NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Down 3-1 headed into the third period, it didn’t look like the Rensselaer Engineers were going to mount a comeback against the Yale Bulldogs. But that’s exactly what the Engineers did as they came back to win the game, 5-4, on Matt Murley’s second goal of the game with just 1:06 left in the third period.
Bulldog goalie Dan Lombard had stoned the Engineers all but once in the first 40 minutes and the Engineers didn’t have much momentum heading into the third. But just 24 seconds into the final period, the Engineers got a power-play goal when Carson Butterwick tipped a Jim Vickers point shot over the shoulder of Lombard, and that started the Engineer wheels in motion.
“I just went to the net and I was lucky enough to get enough wood on it to get it over the goalie,” Butterwick said. “It was nice to go out early in the third and get some momentum.”
Eight minutes later, the Engineers tied the game at 3 on the power play. Butterwick took a hard slap shot that Lombard kicked out, but in doing so, left himself out of position and Murley slammed it home for the tie.
Less than three minutes later, the Engineers took the lead on the power play once again. Danny Eberly led the rush down the left side of the ice and put a quick shot on Lombard. Lombard kicked that one out, but directly onto the stick of Nolan Graham. Graham slid the puck past an outstretched Lombard and the game had changed its complexion.
The Bulldogs were resilient and they re-tied the game, 4-4, as Jason Noe poked home a loose puck when Nathan Marsters was out of position trying to play a rebound.
Then Murley took over with his heroics.
“He was a guy that was on a mission that wasn’t going to be denied,” Engineer coach Dan Fridgen said.
“I was up on the blue line, took the puck from Butterwick, danced around a couple of guys and I just toe-dragged it and snapped it to the top corner,” Murley said.
“[Carson's goal] was a huge goal for us, because that’s what got us back in the game,” Fridgen said. “From there, I thought we were applying real good pressure, they take a couple of penalties and we were able to capitalize and that deflated them. Then they tie it up.
“But you could tell that we wanted it more.”
In all, the Engineers scored three times on the power play in the third period.
The Bulldogs took the lead in the first period. With the puck bounding out to the blue line, Robert Mutter stepped up to blast a shot. Instead, the soft shot was deflected off of a bunch of players in front and past Kevin Kurk.
The Engineers tied it in the second when Marc Cavosie dropped a pass to Jim Vickers and he put it between the legs of Lombard.
But the Bulldogs went back out and took the lead on the power play when Ben Stafford wristed one that eluded Kurk.
The Bulldogs made it 3-1 when Jeff Hamilton scored after a rebound from an Adam Sauve shot. That shot sent Kurk to the bench in favor of Marsters.
The Engineers (7-3-1, 2-2-1 ECAC) will head to Princeton on Saturday and the Bulldogs (5-6-0, 3-6-0 ECAC) will host Union.
“I think we stole one here because you’re not going to win many games by losing two periods and it shows you how important 20 minutes can be,” Fridgen said.