NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Joe Snively showed a big crowd at Ingalls Rink tonight why he is one of college hockey's most exciting players. The Yale forward scored two goals and set up the other, while goalie Sam Tucker stopped all 26 shots, as the Bulldogs ran their unbeaten streak to six with a 3-0 win over No. 11 Union in ECAC Hockey action.
Snively's performance was crucial to the victory, but Tucker was just as spectacular at the other end of the ice. The senior stopped at least six grade-A scoring chances while recording his second career shutout.
The Elis had a 12-5 advantage in shots over the first period and had a late flurry that produced the game's first tally. Robbie DeMontis stole the puck from a defender behind the Union net and then kicked it out to Jack St. Ivany, who shot it off the goalie's pads. The rebound came out to the lower left circle and Snively got there first. The senior forward pulled it back and then flicked it over the goalie with 1.6 seconds left.
A double-minor called on Evan Smith with the score still 1-0 midway through the third period gave the visitors a golden opportunity to get even. However, the Elis turned the table and produced their first short-handed tally of the 2018-19 season on Snively's second of the night. The Virginia native took a lead feed from DeMontis (2 assists) and beat the nearest Dutchmen to the net. Snively's first attempt went off Darion Hanson's pad before he followed up to poke it home at 9:52.
"I was going to try to shoot five-hole, but I didn't get it off quick enough and it bounced up," said Snively, who leads the team with eight goals and 16 points. "I found it in the air, and luckily it went through his [goalie's] legs."
The Bulldogs put the game away with a power-play goal late in the third. St. Ivany converted a Snively feed with a blast from the point for his second of the year. The rookie blueliner is on the preliminary roster of the U.S. Junior National Team for the IIHF World Championships later this month.
Much of the offensive momentum came from the success at the other end. Tucker, who needed a few spectacular stops in the third to complete the shutout, helped the Elis blank the Dutchmen on six advantages.
"Our penalty-kill gave us a lot of momentum tonight," said Snively. "All game we were feeding off blocked shots, hits and scoring chances, so killing off those big penalties in the third was a great statement for our team. Tuck [Tucker] was playing great."
Tucker made an amazing save off an unlucky bounce early in the third and then knocked aside a few other close calls.
"This was an excellent team win," said Tucker. "The team played well together and made all the right plays for 60 minutes. We knew Union was a really good team, so this was a huge test tonight. I am very excited about the direction of the team."
Snively, who notched his 50th career goal tonight, now has 119 points and ranks 14th on Yale's career list. His 68 assists are 13th… Yale plays at No. 1 UMass Tuesday night. The Minutemen lost to Quinnipiac Friday night and then beat the Bobcats tonight.