It could have been billed as a matchup of two of the best goalies in college hockey, Kyle Hayton and Alex Lyon, but it turned out to be something else. Both Hayton and Lyon had their struggles, although Hayton was the better of the two most of the night. Yale got a late winner with about a minute remaining from Ryan Obuchowski on a two on one pass from Joe Snively. Yale continued its hot streak defeating St. Lawrence, 4-3.
Yale had a marked advantage in shots and possession for much of the first two periods, but the Saints came on late despite allowing Yale a late winner.The Bulldogs outshot its opponent, 34-19 and out-attempted them 66-38 .In the thrid period the Saints held an 8-6 shot advantage, as it was the better team after Yale took a 3-2 lead.
The Bulldogs have now won six in a row and have just one loss since December 5th, a stretch of 15 games that has seen them go 12-1-2. Yale also clinched a first round bye and a home series in the ECAC quarterfinals. Yale still has a shot at the ECAC regular season crown, but it sits five points behind rival Quinnipiac with just three games to go. The two will play in Hamden next week, which might not mean much in terms of the standings if the Bobcats clinch tonight with a win.
St. Lawrence, who had also been hot, dropped its second game to Yale in about a month. The Saints entered with a six game run of their own, at 5-0-1. It is in a tie for the all important fourth place in the ECAC standings with Dartmouth. Those two will play next week in Canton, which could decide the last team that gets a bye.
- The Saints gave up too many odd-man rushes and were burned on the last one. John Hayden made a pass to Joe Snively and Snively passed off to Obuchowski who put it into the wide open net. This is unlike SLU, which prides itself on its defensive systems and responsibility. Yale’s Stu Wilson was especially pesky at the blueline causing multiple turnovers that went for odd-man rushes. He drew a key penalty in the second period on one, that also led to a Yale goal. So for SLU, they were costly.
- Despite not getting the best performance from usual stud goalie Alex Lyon, the Bulldogs were still able to pull out the win. Just three months ago, this was a game that Yale would have lost as it didn’t have the scoring consistency to recover from giving up three goals. John Hayden and joe Snively were especially dangerous. Snively has turned into quite the playmaker for the Elis, while John Hayden has found his long lost scoring touch that many were expecting the second he stepped on campus. Its top lines are looking dangerous and the Elis are now looking like a serious NCAA contender.
- St. Lawrence, despite losing, also proved to me that it had turned the corner.The Saints looked like a confident bunch that could win any game presented to them. For them getting the bye will be all the more important going into the ECAC tournament. It now sits in a fourth place tie with Dartmouth, with a huge game against the Big Green looming next Friday. Despite Hayton having an off night by his standards and the Saints being outshot heavily in the second period, they hung on and almost pulled out another big result after its win against Quinnipiac last week.
- Alex Lyon and Kyle Hayton had unusual nights. Lyon gave up three that he would probably have had most nights and Hayton gave up four. For two goalies that allow under two goals per game, seeing seven between them was hardly what I expected. Quite frankly, both have to be better and will be going forward. Alex Lyon admitted his interesting night and Carvel admitted his goalie’s by saying he knows he has to be better…
- I could totally see these two teams playing in Lake Placid, either in a final or in the semis. Both teams can score (now anyway), both teams have good defensive systems (not shown tonight) and both have great goalies. To me if there any two teams in the ECAC that are set up for tournaments, it is these two.
SLU coach Greg Carvel
“We gave up a few too many odd-man rushes. That was a tough way to lose a game with about a minute to go. Our mindset, not allowing them to jump out of the zone like they did and not being able to defend it is very frustrating to me. Very good game and I thought we did a better job tonight creating offense then we did last time against them. I thought when it was 5 on 5 I liked our game, the special teams shot us in the foot. The goals we gave up tonight, were just too easy.”
“I thought Alex (Lyon) had an off night but Hayton got beat up high on every goal. So he has to be better too. I don’t care who you play or how many shots you give up, you can’t give up four goals. Kyle knows that, it is his job to keep it to two or under.”
Yale coach Keith Allain
“It was awfully entertaining wasn’t it? They are a good team and they make you work for every inch of ice. They scored first in the first, we had to fight back. They scored first in the second, we had to fight back again. I thought our guys showed a great deal of resiliency and this was important win for us.”
On the winning goal: “It was a great pass up the ice by Hayden and it was a great pass by Joe (Snively) across the ice and the Obi made a terrific shot.”
“Alex is the best goalie in the country and we know he will be there to make a big save and he did that in the third period.”
Yale goalie Alex Lyon
“I would just like to start off and say, I really struggled tonight and felt that I didn’t play well. It really speaks to my team that they were able gut out a win like that against a team like that. Cant say enough about them.”