Yale Upset in Game 3; Still Has NCAA Hopes
CHN Staff Report
NEW HAVEN, Conn. Who's to say what happened to Yale on Friday. The bye week caused some rust; the loss of 21-goal scorer Sean Backman temporarily demoralized them; Brown took advantage of a team still adjusting to a new configuration caused by Backman's absence.
Any of those could've been true. But when top-seeded Yale blitzed No. 11 Brown on Saturday, 6-3, in a game not nearly as close as the final score indicated, all looked like it would be right again.
The dismantling was so bad, that the hopes Brown's coaching staff had of at least wearing down Yale for a Sunday Game 3, went by the wayside. After all, who could be tired out when you coast that easily?
So, what happens?
Brown wins Game 3 anyway, 1-0, and in the process, puts a big dent in Yale's still-alive NCAA hopes.
Despite Yale pouring on the shots, as it usually does, Brown goalie Mike Clemente rebounded off Saturday's pounding and came up with a shutout — and completed one of the more improbably upsets of the weekend.
“This was a night when the goalie stole the game,” Yale coach Keith Allain said. "It’s as frustrating as it can get ... when a guy in a team sport is a difference maker.”
You knew Yale would be hurting by losing Backman from the lineup, but this was definitely unexpected, especially after rebounding from Game 1's loss.
To add to the remarkable nature of this series, the only goal of the game came shorthanded, of all things, for Brown. Mark Arcobello was flying over the blueline with the puck and collided with Yale teammate Andrew Miller. Jack Maclellan was there to grab the puck and buzz to the other end before snapping off a rising shot from the right circle at 9:21 of the first period.
"I definitely should have had it,” said Yale goalie Billy Blase. “I don’t want to be too hard on myself. It was tough that it had to be the game-winner.”
The Yale goaltending has been maligned, considered the team's Achille's heel, if there was one. But Blase played well in Games 2 and 3, and if Yale gets an NCAA spot anyway, he should be the guy.
“I am extremely proud of the way we competed. We played smart, we were persistent,” said Allain, whose squad entered the series with eight straight wins over the team from Providence. “I felt it all game long,” said Allain about his team getting on the board. “And not just the tying goal, I thought we would get more. The chances were there, rebounds and posts.”
Because of New Hampshire's series loss, among other things, it looks like Yale should be safe anyway. Currently, the Elis sit No. 12 in the Pairwise, and will probably hang on. Check College Hockey News throughout the week to see how things shake out, and figure out the chances with CHN's You Are the Committee.