Bulldogs Come Back For OT Win Against RPI

TROY, N.Y. – John Hayden, the Chicago Blackhawks draft pick, led the Bulldogs with 16 goals last winter. He has three in as many games this season, but the last two came in rapid succession tonight. Hayden scored goals 42 seconds apart between the end of the third period and the start of overtime as finishing touches in a comeback that gave the Yale men's hockey team a 3-2 victory over RPI at the Houston Field House.

The Bulldogs (2-1, 1-1 ECAC) erased a 2-0 deficit over the last three minutes of regulation with power-play goals from Frankie DiChiara and Hayden, who now leads the team with three goals and four points.

Twenty-three seconds into the overtime, on another advantage, the Yale captain got another chance to find the net. Ryan Hitchcock had moved the puck to Joe Snively, who sent it toward the net.

"We executed the play we drew up during intermission. Everyone played their role and it paid off," said Hayden."

The shot was stopped by Rensselaer goalie Chase Perry (35 saves), but the rebound came out to the edge of the crease. Hayden, with defenders on both sides of him, got the backhand of his stick on the puck and flicked it inside the right post for another power-play score to give the No. 16 Blue its second win of the year.

"It was a solid team win. The guys kept their composure even though we were behind and continued to play a disciplined game," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach, who has seen a lot of great Yale comebacks over the years, but maybe none this late in the game.

The Elis, who had a 38-21 edge in shots, got on the scoreboard with a power-play tally with 2:59 left in the third. Adam Larkin took a pass from Chandler Lindstrand and then fired a shot on net. The puck went through Perry and came out to the right side of the cage. DiChiara, who was coming around the net, banged home the rebound for his first goal of the year.

RPI got an advantage with 2:30 left, which appeared to be the clincher for the Engineers, but the Elis got most of the puck possession. That eventually led to a whistle on the home team and a power play for Yale with 55.9 seconds left. The visitors jumped all over that while pulling Patrick Spano (19 saves) from the net for the extra skater.

Hayden, using a defenseman to screen the goalie on the two-man advantage, fired a shot from the top of the left circle that found an opening with 19 seconds left.

"We knew we were due for a few goals. The persistence we displayed ultimately won us the game," said Hayden.

The Engineers, who won 3-2 in OT last year at Troy, took another penalty with 3.9 seconds, and that proved to be the most significant infraction of the night.

"Our power play came up big against a penalty-kill unit that was operating at 94 percent," said Allain, whose Bulldogs are home next weekend with Colgate and Cornell.