NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Three out of the last four games between Yale and Brown have been decided by a goal, and the 2017-18 season opener for both schools was headed that way until late in the third when the Bears tallied twice on an empty net to take a 4-1 contest at Ingalls Rink.
The Bulldogs had a lopsided (45-25) advantage in shots, but got behind early and could not take advantage of six power-play chances to pull even.
“I thought we could have shot much more than we did,” said Keith Allain ’80, Yale’s Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach. “We passed up a lot of opportunities. We were too deliberate [on the power play] with everything we did, and that’s too easy to defend.”
The home team doubled up the Bears on first-period shots but found itself down 2-0. Yale’s first goal of the year was the first collegiate tally for a former U.S. National Team player.
The Elis, who had a 32-16 advantage in shots after 40 minutes, grabbed some of the momentum back early in the second to cut the margin in half. Evan Smith carried the puck over the Brown blueline and fired a shot off a defender that came back to him. Smith sent another shot toward the goal that hit another defender, but this time it came out to Phil Kemp. The rookie defenseman quickly gathered and sent a low shot through a little traffic that found the net 46 seconds into period.
Yale registered 18 shots on goal in the middle frame but only got the one tally. There were plenty of close calls, where an inch or two might have gotten the Bulldogs an equalizer, but Gavin Nieto was too solid in the Brown net with 44 saves.
“We were chasing them all night, and their goalie played well,” said Allain about Yale’s conference travel partner.”
The Blue pulled goalie Sam Tucker with 1:22 left and then gave up a pair of scores to put the game away. The two teams are back at it Saturday night at Meehan Auditorium.
“I believe we are going to be a good hockey team when all is said and done. Hopefully our guys will play with a chip on their shoulder tomorrow with a chance for payback,” said Allain.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD/Sports Publicity Director