Saturday, March 12, 2011

Yale and St. Lawrence will do it again Sunday

A few notes and quotes following Yale's 5-2 win over St. Lawrence Saturday, which forces a deciding Game 3 Sunday at Ingalls Rink.

  • Yale lost its sense of urgency a bit in the third period Friday, when it allowed St. Lawrence back into the game despite a 3-1 lead with under 14 minutes to play. Broc Little said the Bulldogs weren't about to let the same thing happen Saturday. "The biggest thing was just total focus from the whole team,” Little said. “Right from the beginning of the day we knew we had to come out and demand victory tonight. Last night we played well enough to win but we weren’t demanding it…giving them no chance. We let them hang around and tonight we finished our chances and were able to put it away in the third...Urgency was a word thrown around a lot before the game. Just to come out right away and play for our lives."

  • Yale coach Keith Allain said the Bulldogs needed a night to get into "playoff mode", meaning its impossible to create that kind of pace and intensity in practice, and that St. Lawrence had a three-game head start to get into that mindset. "I think we were more comfortable with that pace tonight than we were last night, even though tonight was a little quicker than last night's game," Allain said. "I wouldn't say we controlled the pace, but it was a tempo we were comfortable with."

  • The game was quite physical, with countless big hits and lots of chirping back and forth on both sides. Justin Baker was on the receiving end of a crushing open-ice check from Chad Ziegler, easily the biggest blow of the night. It was tough to watch live, especially seeing the obvious pain Baker was in as he held his left knee. The video showed Baker's head was down when Ziegler leveled him with a shoulder. Baker is out for Sunday. Yale's Brendan Mason left the game in the second period with an apparent shoulder injury, and did not return. Allain only said Mason was "banged up". So we'll take the liberty to list him as "questionable" for tonight. Why not? Pete Child also briefly went to the Saints locker room after a big hit, but returned shortly.

  • Both Allain and Saints coach Joe Marsh were livid at various times about the no-calls from the referees. Allain nearly broke veins in his neck on multiple occasions, and Marsh positively lit into the crew when no penalty was called after Child was injured. Broc Little also got hit with a 10-minute misconduct for talking a little too much to referee Whittemore. Little was called for boarding midway through the third, but caught a retaliatory stick to the jaw that wasn't called.

  • Broc Little and Denny Kearney are back to early-season form, and have been lethal every shift the last two nights. Yale's fifth goal, scored by Little and set up by Kearney, was a thing of beauty. "That was a goal-scorer's goal," Allain said. "The angle he had to be able to get the backhand up in the top shelf like that, that was a confident player scoring that goal. ... He hasn't shown that kind of touch in a while."

  • Each ECAC series will go to a Game 3 Sunday, with the possibility of the 8th, 10th, 11th and 12th seeds making up the field in Atlantic City next weekend. Say what you will about the league, but it's as competitive top-to-bottom as it gets in college hockey.

  • Quinnipiac knocked off Cornell 1-0 Saturday, with Eric Hartzell posting his second straight shutout. Rand Pecknold is loving the two-goalie rotation with Dan Clarke on Fridays and Hartzell on Saturdays. But he'll have a decision to make for Sunday's game, and I'd be surprised if Hartzell doesn't get the call again.

  • Hard to believe Saturday's game was announced as 186 short of a sellout, as it seemed filled to the brim. Lots of fans left their seats to immediately get into the ticket line for Sunday's game.


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