NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Through five periods of their best-of-three first-round series against Yale, the Union men's hockey team had outscored the Bulldogs 4-0.
Then Yale tied it ... the goals, the series, you name it.
With a lightning burst of a third period at Ingalls Rink on Saturday, the No. 7-seeded Bulldogs equaled No. 10 Union's total scoring output to that point with four goals and a 4-1 victory that tied the series and forced Game 3 at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Junior Kevin O'Neil of Latham, an Albany Academy graduate, tied it at 1-1 just 1:02 into the third, and Boston Bruins draft pick Curtis Hall put Yale ahead just 1:01 later. He added another nifty goal, his 17th of the season, at 15:25 to put the game away.
The Bulldogs answered Union's 3-0 win on Friday with a desperation that both teams expect to bring into Game 3.
"If we want to stand any chance, we have to see what we saw the first night," Union head coach Rick Bennett said.
"It's going to be ugly, I'll tell you for free," Union senior wing Vas Kolias said. "It's going to be a warrior-type game, a straight-up battle. If you're a hockey player, you want to be in these games."
"I told them they have to be mentally tough enough to stick to the plan," Yale head coach Keith Allain said. "What we were doing was working. It wasn’t working on the scoreboard, but it was working. Sometimes you have to fight human nature to want to get down. We stuck to the plan and we were rewarded."
O'Neil scored his fifth goal of the season while the teams were skating 4-on-4, matching roughing penalties that held over from late in the second period.
The Dutchmen went in on the rush and caught deep, allowing Yale to counterattack and tie it 1:02 into the third when O'Neil scored in transition. After Union had nursed a 1-0 lead since early in the game, Yale needed just over two minutes at the start of the third to take the lead. Hall made it 2-1 just 1:01 after O'Neil's goal, taking the puck with his back to Union goalie Darion Hanson and spinning for a wrist shot that slid under the goalie.
"That second goal they got, back-to-back, was a little bit of a dagger," Kolias said. "That hurt a little bit, for sure, swayed the momentum completely in their favor. That's not to say we couldn't come back, but they definitely grabbed the momentum after that second one. They came out hot, were detailed quick and came right after us."
Union controlled play for the first five minutes of the game and went ahead 1-0 on freshman Matt Allen's second goal of the season and first since Dec. 6.
He prevented a defensive clear by Yale from crossing the blueline, then skated to his right for open ice in the high slot and beat goalie Corbin Kaczperski with a low wrist shot at 5:32.
No penalties were called in the first, then both teams had 5-on-3 advantages in the second, but neither scored.
Union's penalty kill had to endure two minutes of that, as Sean Harrison was called for a trip during a delayed call for tripping on Dylan Anhorn.
With Taylor Brierley and Ryan Sidorski on defense, forward Chaz Smedsrud was able to clear the puck and was able to get off the ice for Josh Kosack. A whistle allowed Brierley and Sidorski to get to the bench for Brandon Estes and Fletcher Fineman.
Hanson made several saves during that two-minute span, mostly on low shots by Yale.
Later in the period, the Dutchmen had a 5-on-3 for 42 seconds and nearly scored when Parker Foo wristed the puck off the underside of the crossbar, but after a review by the officials, it was ruled not to have crossed the goal line.
"The positive is we feel we can play a heck of a lot better than that," Bennett said. "I give Yale a lot of credit tonight. They played desperate, like a team that was on the brink, and we didn't. And their best players played great for them.
"If I'm a player, I'm coming out there, it's one game ... that's what they're going to be told tomorrow night, and hopefully our best players show up tomorrow night."
Union 1 0 0 -- 1
Yale 0 0 4 -- 4
First period -- 1, Union, Allen 2 (ua), 5:32.
Second period -- None. Penalties -- Anhorn, U (tripping), 2:27; Harrison, U (tripping), 2:27; Smith, Y (elbowing), 5:58; Donhauser, Y (cross-checking), 9:18; Sweezey, Y (hooking), 10:36; Sweezey, Y (roughing), 19:39; Rinaldi, U (roughing), 19:39.
Third period -- 2, Yale, O'Neil 5 (Kemp, St. Ivany), 1:02. 3, Yale, Hall 16 (Donhauser, Kemp), 2:03. 4, Yale, Hall 17 (Donhauser, Welsh), 15:25. 5, Yale, Kemp (D'Orsi, O'Neil), 18:32 (pp). Penalties -- Hall, Y (tripping), 10:35; Smedsrud, U (hooking), 17:13.
Shots on goal -- Union 5-13-5 -- 23. Yale 14-15-8 -- 37.
Power-play opportunities -- Union 0 of 4. Yale 1 of 3.
Goalies -- Union, Hanson L, 7-23-4 (37 shots-33 saves). Yale, Kaczperski W, 13-13-2 (23-22).
T -- 2:22. A -- 850.