While neighboring Quinnipiac has been in the spotlight for its 19-1-3 start, Yale has been on an impressive run of its own over the last month.
A sweep of travel partner Brown last weekend pushed the Bulldogs record to 5-0-1 since Dec. 11.
It wasn’t an easy weekend for Yale, however. The Bulldogs trailed 1-0 early on Friday against the Bears and were outplayed for stretches of the game. Yale was bailed out thanks to a season-high 34 saves from goalie Alex Lyon. It was another close game on Saturday, as Ted Hart scored in overtime to give Yale a 2-1 win.
It was a relatively quiet weekend for the officials in the series, as there were a combined four penalties called in both games, including only one (against Brown) in Friday’s game. That’s not surprising given that the Bears (60th) and the Bulldogs (59th) are each currently ranked in the bottom of Division I in terms of penalties minutes per game.
“That’s discipline and respect for the game,” said Yale freshman JM Piotrowski of the Bulldog’s low penalty total. Piotrowski’s first collegiate goal on Friday was the game winner against Brown, and came after Cody Learned forced a turnover in the Bears zone.
“You finish every hit but you don’t go over the line. For example [Friday] Cody makes a big hit and separates the guy from the puck and I’m able to go in and have a scoring chance.”
Friday’s game was the first time since early November that Yale forward Mike Doherty was in the lineup. The junior led the team in goals last season, and is averaging just under a point a game this year. While coach Keith Allain said the Bulldogs aren’t entirely healthy yet, Doherty’s return adds some needed depth to the team down the stretch.
North Country Teams heading in different directions
St. Lawrence was a force in the second half last year, only losing four regular season games in January and February. The Saints have already surpassed that number in the last ten days, as losses at Harvard and Dartmouth pushed St. Lawrence’s losing skid to five, dating to Jan. 8.
The good news for St. Lawrence is that it only has two more weekends on the road over the last month-and-half of the season. SLU hosts Brown and Yale this weekend.
As for Clarkson, the Golden Knights beat Harvard 5-1 Saturday after a loss to Dartmouth Friday. Saturday’s win was the second conference win for Clarkson after not winning a league game for the first three months of the season. Overall, the Golden Knights are 3-1 since a five-game losing streak that spanned December and January.
Big Green Streaking
Dartmouth’s impressive run in 2016 continued this weekend, as the Big Green swept Clarkson and St. Lawrence at home to move to 5-1 since the start of January.
It took some time for Dartmouth to come together, but the recent stretch has pushed the Big Green to .500 overall and in ECAC play as well. The team is also currently tied for 19th in the PairWise.
Senior Charles Grant continued his strong play with 62 saves over the weekend, while senior forward Jack Barre in second in the league in points since the start of January, only trailing Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey.