BULLDOGS BATTLE CATS AT
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The No. 11 Bulldogs (5-2-2, 2-1-2 ECAC), fresh off a 7-3 win at Holy Cross on Saturday, head to Burlington for a rematch of the 2009 East Regional semifinal, a 4-1 Vermont win that ended Yale's best-ever season. The Catamounts (5-5-1, 4-4-1 HE), coming off a 3-2 win over Northeastern on Friday, and the Elis drop the puck at 7 p.m. in a game that can be seen live through a video stream from the official University of Vermont website.
The Catamounts handed Yale a 4-1 loss in the NCAA East Regional at Bridgeport last March in the latest meeting. UVM and Yale began facing each other in 1975-76 and the Elis have a 26-24-4 edge in the series.
Blue Powers Past Crusaders
It was power-play day at the Hart Center with two teams combining for seven man-advantage goals on 15 attempts. Seven different Bulldogs hit the net, four on the power play, as Yale beat Holy Cross 7-3 in a non-league contest before 1,003 on Saturday. Yale, winners of three straight, converted four of eight power plays while outshooting the Crusaders 39-23. The Elis broke open a 1-1 game in the second period with four straight goals that made freshman goalie Nick Maricic (20 saves) a winner. The goal scoring was well spread, but sophomore defenseman Kevin Peel had three assists while senior forward Mark Arcobello and rookie forward Andrew Miller each had a pair of helpers. Seniors Sean Backman and Tom Dignard had a goal and an assist.
Yale Cruises Past Sacred Heart
Sophomore F Brian O'Neill had two goals and one assist and six other teammates hit the net as Yale raced past Sacred Heart 8-2 before 2,219 at Ingalls Rink on Tuesday. Senior F Sean Backman had three assists as Yale outshot the visitors 42-15. Yale freshman Jeff Malcolm stopped 13 of 15 shots to earn his first collegiate win in net. He got some help from special teams at the other end of the rink; Yale had a season-high three man-advantage goals on seven attempts.
The Pioneers, led by former Yale assistant coach CJ Marottolo, had just one power-play chance.The Elis, who had two goals on their first three shots, were four-for-eight midway through the opening period.
The eight goals against SHU were the most since an 8-2 win over Notre Dame on Jan. 27, 2001, at the New Haven Coliseum. Yale has 15 goals over the last two games, the most since the 1990-91 Elis scored 16 times at home during weekend wins over Clarkson and St. Lawrence. The Elis have had a player (Sean Backman, Kevin Peel) with three assists in the last two games, while there was a period in both games where the Blue had at least four goals.
Brian O'Neill has a six-game point streak and is tied for the team lead with 13 points... Nineteen different Bulldogs, including goalie Nick Maricic (2 assists), have a point this season... Yale has outscored opponents 41-29... The Blue has 94 more shots on goal than opponents and are averaging 38 per game... The Elis have been outscored in the second period but have an advantage on opponents in the first (16-11) and third (15-6) periods... Twelve different players covering all four classes have scored for Yale this season.
Two weeks ago, the Blue power play was operating at just over 11 percent. After notching seven over the last two games, Yale now has a .228 mark with 13 goals. Sophomore Brian O'Neill leads the team with three.
Lots of Little
Junior F Broc Little leads the Elis with nine goals and 13 points. He has a point in every game and four multiple-point outings this season. Little's 1.44 points per game are sixth in Division I. He and Blake Gallagher of Cornell are the only two players in the country to have a goal for every game played this season.
Kearney Lends Helping Hand
Junior F Denny Kearney, who has 10 points in nine games, has recorded a point in all but one game. He is second on the team with eight helpers this season. Kearney is second to Mark Arcobello (51) in active career assists with 44.
Goalie Du Jour
Four different Bulldogs have played in goal this season, and Yale may not have settled on one as the leading man. A year after Alec Richards ‘09 brought the team and his own game to a new level, the Elis have two freshmen, a junior and senior battling for the top job. Newcomers Nick Maricic (2.89, 889, 2-1-1) and Jeff Malcolm (2.01, .867, 1-0-0), junior Ryan Rondeau (3.84, .880, 1-1-1) and senior Billy Blase (3 saves, 1-0-0) have been in net.
Backman Hits Century Scoring Mark
F Sean Backman's three assists on Tuesday against SHU put him at 100 career points in 101 games. He added a goal at Holy Cross and now has 62 for his career, Yale's active career leader. Backman was named to the College Hockey News (CHN) 2008-09 Pre-Season All-America squad. Backman, who has two multiple-point outings, has a point in all but two games. He was second-team All-ECAC last year after leading his team with 20 goals. Backman tallied the team's lone hat trick of the year in a 5-0 win over Cornell that gave the Blue the ECAC Hockey Tournament Title and made him tournament MVP.
Arcobello Making Point
Senior F Mark Arcobello has seven points in nine outings. Arcobello, a second-team All-America pick last winter, has 36 goals and 87 points in three-plus seasons. He is second to Backman among active career leaders in goals and assists.
Senior F Mark Arcobello has 106 career games played. Most Eli seniors don't get a glimpse of triple digits until late in their final campaigns. Two of his teammates, F Sean Backman (102) and D Ryan Donald (98), 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 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.
On the Bench
Keith Allain ‘80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, has helped establish the Bulldogs on the national scene since he joined the program three years ago. In 2008-09 he led Yale to the best season in the program's history. 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. He was honored by ECAC coaches as conference coach of the year (Tim Taylor Award) and College Hockey News named him national coach of the year.
Allain After Holy Cross
"It was a real special teams game on both sides. It was nice to see our guys move the puck around so well and finish."
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 Elis have added 13,000 square feet of varsity operational space. It includes locker rooms, a strength and conditioning center, student-athlete study area, training room, officials room, video room, coaches' offices, equipment room and more. There is a new Schley Room (reception area), historical displays, a concessions stand and bathrooms.