Bulldogs Open Home Slate With Big Weekend

Sean Backman.
Sean Backman.

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- For the first time ever, Yale opened a season in the national rankings. Three games later and carrying a 1-1-1 mark into this weekend, the No. 11/12 Bulldogs have a lot to prove with strong conference competition from upstate New York coming to Ingalls Rink. First No. 3 Cornell (3-0-0, 2-0-0) comes to town Friday night at 7 before a hot Colgate (4-2-3, 2-0-0) squad raids New Haven the same time Saturday. The opening weekend at Ingalls can be seen live on yalebulldogs.com beginning Friday at 6:40 p.m. with Ron Vaccaro '04 calling the action. Both games can be heard live on WYBC (AM-1340) and on wybc.com starting at 6:45 with Michael Dunn '10 and Evan Ellis '12 providing commentary.


Series Notes

Cornell leads Yale 77-53-5, but the teams are 3-3-3 over the last nine meetings. Yale won all three games last year, including a 5-0 victory in the ECAC Tournament Championship. Colgate owns a 45-36-3 lead on Yale, including a 3-2 OT win in the 2008-09 regular-season finale.


Last Year

The Elis won 4-3 at Lynah, 4-2 at Ingalls the night Yale clinched the regular-season title and 5-0 in the tournament. The Raiders and Bulldogs exchanged overtime victories. Yale erased a four-goal deficit with five straight and stunned Colgate 5-4 in OT at Starr Rink. Colgate, in the regular-season finale, beat Yale 3-2 in OT.


Undefeated Red

Cornell is perfect after a weekend sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth. The Red rallied with four third-period goals to beat the Crimson 6-3. Junior F Joe Devin notched two goals, including the game-winner. Senior F Colin Greening (2-4-6) leads the Red in points. Blake Gallagher and Devin each have three goals. Senior G Ben Scrivens (1.99,.922) has stopped 71 of 77 shots.


Rising Raiders

Colgate, also coming off a home sweep of the Green (3-2) and Crimson (5-4), has won three straight. The Raiders, who had their first ECAC sweep in two years, are led by senior F David McIntyre, who hit the 100-point career mark in the come-from-behind win against Harvard. He had a goal and three assists. Charles Long (2.69, .908) and Alex Evin (3.45, .883) have shared the netminding duties thus far.


Last Weekend

Sean Backman's goal with six seconds left in regulation capped a two-goal, third-period comeback earning the Bulldogs a 3-3 OT tie at Union. Union outshot Yale 39-37 and was seconds away from a three-point weekend when Backman netted his second goal of the night. Ryan Rondeau made 36 saves...Allen York made 34 saves as Rensselaer beat Yale 5-2 on at Houston Field House in the ECAC opener for both. Broc Little tallied both Yale goals. The Bulldogs could only convert one of seven power-play opportunities. This was the first loss to RPI in six games



Yale, ranked 6th in both major polls after beating Princeton on Halloween, fell to No. 11 in the USCHO.com poll and No. 12 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine ranking. Five Yale opponents are currently in the USCHO.com Top 20 poll-Cornell (3), Massachusetts (14), Vermont (15), Princeton (19), and Quinnipiac (20).


On the Road

Yale began 2009-10 with three straight road games. The last time Yale began a season with three road games was the 1984-85 season; the Bulldogs did five staight that year.


Young Bulldogs

Four freshmen have been in the lineup over the three games: F Antoine Laganiere (0-1-1), F Andrew Miller (1-1-2), F Josh Balch and D Colin Dueck. The newcomers have combined for six points. G Nick Maricic has made all three road trips but has not been on the ice.


‘Little' Line Coming Up Big

Yale's line of Broc Little, Denny Kearney and Kevin Limbert has collected 11 points in three games. Little (4-2-6) leads the team in points. He netted a pair in 5-2 loss to RPI. Kearny is the Bulldogs' leader in assists (4).


Bench Exchange

Former Sacred Heart University assistant Dan Muse joins Yale behind the bench after long-time assistant coach C.J. Marottolo took the head coaching position with the Pioneers. Muse, a 2005 Stonehill College graduate, was also an assistant at Williams (Mass.) College from 2007-2008 and at Milton (Mass.) Academy from 2005-2007.


Backman Close to Century Scoring Mark

F Sean Backman has 94 career points in 96 games, including 59 goals. He was named to the College Hockey News (CHN) 2008-09 Pre-Season All-America squad. He was second-team All-ECAC last year after leading his team with 20 goals. Backman tallied the team's lone hat trick in a 5-0 win over Cornell that gave the Blue the ECAC Hockey Tournament Title and made him tournament MVP.


Ingalls Renovations

Dedication night for the renovated Ingalls Rink is Jan. 16 when the Yale men host Brown after the women play RPI. That is also alumni day for both squads. The underground addition, which includes approximately 13,000 square feet of varsity operational space, is located on the Mansfield Street side of the rink. It includes locker rooms for both varsity teams. There is also a strength and conditioning center, student-athlete study area, training room, officials room, video room, coaches' offices, equipment room and more. The rest of Ingalls has also received a major upgrade, with a new Schley Room reception area on the other side of the rink. A Yale Hockey Heritage area, highlighting more than 120 years of Yale hockey history, will be located right outside the Schley Room. There will also be a new concessions stand and bathrooms in the area where the visiting varsity team locker room used to be; the visitors will now use the locker room that the Yale women's team used to use.


Bulldog Bites

Five different players covering all four classes have scored for Yale this season... Yale, averaging 37 shots per game, has outshot opponents by just four overall... The Blue is 2-for-15 on the power play this year but has stopped 14 of 17 by opponents.


Century Mark

Mark Arcobello reached the 100-game milestone last Saturday at Union. Most Eli seniors don't get a glimpse of triple digits until late in their final campaigns. Two of his teammates, Sean Backman (96) and Ryan Donald (92), should follow Arcobello. All three could break the record of 125 games shared by Jeff Hamilton ‘01 and Jeff Hristovski ‘06.


Captain Ryan Donald

Ryan Donald (St. Albert, ALB), a class of 2010 defenseman, is the captain of the 2009-10 Bulldogs. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Bulldog skater had eight assists in 2008-09. Donald is one of 20 NCAA hockey candidates for the 2009-10 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, character, community and competition. Donald has compiled a 2.93 grade point average as a political science major at one of the nation's top universities. He was recognized as a member of the ECAC All-Academic team in 2009.


Coach Allain

Three years with Keith Allain ‘80 as Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey has meant remarkable progress for the program, and the most recent campaign more than established the Bulldogs on the national scene. All he did in 2008-09 was lead the Bulldogs to the best season in the history of the sport at Yale. A school-record 24 wins, Yale's first ECAC Tournament Championship and a school-best No. 5 national ranking in late March backs up that statement. The Elis' second ECAC regular-season title, a third NCAA Tournament appearance and an Ivy League crown confirm the status of the 2008-09 squad. That's why the ECAC coaches voted him the conference coach of the year (Tim Taylor Award) and College Hockey News named him national coach of the year.


Conference Picks

The Bulldogs, defending ECAC Hockey regular-season and tournament champions and 2009 NCAA Tournament participant, have been picked to finish first in both the ECAC Hockey Coaches' Preseason Poll and the ECAC Hockey Writers and Broadcasters Association (ECACHWBA) Preseason Poll. Yale, predicted to finish atop the ECAC Hockey standings for the first time, received 15 of 25 first-place votes and earned 278 points in the writers' poll. The Blue had seven of the 12 first-place votes in the coaches' poll. The highest prediction for a Yale squad prior to this season was fifth in 2003.