Jeff Cimbalista nets game winner as sixth-ranked Yale upends St. John's
QUEENS, N.Y. -- Jeff Cimbalista scored 14 seconds into overtime as No. 6 Yale remained undefeated by beating St. John's 11-10 on a snowy Tuesday afternoon.
The Bulldogs, who last started 4-0 in 2011, received three goals from Conrad Oberbeck, now tied for 11th in school history with 137 points. Cimbalista and Michael Keasey scored twice in the victory.
Jonathan Reese won the overtime face-off and assisted on the game winner.
The Red Storm sent the game to overtime after Nick Heller ripped one over Yale goalkeeper Eric Natale's shoulder with 25.6 seconds remaining in the fourth.
St. John's got on the board first 3:30 into the game on a Jason DeBenedictis tally, assisted by Eric DeJohn.
Jason Alessi tied the game at one with 9:24 left in the opening period.
The Red Storm broke the deadlock when Stefan Diachenko capitalized off a failed clear attempt at the 9:01 mark. Thomas Marron was credited with the helper.
Eric Scott ripped one past St. John's goalie Harry Burke with 4:41 left in the first to tie the score at two.
The visitors took their first lead of the non-conference game when Colin Flaherty scored with 48.9 seconds remaining in an evenly-played opening period.
Second quarter scoring opened when the Red Storm took advantage of another failed clear attempt by the Elis. DeJohn put the sphere past Natale at the 5:09 mark. Natale found the back of the net again 1:09 later to give St. John's a 4-3 lead.
Yale then reeled off three goals in a 1:24 span to take a 6-4 lead with 5:51 left in the first half. Oberbeck scored a goal for the 28th consecutive game off a Cimbalista pass at the 7:45 mark. The 28 contests with a goal is the second-longest active streak in the NCAA.
Keasey gave the Elis the lead with an unassisted goal 45 seconds later.
Oberbeck scored his 107th career goal with 5:51 left in the second quarter. The tally moved Oberbeck into second place on the career scoring chart; Adam Purtiz, 1994-1996, scored 106 goals.
Ben Reeves increased the lead to 7-4 with 2:36 remaining until intermission. The freshman Reeves intercepted a Red Storm pass intended for the goalie and put the ball into the vacated cage.
The home team broke the Bulldogs' string of goals with 1:13 remaining in the first half. Jackson O'Leary scored man-up with assistance from DeBenedictis.
St. John's cut the lead to a single goal when Natale was caught up by a changeup thrown by James Bonanno 1:37 into the third quarter.
Keasey got the advantage back to two with his second of the game at the 4:14 mark.
Off a trio of pushing penalties by Yale defenders, St. John's cut the lead back to one with 9:58 left in the third. DeJohn completed his hat trick on the man up.
Cimbalista gave the visitors a bit of cushion at the 10:49 mark after elevating to one-time a Scott dish into the cage.
The teams entered the final quarter with Yale leading 9-7, but with the Red Storm going man-up on a two-minute Cimbalista penalty.
DeJohn scored his fourth goal of the contest on the man up situation, finishing off a precision passing sequence on the back door.
The squad's leading scorers, DeJohn and Oberbeck, traded goals nine seconds apart to maintain the Bulldogs' one-goal lead. Both players' 14th goals of the season were unassisted.
The play on the snow-covered field went back and forth during the final minutes of regulation with the teams trading high quality scoring chances. Both goalies came up with huge saves down the stretch to keep the score where it was. Natale snared a Diachenko bouncer with two minutes left and Burke snatched a Cimbalista howlister with a minute remaining in regulation.
Natale finished with 11 saves in his fourth victory of the season.