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Yale blanks St. Lawrence 3-0 to sweep series

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Yale University continued its recent mastery of St. Lawrence University on Saturday night once again in resounding fashion.

Credit the Bulldogs, who once again won the pivotal special teams battle, this time in ending the Saints season.

Tommy Fallen and Jesse Root each scored a power-play goal to spark Yale to a dominating 3-0 triumph over St. Lawrence on Saturday night in Game 2 to sweep an ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series at Ingalls Rink.

Senior goalie Jeff Malcolm made 17 saves to register the shutout for the third-seeded and 13th-ranked Bulldogs (18-10-2), who advance to the conference semifinals, which open on Friday in Atlantic City.

Special teams, particularly their power play, failed the sixth-seeded Saints (18-16-4) on this night and ultimately in their playoff series with Yale.

“They’re a good team,” St. Lawrence senior captain Kyle Flanagan said of Yale. “Friday night we didn’t play well which was pretty evident. (Saturday) we had chances, we thought we played a much better game. It seemed like all four of their lines played the same, you have to give them credit.”

While the Bulldogs scored their first two goals on the man advantage on Saturday, it again shut down St. Lawrence’s power play, which went scoreless on all six of its opportunities in the game and for the series.

“We played a much better game tonight, but unfortunately we didn’t capitalize,” Flanagan said. “Our power play has been our bread and butter all year and they out chanced us tonight and we didn’t score. That was a big game-changer right there.”

“[I’m] very pleased with the way our guys played all six periods,” said Yale coach Keith Allain, whose team advances to the ECAC semifinals for the third time in five seasons.“Tonight they had us under the gun, more than {Saturday] night.“Their power play is the absolute strength of their hockey team. For us to keep them off the board on that was a real momentum swing for us.”

The Saints didn’t manage much at even strength, either, as they were out scored by the Bulldogs, 9-1 for the series.

“I thought we played a pretty good game tonight,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “It was a special teams game — they scored a couple goals on the power play and we were unable to score on our power plays. That was the difference.”

Yale effectively shut down one of the nation’s top scoring lines — as Flanagan, Greg Carey and Jeremy Wick were each held without a point in the two games.

“We just couldn’t get things going the way we needed to,” Wick said. “We hit a couple posts, one right at the start of the game and a couple more on the power play. If they could have gone in it would have been a different game. We were right there making steps in the direction, but just didn’t get the bounces tonight.”

Facing the Bulldogs’ aggressive defense and penalty kill, the Saints only managed to generate 30 shots on goal during the series, including only four in the first period of both games.

“We made some adjustments and played a much better game,” Carvel said. “We were much more committed to our game plan tonight, we executed better. ... It’s tough playing against their system and creating a lot of offense. ... They’re a disciplined and well coached team.”

Trailing 1-0 early in the second period, the Saints had a prime opportunity to draw even while on a five-minute power play as Yale’s Clinton Bourbonais was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for boarding on a hit of Wick.

But St. Lawrence was unable to capitalize, managing only two shots on net during the pivotal man advantage.

“That [kill] was a huge momentum swing,” Fallen said.“Everybody was really up on it, and we didn’t get down on ourselves. We pulled through and were very successful.”

Then three minutes after Yale had a goal waved off which was upheld after a video review, Root made sure with his power-play conversion at 14:18 as after Weninger made a save on a long shot by Fallen, Root slipped in the rebound at 14:18.

Antoine Langaniere followed with his goal 7:09 into the third period by beating Weninger from the right faceoff circle for a 3-0 Yale advantage.

A night after St. Lawrence scored the first goal, Yale struck first on Fallen’s power-play goal in the first period.

From just a couple steps inside of the Saints’ blue line, Fallen launched a long drive that eluded Weninger at 17:58 of the opening period.

“In my mind, I thought we were going to give them a better battle than we did (Friday) night,” Carvel said. “If we had played (Friday) night with the same mentality that we played with tonight, the series might have gone a little differently.”

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