Three Takeaways from the Yale vs Sacred Heart Consolation Game at Quinnipiac


Photo: Anthony W. Pacheco III

Paul Siracusa

During the third-place matchup between Yale and Sacred Heart of the 2023 Connecticut Ice Tournament, the Sacred Heart Pioneers escaped Hamden with a narrow 4-3 victory over the Yale Bulldogs.  

Before the UConn Huskies play against the Quinnipiac Bobcats in the championship game, there were three takeaways from Saturday’s game. 


Takeaway #1: Yale Goalie Nathan Reid’s Great Performance 

Allowing four goals to the opposing team is usually something that is seen as a negative. However, Reid had a better performance than what the final score indicated.  

The Pioneers had the higher time on attack throughout the game which allowed forwards Ryan Steele and Austin Magera to score goals late in the second period. Entering the third period, Sacred Heart was leading Yale by a score of 3-1. This is where it changed for Reid and the Bulldogs.  

In the opening minutes of the period, Hunter Sansbury extended the Pioneers lead to 4-1. However, Reid did not give up a goal for the remainder of the game. Reid’s great third period performance gave Yale an opportunity to win the game. Yale was finally able to put pressure on Sacred Heart goalie Brandon Milberg, which resulted in goals from defenseman Ryan Carmichael and forward David Chen. Reid saved 10 of 11 shots in the third period and 31 of 35 during the entire game for a save percentage of 89%. This is a reminder that statistics are not always the best way to measure performance. 


Takeaway #2: Yale Needs to Improve its Time on Attack Consistency 

For most of the game, Yale was having difficulty keeping the puck outside of its zone. This was in part due to how Sacred Heart defenders were able to break up passes in the zone while not getting called for icing.  

Pioneers defenders Julian Kislin and Grant Anderson were able to connect with Steele and Magera which allowed them to possess the higher time om attack. Yale had a tough time getting comfortable setting up their offensive attack since Sacred Heart defenders did not give them an opportunity to do so for the first two periods of the game.  

In the third period, the Bulldogs played at their best in terms of possessing the higher time on attack. Both Yale’s offense and defense were able to play aggressively as Carmichael and Chen, who play on opposite sides of the puck, were able to score, illustrating that when the Bulldogs can set up their offense, all areas of the team can contribute to success. Yale just needs to improve its time on attack consistency for 60 minutes. 


Takeaway #3: Yale Head Coach Keith Allain Removing the Goalie Too Late 

To reiterate, Yale was unable to possess the higher time on attack for the first 40 minutes. However, in the last 20 minutes all of that changed.  

The Bulldogs were able to cut the deficit to one after entering the third period down three. When Chen scored to make it a 4-3 game there was 11:33 minutes remaining. At this point, Yale proved its offense was flourishing. The Bulldogs took 15 shots in the final period which was their most of the game. For comparison, Yale only had three shots on goal during the second period.  

This offensive attack surely had the ability to tie the game. However, despite their high time on attack, Yale was unable to score. The two-minute mark appeared to be a great time to remove the goalie as the Bulldogs possessed the puck in their offensive zone. Yale was taking multiple shots on goal. Yale just needed a little more offensive firepower earlier in the third quarter. However, head coach Keith Allain elected to remove Reid with just 24 seconds remaining. This was not enough time for the Bulldogs to take advantage of having more offensive players on the ice. Yale’s chances of winning the game would have been a lot higher had Reid been removed before.