NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Joe Snively had a game-high seven shots on target tonight while creating great scoring chances for his teammates all night. His final shot was the one that everyone at Ingalls Rink will remember because it gave the Yale men's hockey team a 3-2 win in overtime against Arizona State.
Snively's team-best 12th goal of the year came at 2:28 of the five-minute extra session and gave the Elis their first OT win. It also helped the Bulldogs improve to 10-11-1 overall on a night they outshot the Sun Devils 46-25.
Yale junior goalie Sam Tucker stopped 23 shots and came up with some acrobatic saves to earn the win in the first of a two-game weekend set with the Division I independent from Tempe.
"There was a lot to like tonight," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach. "Our penalty-kill, our fore-check were good and we created a lot of scoring chances."
The Blue trailed 1-0 after a period despite having a 24-4 shots advantage and three power plays, including a 5-on-3.
When asked about the shot disparity combined with the early deficit, Allain responded, "average players get frustrated, elite players get determined." His players certainly were determined, trailing twice in this game.
Yale continued to put pucks on the ASU net in the second and finally broke through when JM Piotrowski picked a Sun Devil pass from behind the net and flicked a shot from the slot past Joey Daccord's stick at 8:58.
Both teams put 10 pucks on target in the middle frame and both hit the net once. Tucker and the ASU netminder came up with huge stops a few times while facing a combined six power plays.
The home squad took advantage of another Arizona State turnover to get even again early in the third, and it looked very similar to the Piotrowski tally, This time it was captain Ryan Hitchcock stepping in front of a breakout pass inside the visitor's blueline. The senior captain took a few strides, came in alone on Daccord and snapped off a wrister stick side to make it 2-2.
The teams combined for 20 shots in the third, which included end-to-end action with great saves and scoring chances before the buzzer sounded with the teams still tied.
Midway through the OT, Dominic Garcia raced into the Yale end and fired a shot off target that bounced around the boards and headed up ice. Snively won the race to the puck and had a 2-on-1 with some time to decide. When the junior got into the left circle, he held for a moment and then fired a shot inside the far post.
"We've been talking about putting shots over the goalie's elbow," said Hitchcock. "Joe put it in a perfect place."
The two teams meet again Saturday night at 7.
Alex Lyon made his NHL regular-season debut for the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday at Washington in a relief role that including stopping Alex Ovechkin's breakaway. His first start was last night at New Jersey in a 4-3 loss to the Devils, who scored twice on the power play and on two re-directions near the crease. Lyon is the second Yale goaltender to play in the NHL and the first since Mike O'Neill '89 played for Anaheim in 1996-97… Henry Hart's sister, Annie Hart, qualified for her first Olympic Games and will be in South Korea with the U.S. Ski Team as a cross country specialist… This weekend in ECAC Hockey features a concussion awareness focus through the Headway Foundation… The U.S. Olympic Hockey Team, with 4 Elis on the roster, open play in South Korea on Feb. 14 vs. Slovenia at 7:10 AM ET on NBCSN.