Friday, March 11, 2011

Wrapping up Game 1 of the ECAC quarterfinals

Something about the No. 11 seeds and Yale just don't mix. St. Lawrence, down two goals with under 14 minutes to play, stormed back to take Game 1 4-3 in overtime. A few notes and quotes from the postgame.

  • Keith Allain, for the most part, liked what he saw from his team. "I certainly don’t feel like we were the worse team out there tonight,” Allain said. “We created a number of chances; I thought we limited their quality chances to not too many. But we didn’t score, they did and rightfully won the game. … But I didn’t think it was a terrible game from our perspective."

  • Some pretty passing an offensive moves by both teams. Freshman Greg Carey's game-winner came after Kyle Flanagan juked a Yale defenseman to the ice, turning a 2-on-2 into a 2-on-1. He got the puck to Carey in front with plenty to shoot at. "We overreacted to the puck carrier and left a guy wide open in front of the net," Allain said.

  • A year ago, when Yale dropped Game 1 en route to its three-game quarterfinal loss to No. 11 seed Brown, the Bulldogs looked rusty and simply off their game. Not playing with Sean Backman may have had a lot to do with that. On Friday, Yale came out strong and responded well to the Saints fluky first goal, which came from near center ice and caught Ryan Rondeau with his glove in a bad position. The line of Denny Kearney, Broc Little and Kevin Limbert was on fire in the early going, with defenseman Jimmy Martin scoring two of the Bulldogs three-power play goals. Kearney made a pretty touch pass on Martin's first goal, and Little sent a brilliant pass out from the corner to Martin for his second goal.

  • Where was the game lost? Allain said it was in the second period with the score still 3-1, and Yale failed to finish a number of quality scoring chances. Chris Cahill was robbed by Matt Weninger twice, while Brian O'Neill and Little couldn't convert breakaway chances. Limbert, in the first period, had a shot beat Weninger and ring off the post. Video review upheld that it didn't go in the net. "To me, the game was lost in the second period where we had the 3-1 lead and we had a number of opportunities to make it 4-1 and we didn’t execute offensively,” Allain said. “That allowed them to hang around."

  • Allain said he'll watch game tape and expects to tweak some things for Game 2.

  • How does Yale respond to being in a tough spot again? Last season, following a 3-2 loss to Brown in the first game, the Bulldogs cruised to a 6-3 win in Game 2. But Game 3 was the problem, with Brown winning 1-0 to eliminate Yale early. "They have to have real short memories," Allain said. Martin agreed. "We have to put this behind us and move on. We take the positives where they are, we learned a lesson, and we get our focus right for tomorrow."

  • That was Yale's first home loss of the season (15-1-1).


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