By Russ Cohen
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The Yale Bulldogs were tenacious and lived up to their name, goaltender Ryan Rondeau had a 22-save shutout and that helped him to secure the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award in his team’s 6-0 drubbing over Cornell to win the ECAC Hockey tournament championship Saturday.
“I thought our guys played an outstanding game tonight,” said Yale coach Keith Allain (Centerville, Mass.). “Our power play was clicking tonight and it allowed us to get ahead, and we were able to score six goals in the hockey game. But to me the thing I was most pleased about was how sound we were defensively.”
Both teams were checking hard early in the period and the pace was fast. Cornell’s Dustin Mowrey had a slot shot that Yale’s Rondeau turned away with relative ease and his defense cleared out the rebound.
“The team played really well in front of me and the goal support was really nice in a game like that,” said Rondeau. “My ‘D’ kept all the shots to the outside and it gave me a clear lane to see every puck.”
Cornell gave Yale a power play on a hooking penalty at 2:46and 17 seconds later Kevin Limbert took the puck up the ice and shot high and found the twine. It was a power-play goal to give his team the 1-0 lead. Denny Kearney(Hanover, N.H.) and Jimmy Martin got the helpers.
Big Red goalie Andy Iles was fabulous for most of a first-period penalty kill but Yale did get a goal when Martin blasted a point shot that got behind the Cornell goaltender at 15:50for their second power-play goal of the period.
Yale’s Brian O’Neill had the first big chance of the second period where he clanked a slapper off the iron. He eventually got it back and dished it to teammate Antoine Laganiere, who lifted a wrister high into a mostly open side of the net to make it 3-0 game.
It didn’t get better for Cornell from there.
“For us it’s a bitter end to a good ride through the course of the season,” said Cornell coach Mike Schafer. “We knew we were kind of rebuilding this year and trying to get back and doing some things that we wanted to do. … I told the guys sometimes you have it and sometimes you don’t.”
All-ECAC Hockey tournament team
F - Brian O’Neill, Yale
F – Andrew Miller, Yale
F – Chris Cahill, Yale
D – Jimmy Martin, Yale
D – Connor Goggin, Dartmouth
G -- Ryan Rondeau, Yale