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February 23, 2013

Yale Claims Men's Ice Hockey Title

Courtesy of Yale Sports Publicity

PRINCETON, N.J. –- The 2012-13 Ivy League Championship was decided Saturday night with 1:56 left in the game. The No. 13/14 Yale men's hockey team, needing a win to clinch the title, got it by scoring two late goals in a 4-3 win over Princeton with the game-winner coming from freshman Carson Cooper.

The Bulldogs, who earned their third Ivy title in four years, erased a pair of deficits, including one late in the third, and moved into a tie for fourth place in ECAC Hockey. The top four teams earn first-round byes in the ECAC Tournament.

"I saw the puck go around the point to Tommy Fallen," said Cooper, who got his first collegiate goal tonight. "Coaches have been preaching to us to get to the front of the net to get a rebound. I did that and just got lucky enough. It popped out and I got a backhander on it. I shot it and then got knocked over, but I did see it go in. It was unbelievable."

Senior Jeff Malcolm was in the lineup for the first time since Feb. 1 and made 17 saves while stopping three of four Tiger advantages. His presence had to help ignite the spirits of a Yale team looking to end a skid.

"It was great to be back," said Malcolm."I hate not being in the lineup, and I'm sick of watching hockey. The guys did a great job in front of me. Lots of guys are banged up, I'm not the only one. I was shaking off some of the rust, but it felt great."

Four different Bulldogs found the net, led by Fallen, who had a goal and two assists.

The opening frame may have been the wildest one Yale has been a part of this winter. It wasn't just about the four goals that were scored, but more of the end-to-end action that put so much pressure on both netminders.  

Princeton, after surviving an amazing flurry of Bulldog power-play shots, took advantage of an odd-man rush to get the first goal. Jack Berger's third of the year gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead at 5:21.

The visitors answered with two tallies in 36 seconds. First, on a delayed penalty, Fallen sent a perfect lead pass to Anthony Day, who picked up the puck at mid-ice and sprinted in alone on Mike Condon (24 saves). Day held the puck to the low slot and then sent a low wrister through the goalie's legs at 8:09.

The Elis then jumped all over the advantage with a great sense of urgency. The result was Andrew Miller dropping off a pretty feed for Fallen in the high slot. The sophomore Yale blueliner held, let the defense shift and then sent a snap shot inside the far post at 8:45 to make it 2-1.   

The line of Berger, Andrew Calof and Andrew Ammon was getting its typical ton of ice time, and it paid off for another goal. Calof found the net with 7:48 left in the first to make it 2-2.  

A five-minute major on Princeton's Kevin Liss midway through the second could have been a monumental swing for the visitors, but the Tigers killed off half of the infraction before the Elis took a penalty. Both teams ended up scoreless on two advantages in a frame that had Yale with three more shots on goal.

The Tigers took a 3-2 lead on the power play at 9:12, but that lasted just 92 seconds. Clinton Bourbonais broke through on the fore-check and grabbed a puck along the boards in the home end. He dumped it off for his defenseman, who was following in over the blueline. Rookie Ryan Obuchowski jacked up the pace and headed for the net before sending a low wrister through Condon at 10:44.