bounces on this night.
- St. Lawrence came out and played the road game that it would have liked to have from the outset. It came out and took the play to a Yale team that was obviously rattled by the pregame ceremony and it did a great job holding this momentum throughout much of the first and early into the second periods. It composed itself well after a last second second period goal and had every answer for the Bulldogs in the third period.
What I Thought
- St. Lawrence had no problem keeping up Yale’s daunted speed for much of the game but it was in the moments it struggled to do so that Yale took advantage. Yale took advantage of seemingly every Saint mistake and late in the second was when it started to capitalize on those mistakes.
- Yale was classic tonight but it took a while. The nerves of raising a banner obviously got to the Bulldogs early and it was ever evident, as St. Lawrence poured shots and looked like the faster team at time. It wasn’t until late in the second period that the Bulldogs looked like the Bulldogs that we expected to see from the beginning of the season. When the sellout, stoic crowd got into the game Yale was a team to be reckoned with.
- It was my first time Yale’s storied Ingalls Rink, and in all honesty it won’t be my last visit as the rink is a must see for any College Hockey fan. It is a classic ECAC barn with a lot of charm and one heck of an atomosphere. It belongs up there with the best of them in the country. If you like atmosphere and great old hockey rinks, it is certainly a place to put on your bucket list.
- The third and overtime periods were two of the most entertaining periods of hockey a fan could ever ask for. For the 3500 in attendance they saw a whale of a hockey game, while a lot of the media and team personnel agreed that it may have been one of the crispest this early in the season anyone had seen. The speed of both teams was entertaining and both teams look poised for solid, entertaining seasons.
What They Said
St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said,
“”That was an excellent hockey game and it was a lot of fun to watch from the bench.”
“Greg (Carey) played a lot better for us tonight. For him to go four game without a goal it is quite the slump. I thought he played pretty well. If he puts a few good games together those chances will go in the net.”
St. Lawrence forward Greg Carey said,
“It sucks to give up a goal with a second left in the period but we trust our system and the guys that play it. We just grinded it away and we just kept it simple.”
Yale Coach Keith Allain said,
“It was a very entertaining hockey game. It was up and down, with action at both nets. Both teams skated hard and left it all on the ice.”
“They (St. Lawrence) came after us pretty hard early. They jumped on us early. We did a decent job weathering the storm , early.”
Yale Forward Jesse Root said,
“It was a decent effort by us but I don’t think we are completely satisfied with it. I don’t think we played a full 60 minutes and there were lapses. We need to do a better job as a team, playing a better team game with our structure.”
What Else You Should Know
Yale will host a red hot Clarkson team tomorrow night, who comes into the matchup at 7-1-1. Clarkson of course was ranked first in my week 3 power rankings on Wednesday. If anything it will be a barometer on where both teams stand in the early going.
St. Lawrence will head to Brown for a game on Saturday night. Brown was defeated by Clarkson on Friday night by a 4-3 score. St. Lawrence will look to build upon its solid early season success.