Highlights: Providence beats Yale, 3-1, in battle of former national champs

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The battle of recent men’s hockey national champions went to the most recent one. Yale, the 2013 champion, scored first, but Providence (2015) notched the next three on the way to a 3-1 win in the Bulldogs’ last non-league game of the season before 3,061 at Ingalls Rink.

The Elis, playing their third game in seven days, had their win streak end at two games while being outshot 36-14. The Blue was coming off a 5-4 win over Northeastern and a 4-2 victory at UConn. The third straight contest against a Hockey East team appeared to be an even match, but the ice was tilted for much of the game.

The Friars, who attempted a total of 64 shots, compared to 41 for the Elis, had 14 of the first period’s 17 shots on target. However, the teams went into intermission tied at one.

Yale jumped on the board early with a John Hayden goal just 93 seconds in. Defenseman Billy Sweezey one-timed a PC clearing attempt from the point toward the net. Frankie DiChiara was in the high slot and spun around to re-direct it. Goalie Hayden Hawkey initially moved to his left to block the shot from the point. The re-direction came to the other side, where the Yale captain gathered, loaded and then fired left side just before the gap closed for his team-best 12th of the year.

Yale’s Patrick Spano, who stopped 13 of 14 shots (power-play goal) over the first 20 minutes, finished with a sprawling save on Scott Conway with 19 seconds left to keep the home team even after one. Spano finished the game with 33 saves, including six on power plays.

“You can’t win hockey games when the whole team doesn’t show up,” said Hayden. “This is too good of a locker room to let these games get away from us.”

PC had a 12-3 advantage in shots in the second and got the frame’s only tally to take a 2-1 lead. Yale’s senior netminder stood on his head again, including a pair of scoreless advantages.

“Providence was better than us from start to finish, and the results should not be a surprise,” said Keith Allain ’80, Yale’s Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach. “That [type of play] is not acceptable, it’s more than discouraging. They [PC] were good, but they shouldn’t be that much better than us.”

After the Friars made it three straight to increase the lead in the third to 3-1, the game got delayed a little with a mix of penalties resulting from a few big hits in the corner.

With 13:43 left in the third, the Blue ended up with a 4-on-3 for two minutes and a 5-on-4 for three more minutes. The Elis produced a few quality chances but could not get back in the game.

“We’ve got to go back to work. That’s all we can do,” said Allain, whose squad has a big conference weekend coming up with Clarkson and St. Lawrence at the Whale.

BULLDOG BITES

Alex Lyon ’17 has played 24 games for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Flyers system) and has a 16-6-0 record, a 2.58 GAA and .913 SP. The Phantoms are second in the AHL Atlantic Division with a 23-9-2 mark… Rob O’Gara ’16, a defenseman with the Providence Bruins (3rd place Atlantic, 21-8-4), has skated in 26 games and posted two goals and five points. He was in the NHL club’s opening night lineup but got sent down when an injured regular returned to the team.

Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director – steven.conn@yale.edu

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