Yale Advances to Semifinals

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Bulldogs will make their third trip to the conference tournament championship weekend in five seasons thanks to an all-around dominating performance in the best-of-three ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals at Ingalls Rink. No. 13 Yale got goals from three different players and limited the opposition to 17 shots in a 3-0 win over St. Lawrence to advance to the semifinals next Friday night at Atlantic City, N.J.

Tommy Fallen had a goal and an assist, Stu Wilson had two helpers and Jeff Malcolm stopped everything that came his way, including six power plays, to earn the win in net.  That’s no small order considering the Saints (18-16-4) had one of the nation’s best power plays heading into the weekend series.

“Very pleased with the way our guys played all six periods. Tonight they had us under the gun, more than last night,” said Keith Allain ’80, Yale’s Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, whose team seeks a third ECAC Tournament title. “Their power play is the absolute strength of their hockey team. For us to keep them off the board on that was a real momentum swing for us.”

The Elis (18-10-2), winners of five straight games and sitting seventh in the Pairwise rankings after tonight’s win, converted two of four advantages on the way to ending St. Lawrence’s season.

The Bulldogs took advantage of their second advantage to grab the game’s first goal late in the opening frame. The puck worked around from Wilson to Kenny Agostino and then to Fallen at the point. The sophomore blueliner collected in the high slot and blasted a rising shot that went bar down. It was the only tally of a period that had the Blue with a 14-4 shots advantage.

Clinton Bourbonais’ five-minute major boarding call in the second minute of the middle period not only meant an early end to the junior forward’s night, it gave SLU a great opportunity to get a few goals. The Yale penalty-kill unit, which did not get used Friday night, limited the Saints to three shots on target and then killed off a minor a few minutes after.

“That [kill] was a huge momentum swing. Everybody was really up on it, and we didn’t get down on ourselves. We pulled through and were very successful,” said Fallen.

Malcolm came up with the big saves when needed and the special teams unit won the battles to loose pucks and kept sending pucks to the other end.

Allain was impressed with his senior goalie’s performance. “The shot totals were low tonight, but they had some really good chances. They have some guys who can really shoot the puck. I thought he [Malcolm] had an outstanding weekend.”

After killing off the fifth of the night, the Elis thought they had made it 2-0 with 8:48 left in the second, but a goal was waved off due to a high stick on the shot.  Agostino backhanded his own rebound out of the air above his waist.

The home team still managed to make it 2-0 with 5:42 remaining after a Jeremy Wick penalty. Fallen fired from the point off Matt Weninger’s pads and Jesse Root pounced on the rebound with a backhander five-hole at 14:18.

The Elis increased the lead to three with an extra man on the ice during a delayed penalty. Colin Dueck got the puck to a speeding Antoine Laganiere, who skated into the middle slot before wristing a shot stick side on Weninger for his 14th goal of the season.

The Bulldogs completed a weekend series sweep by answering SLU’s first goal in game one with nine straight goals while allowing the visitors just 30 shots on goal over six periods.
“We really went out and executed everything our coaches talked about,” said Fallen.

SLU was the first Yale opponent to go on the power play in three games; the Eli penalty-kill unit did not get used the last two games… Andrew Miller’s assist on the Jesse Root goal was his 110th career helper, which is three shy of Bob Brooke’s school record… Jeff Malcolm registered his fifth career shutout in his final appearance at Ingalls Rink. That puts him one behind Ryan Rondeau and Alec Richards for the Yale record.