No. 2 Yale drops road contest
Yale held a 33-24 lead in shots but made too many mistakes
CANTON, N.Y. – No. 2 Yale fell to No. 2 in the ECAC after a 3-2 loss at St. Lawrence before 1,362 at Appleton Arena.
The loss, combined with Union’s win against Cornell at Schenectady, moved the Dutchmen a point in front of the Bulldogs atop the conference standings with five games left in the regular season.
Yale (19-5, 13-4) outshot the Saints 33-24 but made too many mistakes to pull out of Canton in first place. Andrew Miller and Antoine Laganiere found the net for the Bulldogs while Ryan Rondeau made 21 saves.
“Tonight we didn’t play well enough to win. We had poor puck decisions and we didn’t skate as a team,” said coach Keith Allain. “Our work ethic was not up to par either.”
St. Lawrence (9-14-5, 5-10-1) got 31 saves from Robby Moss, who helped the Saints kill off all four Yale advantages.
SLU got a home bounce to get on the board just 68 seconds into the game. Riley Austin, parked on the left point, wristed a bouncer through traffic that was re-directed by Sean Flanagan inside the near post for his third of the year.
Yale, outshooting the Saints 10-9, had a few quality chances to get on the board over the first 20. Jimmy Martin had a good look in the right circle but Moss came up with the stop. Miller made a nifty move through traffic and had the SLU goalie down but could not get the puck over his outstretched leg pad.
Rondeau, who made a great stick save on Aaron Brogosian with seven left in the frame, was victimized by Yale’s first penalty of the game. It didn’t take Nick Pitsikoulis (8th goal) long to bang home a rebound in the low slot at 13:07 to make it 2-0.
SLU had a chance to make it 3-0 midway through a sloppy second frame. Kyle Essery took advantage of a collision of Yale players at the blueline to get a breakaway. He cruised in alone but fired wide from the low slot.
The Blue, which had a 12-8 lead in shots, finally got on the board at 15:56 when Miller (7th) and Brian O’Neill combined for a goal. The junior forward grabbed a clearing attempt at the blueline and flipped it over to his sophomore linemate. Miller got through two defenders before releasing a low wrister in the slot.
The goal was scored as a penalty was being called on the home team. The goal and ensuing power play could have been the momentum shift the visitors were desperately seeking. Instead, after an excellent Saints’ penalty-kill, a defensive breakdown sent the emotional lift in the other direction.
SLU jumped all over an odd-man rush to grab the two-goal lead back with 1:40 left in the second. Bogosian one-timed a Flanagan pass into an open right side of the net for his 10th of the year.
The Bulldogs buzzed the SLU end better in the third than at any point in the game. It helped the Elis pull to within a goal again at 12:55. Charles Brockett received the puck from Gus Young and it eventually found Laganiere’s stick bouncing around the Saints defense. Laganiere (3rd) seemed to lose possession of the puck for a moment before sliding it under Moss.
The visitors upped their fore-check the rest of the way and forced St. Lawrence to flick shots into the neutral zone at almost every touch.
Rondeau left the net for the extra man with 52 seconds left. The Saints cleared the puck once and the Blue rushed up the ice for one last time with under 20 ticks remaining. And Yale nearly stunned the Appleton crowd a moment prior to the final buzzer. A pass from the point whizzed through the slot and went toward Broc Little, who was standing just off the left post with an open side of the cage. He got his stick out to re-direct but the puck went wide and the buzzer sounded.