Yale tops UMass Lowell in Frozen Four opener
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It could be considered an upset, if only because Massachusetts Lowell was a No. 1 seed entering the Frozen Four at Consol Energy Center.
No. 4 seed Yale dominated large stretches of Thursday's first national semifinal, more than doubling UMass Lowell's shot total and finally securing a 3-2 victory on senior Andrew Miller's goal with 13:01 remaining in overtime.
“That's probably the biggest goal in the history of Yale hockey,” coach Keith Allain said of the Bulldogs' first win in the Frozen Four. The school's only other appearance in the Frozen Four in 1952 resulted in a loss.
Yale (21-12-3) faces Quinnipiac in Saturday's national championship game. The Bulldogs are the third No. 4 seed to advance to the championship game and the first ECAC team to play in the title game since Colgate in 1990.
“People can say what they say, but we beat some really good hockey teams,” Miller said.
Ninety minutes prior to the opening faceoff, Yale's players relaxed by kicking and heading a soccer ball in a hallway outside their locker room. The Bulldogs were so good, the ball rarely touched the ground.
When the game opened, Yale was the more relaxed team and played like it.
The Bulldogs were faster and more aggressive. They created tempo and kept the puck in UMass Lowell's end while peppering freshman goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, who was brilliant in defeat with 44 saves.
UMass Lowell coach Norn Bazin said it was apparent early that his team was struggling.
“The magic wasn't there in terms of skating and being able to adjust on the fly,” Bazin said of the River Hawks, who entered the Frozen Four having won 14 of their last 15 games. “Some days you're on and some days you're not. Today we were not.”
Yale's Mitch Witek picked the perfect time for his first goal of the season. Witek scored on the power play with 7:05 remaining in the first period. The goal was set up when UMass Lowell forward Shayne Thompson went off for high sticking.
Antoine Laganiere made it 2-0 when he tapped in a rebound of a Matt Killian shot with only 55 seconds left in the period. Yale outshot UMass Lowell, 11-5, in the opening period.
However, UMass Lowell flipped the momentum in the second period. The River Hawks exploded for two goals in less than 20 seconds to tie the score at 2-2.
Junior Riley Wentmore wrapped a backhander around goaltender Jeff Malcolm at the 5:22 mark. Dereck Arnold and Penguins 2011 draft pick Scott Wilson were credited with assists.
Fourteen seconds later, Joseph Pendenza received a clever backhand pass from A.J. White on the right wing. Pendenza's goal made it 2-2 at the 5:08 mark.
UMass Lowell attempted only three more shots the remainder of the game.
After regulation, Yale had attempted 40 shots to 18 for UMass Lowell. Hellebuyck's acrobatics in goal kept the score close early — and late. At game's end, Yale outshot UMass Lowell 47-18.
“It was a good bouncing puck, and I think it caught a defenseman flat footed,” Miller said of his game winner. “They have a really good goaltender, and he played a really good game. We were able to put one past them, and it's an honor to move on.”
“It was as good an effort that we've had,” Allain said. “As much as we created offensively, I thought we were rock-solid defensively.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Rutherford falling apart, too
- Penguins notebook: Malkin says he’s fine, but scoring touch isn’t
- Embattled AG Kane to hire former Rendell press secretary
- Steelers bring in 2 more cornerbacks for visits
- BP said to seek bids for $2 billion in U.S. pipeline operations
- Police intercept drug courier returning to Western Pennsylvania with 316 bricks of heroin
- Futures trader arrested, charged for alleged role in 2010 ‘flash crash’
- Brentwood Borough School Board approves major cutbacks
- Woman struck by foul ball in ‘horrid’ scene at Pirates game
- Fox, NBC Universal reject Verizon’s slimmer pay-TV packages
- Former Allegheny County chief Roddey testifies against McCullough