Saturday, March 12, 2011

St. Lawrence Tops Yale 4-3 in OT

New Haven, Connecticut --- The Yale Men's Ice Hockey team didn't make things easy for themselves last night, losing 4-3 in overtime to St. Lawrence in Game 1 of their best-of-three weekend series in the Quarterfinal round of the ECAC Men's Ice Hockey Championship Tournament. Yale went into the game as the favorite, and, despite surrendering a fluke goal 53 seconds in after goaltender Ryan Rondeau completely mis-played a looping dump-in from St. Lawrence defender Patrick Raley, Yale looked to take the first game from the visiting Saints.

Yale is led by a powerful offensive corps of Hobey Baker hopefuls Denny Kearney and Broc Little, who each had multi-point games last night. Kearney opened Yale's scoring 3:10 into the game to tie it up 1-1 on a power play goal. Yale then began to apply continuous pressure on the undersized St. Lawrence squad, which resulted in two additional power play goals from Yale captain Jimmy Martin. Going into the third period with a 3-1 lead, Yale looked to have complete control of the game.

St. Lawrence had other thoughts. Led by senior captain Aaron Bogosian, the older brother of Atlanta Thrasher defender Zach Bogosian, the Saints played a very physical third period and tied it up at 13:47 with a power play goal from first year forward Greg Carey.

The overtime period was a very even contest overall, which mirrored the game as a whole. Each team had its chances, but it was St. Lawrence's Carey who put it away to win Game 1 for the Saints.

Walking away from Ingalls Rink last night, the student body looked deflated. Yale gave up a 3-1 lead, and missed several chances. St. Lawrence goaltender Matt Weninger had a strong game, giving up three difficult power play goals and making 31 saves. Yale did not look the stronger side during even strength play, and frankly was gifted a power play which resulted in their first goal after a questionable roughing call against St. Lawrence senior forward Sean Flanagan. Yale goaltender Rondeau had an inconsistent game after the first goal, with some obviously shaky rebounds in the third period and imperfect positioning on Bogosian's goal. Despite the size disadvantage, St. Lawrence used 6' 6" Nic Vangog very well going into the offensive zone, sending the first-year forward directly at the Yale net to cause disruption in the defense. A classic and proven method which wore Yale down.

Game 2 of the Quarterfinal series is tonight at 7:00PM at Ingalls Rink. Can Yale fight back to send the series into a deciding game tomorrow night? Let's hope so.

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