TROY, N.Y. — It was freshman night at Houston Field House. Rookie Matt Angers-Goulet scored two goals and classmate Mathias Lange stopped 28 of 29 shots as Rensselaer hung on for a 2-1 victory over Yale before 2,932 in men’s hockey action.
The two teams entered the night tied for seventh in the ECAC Hockey League standings, so the Engineers (12-14-4, 6-7-4) move to 16 points while Yale (8-13-3, 6-9-2) stays at 14. Rensselaer remains in seventh while Yale drops to ninth as Clarkson’s win pushed it past Yale.
“It was a great team effort,” said Engineer head coach Dan Fridgen. “We got great contributions from a freshman and Mathias was there when we needed him.”
Yale killed off six of eight power-play opportunities and outshot RPI, 29-24, but could not stay out of the penalty box enough to support a fine, 22-save performance by freshman netminder Alec Richards.
“I liked so much of what I saw out there in the second and third periods, but we just have to stay out of the penalty box,” said Yale head coach Tim Taylor. “We have to be more disciplined. We are playing well enough to win but need to tweak a few things.”
The Engineers took advantage of their first power play to grab a 1-0 lead and erase the memories of the 5-0 Yale shutout at New Haven three weeks earlier. Angers-Goulet banged home a rebound on the edge of the crease at 6:24 of the first period.
RPI had the only goal of the first frame and dominated play despite only having a 6-3 advantage in shots on target.
The Bulldogs outshot the Engineers 15-8 in the middle frame, but it was the same story otherwise. Many of Lange’s 15 saves were of high caliber, including a nice one-timer by Jean-Francois Boucher from point-blank range on the power play.
The home team made it 2-for-2 with the man-advantage on another Angers-Goulet score 2:20 into the second. Chris Hussey’s short crossing pass in the low slot was one-timed by the rookie center for his fourth tally of the year and his first multiple-goal outing. Richards, who made a number of quality saves in the period, had some traffic issues in front of him and the conversion of the pass was too quick for him to recover in time.
With Yale looking to convert its first power play on the fifth chance, Boucher was served a five-minute major for charging at 2:57 that resulted in a 3-minute and 30-second advantage. With 2:28 left on the penalty kill, Brennan Turner went off for an interference call that gave the home team a 5-on-3 situation. The Blue needed Richards, who had his only collegiate shutout against RPI, to come up big to stay in the game. The rookie came through with two stops and a successful kill.
However, the Elis, 0-for-5 on the power play, still had to deal with the 2-0 deficit and a 1-9-1 record in games they trailed after two periods.
Yale finally got on the board late to make it much more interesting. Jeff Hristovski sent a hard wrist shot from the left circle that hit Lange and bounced to the ice before trickling over the goal line with 2:29 left.
Yale will travel to Union on Saturday while RPI will host Brown in the annual Big Red Freakout! game.