Tucker Gets First Collegiate Shutout
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – When home ice in the ECAC Hockey Playoffs is on the line and it's senior weekend at Ingalls Rink, the Yale men's hockey team often finds something extra in the tank. The Bulldogs were fully fueled tonight as they skated to a 4-0 win over Dartmouth before another sellout crowd.
Four different players scored goals and Sam Tucker stopped all 26 shots in his first collegiate shutout as the Elis grabbed sole possession of seventh place.
The Bulldogs and Big Green entered tonight tied for seventh with three games left in the regular season. The first round of the conference tournament is in two weeks, seeds five through eight host first round contests.
The Blue outshot the Big Green 35-26 and scored goals in each period to sweep the season series.
The first period seemed like it might be a scoreless one. Yale was outshooting Dartmouth and there was plenty of big hits all over the ice, but it didn't appear that any pucks would go into the net. That all changed over the last eight minutes.
Anthony Walsh's shot from the left point sailed high through traffic before finding the top of the net with 7:49 left to get things started.
The Blue made it two in a row when Ted Hart converted a perfect Chris Izmirlian feed. Hart, who had three goals last weekend, and Izmirlian came over the blueline with an odd-man rush. Izmirlian sent a backhanded saucer pass across to his right wing. Hart stickhandled back and forth before going with the backhand shot that went top shelf at 16:34.
The Elis were able to maintain the two-goal lead through the first 20 because of their puck control and solid netminding by Tucker. The sophomore goalie made nine stops in the first, including one with his blocker that closed the gap on a wide-open look from the slot. With eight minutes left in the second, he was called on to thwart a Charley Michalowski breakaway, and he did disappoint.
"I had enough time to set up for it so I could read and react," said Tucker about the breakaway.
Tucker came up with another beauty five minutes into the third when he stuck out his leg at the last second to stop a shot by Corey Kalk.
"Tuck [Tucker] did a good job tonight. He was solid from start to finish," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach.
Yale continued to pour on the shots and created numerous grade-A chances. One of those ended up in the net to make it 3-0 with 1:28 left in the second. Frankie DiChiara stole the puck from a Big Green player in the visitor's end and sent a pass to the high slot for John Hayden, who went five-hole on Devin Buffalo for his 18th goal of the year.
"This was a tremendous 60-minute effort, and I think it gives us momentum heading toward the playoffs," said Hayden. "We were definitely hungry to get more games at home."
The Bulldogs success tonight can also be attributed to the fact that they were putting bodies on bodies, and many of the checks were noteworthy. Freshman defenseman Billy Sweezey led the way for the Blue with the most and biggest hits of the night.
Andrew Gaus may have been the most consistent Yale player this weekend. He scored a goal last night and was responsible for many of the quality shots tonight. It was only appropriate that Gaus found an empty net with 42.4 seconds left to finish off the scoring.
Over 30 former Eli skaters came out for the annual alumni game this afternoon at the Whale. The Blue-White game ended in a 9-9 OT tie with Charles Orzetti earning MVP honors.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director – firstname.lastname@example.org