We were really excited to finally be home. On Friday night you could sense the energy in the crowd. They came early and I was really excited seeing them in attendance before the game even started. In the first period, we jumped out to a 7-1 lead in shots-on-goal even though that didn’t result in any scoring until 30 seconds remained in the first period. Senior forward Matt Stienburg sent a pass across the crease to classmate Zach Tupker who poked the puck into the net.
The second period was big for us as we scored four times. Junior forward Gabe Seger scored at 3:27, Tupker added a second tally at 5:10, Freshman forward Dalton Bancroft made it 4-0 at 6:22, and Freshman forward Nick DeSantis scored our fifth with 1:44 remaining in the period. Zach Tupker is playing awesome; he’s under control, moving his feet and playing with poise. He’s doing all the things we expect from him.
The third period was not what we wanted. We took our foot off the gas, took a stupid penalty, and then confounded it by taking another. We were able to kill off about a minute and a half of the 5-on-3 before Yale ruined the shutout at 12:54. Then, with 3:02 remaining, Yale tallied another goal.
Sophomore Ian Shane was back on his game in goal with 16 saves, while the Yale goaltender stopped 26 shots. Our power play got back on track going 2-for-3 and Yale was 1-for-2. It is so important to have crowd support for the entire game and the team really feeds off their intensity.
Saturday night we didn’t start with the same jump but I felt we gained momentum as the game progressed. I also noticed our freshmen felt much more comfortable and confident. For the most part, we played disciplined hockey and we rolled four lines the majority of the night, which keeps everyone fresh.
Shortly after we killed a penalty in the first period, Junior forward Jack O’Leary crashed the crease and fired the puck top shelf for a 1-0 lead at 3:13. Two minutes later, we had an excellent power-play opportunity, but a turnover resulted in a Brown short-handed goal at 6:12. We went right back on top on the power-play, 2-1, when Senior forward Matt Stienburg took a pass from Gabe Seger and scored his first goal of the season at 14:53.
For the second consecutive night, we had a strong second period. At the 2:46 mark, Junior defenseman Jack Lagerstrom fired a puck from the blue line and it passed through the pads of the Brown goaltender for his first career goal. Six minutes into the second stanza Brown had an offensive opportunity but Freshman goalie Remington Keopple stopped the shot that hit him right in the chest. Remington made some big saves early to keep the game at 3-1. That was huge for us and great to see him get his first collegiate win. With 10 minutes left in the period, Keopple made another great save when he dove to his left to shut the door on a one-timer. Immediately, we went the other way with a 3-on-1 break. A scramble in front of the net ended when Freshman forward Winter Wallace buried the puck into the back of the net giving us a 4-1 margin at 10:51 of the middle period.
The final goal of the night came at 11:38 of the third period. On a power play, Junior forward Kyle Penney received a pass from Freshman forward Dalton Bancroft and Penney, who was wide open, buried his shot. We made adjustments, changed some personnel and moved some guys around and it worked out well for us on the weekend.
Keopple made 17 saves and the Brown goaltender stopped 34 shots. We were 2-for-3 on the power play and Brown was 0-for-3.
We are back to .500 (4-4), 4-2 in the ECAC, heading into two non-league games. On Tuesday night we play Sacred Heart at Lynah and then travel to Madison Square Garden to play the University of Connecticut on Saturday night in the Frozen Apple. Tuesday is huge for us and we have to do a good job against Sacred Heart. In December, we have four home games before the Christmas break. The games at MSG are always exciting for the players. We anticipate an outstanding Big Red following with all the alumni that live in and around New York City and look forward to seeing many of you this coming weekend the Garden.