NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The No. 10 Boston College Eagles scored two goals in the early stages of the second period to defeat the host Yale Bulldogs 2-1 in front of 6,157 fans at the New Haven Coliseum.
The crowd — which was the fourth highest home attendance in Yale hockey history — had little to cheer about for either side during much of the opening period, as the teams mustered only eight total shots in the first 14 minutes of play.
But Yale scored just past the 14-minute mark when Evan Wax took a feed from Ryan Steeves between the faceoff circles and fired a 15-footer that bounced off the left post before landing inside the net past Eagle goaltender Tim Kelleher — who made an economical 15 saves on the evening — to give the Elis a 1-0 lead.
Yale brought its lead to the first intermission, after a first period that saw a total of 10 shots on net, only three of which came from Boston College.
“Our effort in the first and third periods, especially, was teriffic,” Yale head coach Tim Taylor said. “We really limited their two-on-one breakaways, and they didn’t have many grade ‘A’ scoring opportunities.”
But Boston College manufactured just enough scoring chances to win the game in the first six minutes of the second period.
Tony Voce scored his 17th goal of the season after taking a lead pass from Ales Dolinar, weaving around a Yale defender and tipping a shot past fallen Eli netminder Dan Lombard just 37 seconds into the second.
Just over five minutes later, Boston College notched the clincher. Ty Hennes took his own rebound after a Lombard save and fired a low wrister glove-side to give the Eagles a 2-1 advantage. It was the fourth shot on net in a sequence where Yale futilely attempted to clear the puck out of its own zone. Hennes’ first shot was from 10 feet out, but after a Lombard kick-save, Hennes backtracked and was able to corral the puck and put enough velocity on it to find the net.
“We were able to establish a good offensive cycle in the beginning of the second period,” Boston College head coach Jerry York said. “We created more opportunities and just played better in the offensive zone.”
The Eagles outshot Yale, 13-6, in the period, and Yale’s offensive struggles carried over to the third, when the home team was held without a shot on net for the first 11:30 of the period, including on a power play that was cut short by 30 seconds thanks to a Yale penalty. Lombard — who made 22 saves on the evening — was pulled with 1:13 remaining, but Yale could not get a shot on goal.
Both teams were without one of their best players. Yale’s Chris Higgins and Boston College’s Ben Eaves were back from playing with the US Junior National Team at the World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic, but their equipment was not. Both were also experiencing a bit of fatigue from the long trip home, and Eaves is also nursing a rib injury.
Boston College has now won three in a row, while Yale has now dropped four straight tough contests.