NEW HAVEN, CONN. — In a battle of the breeds, the Boston University Terriers (5-0-1) bested the Yale Bulldogs (1-2-0) Tuesday, recording a 4-3 overtime victory in front of 3,486 at a sold-out Ingalls Rink.
“This game could have gone either way,” Yale head coach Tim Taylor said. “It was as much ours as it was theirs.”
And for the first 3:28 of overtime, it looked as if it would go neither team’s way, as both squads saw their scoring chances limited by good defensive play, but Jack Baker’s goal with 1:32 left on the clock in OT broke the deadlock and kept the Terriers unbeaten. Baker skated along the left boards, broke away from the Eli defense, and fired a low wrister past Yale goalie Dan Lombard, who recorded 20 saves on the night.
The key moments of the game, though, came midway through the period, when Yale had a two-man advantage and couldn’t capitalize, as Terrier goalie Jason Tapp — playing his first game of the year — made five big saves to kill both penalties. Tapp, who got the start because BU head coach Jack Parker wanted to rest Sean Fields, earned 23 saves for the evening.
“Even though we couldn’t get our defenders off the ice during the five-on-three, we were able to stop them from scoring,” Parker said. “That was the turning point of the game.”
Boston University took advantage of a fast-moving opening few minutes, jumping out to an early lead when Kenny Magowan’s pass from his own blueline bounced over a Yale defenseman’s stick to winger Frantiske Skladany, who went in alone on Lombard and fired a hard wrist shot past the goalie for his fifth score of the season.
The Terriers made it 2-0 at 11:27 of the first on a fluke play in the Yale crease. Bulldog blueliner Jeff Dwyer controlled a shot that bounced into his arms, but BU left wing Mike Pandolfo poked the puck free from Dwyer and it slowly slid through Lombard’s legs without his knowledge.
Yale had numerous scoring chances throughout the opening stanza, but finally capitalized with a little over two minutes left. Evan Wax and Spencer Rodgers pounded the net and hacked away at a loose puck after Boston had just managed a successful penalty kill. Wax took several attempts at netting the puck, but Tapp made several stops before Wax’s persistence finally paid off and put Yale on the scoreboard, 2-1.
“We were a little tentative offensively in the first period,” Taylor said. “But our players realized that we could use the forecheck to our advantage to create offense.”
And that they did, as an excellent forechecking effort produced a goal almost three minutes into the second to even the score. Yale captain Luke Earl backhanded one from 10 feet away, lifting a quick shot over Tapp’s left shoulder.
The Bulldogs took the lead midway through the second when freshman Ryan Trowbridge sent a backhand high past Topp after a feed out of the corner from fellow frosh Michael Grobe, as momentum looked to be on the home team’s side.
But Boston knotted the score just 1:34 later, when Mark Mullen pushed a rebounded shot past a sprawled-out Lombard at 13:38. The goal came on a power play, as Ryan Steeves was called for holding in the Yale end.
Both coaches were pleased with the efforts of their respective squads.
“I am happy to keep our winning streak [now 10 games dating back to last season] going and head onto Boston College,” Parker said.
And even in defeat, Taylor was able to manage a smile. “We will grow from this as a team,” Taylor said. “This will build a lot of confidence that hopefully we will take out on future opponents. We have to keep believing in ourselves, because the work ethic we showed tonight will lead to a lot of victories.”