SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Ted Hart hit the net four times in a two-point weekend conference set for the Yale men's hockey team. Three of those came tonight in a 5-3 win that ended Union's unbeaten streak at five games.
Hart's first collegiate hat trick, spread out evenly over three periods, included the game-winner with 5:58 left in the final frame.
After the Dutchmen evened the score at 3-3 early in the third, the Bulldogs jumped all over a great scoring chance created initially by junior defenseman Anthony Walsh, who got to a loose puck and poked it over to Robbie DeMontis. The sophomore forward came in over the blueline with two blueliners closing in on him as he entered the right circle. Hart sprinted into the slot with space and DeMontis threaded the needle and allowed his teammate to one-time the pass past Union goalie Jake Kupsky.
"I came off the bench from a line change, and Robbie [DeMontis] had the puck in the far offensive corner. He saw me streaking into the zone and made a great pass to the slot where I was able to one time the puck past the goalie," said Hart.
The Bulldogs came out buzzing after the opening face-off, putting eight shots on target over the first seven minutes. That eighth shot did the trick, and it was set up by sophomore Luke Stevens, who made a nifty, backhanded toss through a defenseman's legs to Kevin O'Neill.
O'Neill, who grew up in nearby Latham, N.Y., one-timed the feed from the low slot through the goalie's legs at 6:49 of the opening period to take a 1-0 lead.
Goals have been tough to come by in recent games, power-play tallies have been even tougher to find for the Blue. However, the visitors jumped all over their first (and only) chance with an advantage to make it 2-0 late in the first.
Sophomore defenseman Matt Foley fired a low shot from the point that bounced off the goalie or some traffic in front of the crease. Ted Hart, who got Yale's goal last night, was on the left side and pounced on the rebound with an open left side to hit.
The Dutchmen cut the lead in half with a couple of minutes left in the first.
Hart notched his second of the night 6:47 into the second, but Yale's two-goal lead only lasted 14 seconds. The Elis took the 3-2 advantage into the third period, but it took a ton of blocked shots to accomplish that.
A pair of Bulldog penalties, including a 5-minute major, gave the home team a 5-on-3 for two minutes, and the major carried into the final frame. Yale's special teams, which were 1-for-1 on the power play and killed off all five advantages, came up big in this stretch to avoid a complete swing of momentum.
Yale junior goalie Sam Tucker earned the win in net with 27 saves and numerous quality stops. After the long penalty-kill, he still needed a number of big plays to get the victory. A pair of saves with under a minute left may have been the most crucial.
Union eventually pulled its netminder for an extra skater, which allowed O'Neill to notch his second goal of the night.
"The team did a great job responding to the loss on Friday," said Hart. "We were more physical and won more 50-50 battles. Our defensemen did a nice job with getting pucks to the net and our forwards were successful at creating traffic and finding rebounds. Hopefully we can build off this win and carry it into next weekend."
The next contest for the Elis is a week from tonight at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport against Sacred Heart.