SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — For the first time this season, No. 13 Yale scored more than two goals, as they beat No. 9 Union in their own rink, 4-0. The win gives Yale a weekend sweep and a share of first place in the ECAC. On the flip side, the loss means a winless weekend for the Dutchmen a week after being one of two ECAC teams undefeated in conference play. It was the first time in over a year the Dutchmen failed to collect a point in a weekend of ECAC play.
“I think it is a step in the right direction, but we are a long way from where we want to be,” said Yale coach Keith Allain. “It will be a work in progress, but tonight was better than last night, and last night was better than last weekend, so we are moving in the right direction.”
“That is quite a hockey team; I think a few people said they lost a few guys, and I didn’t see that tonight,” said Union coach Rick Bennett.
The Bulldogs took it to Union early, tallying three goals in the first.
At the 4:38 mark, Brian O’Neill, last year’s leading scorer, got Yale on the board with a one-timer goal. O’Neill took the feed from Kevin Peel from the blue line and rifled one in past Union goalie Troy Grosenick.
Near the end of the period, Yale piled on two more.
The first came with 3:36 remaining. With a few Yale skaters crowding the net, Dan Otto knocked the puck in off a rebound for his first career point with the Bulldogs.
Only 16 seconds later, Charles Brockett netted another goal for Yale, flicking in a backhanded shot over the glove of Grosenick from right in front of the net.
The second period was another one won by Yale. Though Union outshot them, 21-6, Yale had the advantage on the scoreboard after tallying another goal at the 2:43 mark. Otto skated into the zone and fired a shot from the left circle that went over the glove of Grosenick for his second goal of the night.
“I knew I was trying to shoot through the defenseman as a screen there, but shooting from around the blue line, I wasn’t expecting the puck to go in,” said Otto. “Just trying to get pucks to the net like we were saying all night, and lucky enough it went in.”
After the goal, Bennett pulled Grosenick in favor of freshman Colin Stevens.
“This game can humble you pretty quickly,” said Bennett. “One week, you’re goalie of the week, and next week you are getting pulled. But he is a strong kid, and he is going to be just fine. Sometimes you have to go through this stuff. I think people forget that Keith Kinkaid was pulled in his first game.”
Stevens didn’t let up a single goal, but it was too little too late.
The third period was scoreless, leaving Yale with the 4-0 win.
While the Dutchmen were shutout, they outshot Yale 45-26. A big reason Union failed to tally a single goal was the play of Yale’s goaltender Jeff Malcolm. The shutout was his third straight.
“He gave our team stability in the moments that we needed stability, and that is what you hope for in a goaltender,” said Allain.
Union will have to regroup quickly, as they have a game against RPI on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Yale, on the other hand, will host Connecticut next Saturday.