BULLDOGS HEAD TO NORTH COUNTRY
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The No. 5/6 Yale men's hockey team (10-4-3, 6-2-2 ECAC) has been tough to beat at Ingalls Rink but just over .500 on the road this winter. The Bulldogs have a chance to make a big improvement on the their out-of-town mark with one of the most challenging of ECAC Hockey excursions, Clarkson and St. Lawrence. The Elis take on the Golden Knights (5-14-3, 1-7-2) 7 p.m. on Friday at Cheel Arena before playing a 4 p.m. game Saturday against the Saints (11-8-4, 5-3-2) at Appleton Arena.
YALE VS CLARKSON, SLU
The Elis have played Clarkson 100 times since 1929-30 and the Knights own a 68-28-4 lead. Clarkson and Yale have split the last two season series. Yale went 1-1-1 against St. Lawrence last year, but the Saints have a 52-24-8 advantage.
LAST YEAR AGAINST NORTH COUNTRY TEAMS
The road teams won both of last year's Clarkson-Yale games by a goal. Sean Backman had two goals and Alec Richards ‘09 made 22 saves in the Blue's 3-2 win at Potsdam early in the year. Three different players scored but the Elis went 1-for-6 on the power play and fell 4-3 at home in January. Yale outshot Clarkson 34-24 in both games. Billy Blase made 27 saves but the Bulldogs went scoreless on five man-advantages in a 3-2 OT loss at Canton. Blase had 26 stops the next meeting at Ingalls in a 2-2 tie. Yale erased a late, one-goal deficit in the ECAC semifinals at Albany with tallies by Mark Arcobello and Matt Nelson ‘09 to take a 4-3 decision. Alex Petizian made 101 saves and held the Bulldogs to one power-play tally on 16 attempts in the three contests.
YALE BEATS BROWN
The Blue tallied three times in the second and third periods and had five power-play goals in an 8-5 win over Brown on Jan. 16, the day Yale celebrated the re-dedication of Ingalls Rink. The Bulldogs had a season-high 53 shots on target and converted a season-high five man-advantages. Yale had goals from seven different players and no Bulldog had more than two points. Broc Little had two goals while Jeff Anderson, Mark Arcobello and Brendan Mason each had a goal and an assist as the Blue outshot Brown 23-8 in the second period alone. Denny Kearney, Ryan Donald and Tom Dignard all assisted on two scores in a game that featured nine special teams goals. Yale's Jeff Malcolm stopped 23 shots and visiting goalie Mike Clemente had 45 saves, including 20 in the middle frame.
Clarkson fell to Cornell (3-1) and Colgate (6-2) at home last weekend and looks for its first win since Jan. 8 against Alabama-Huntsville. The Knights are 4-0-1 at Cheel in non-conference games but 0-5 in ECAC play.
SLU, coming off a 4-0 win over Colgate and a 1-1 tie with Cornell at home, is 3-1-2 over its last six. The Saints have a 5-2 win over Boston College and have gone 6-5-2 in non-league games.
RED LIGHT DISTRICT
The Elis lead the nation with 4.35 goals per game and have a power play that ranks sixth in Division I at 24.0. Two Bulldogs (Sean Backman, Broc Little) are among the top 10 in the nation in goals per game, while defenseman Tom Dignard is 10th in Division I points per game.
Yale is 8-2-1 since Thanksgiving week and has tallied eight goals twice and seven in two other contests while netting 48 goals in those 11 games.
Arcobello ON THE MOVE
Senior F Mark Arcobello (6-10-16) has a four-game points streak that includes three goals over the last three games. His top game of 2008-09 was a two-goal performance at Dartmouth in a 4-2 win. He scored his first collegiate shorthander to give the Blue a 1-0 lead in the second period before tallying the winner in the third. He was a 2008-09 second-team All-America pick after recording 17-18-35. He has 40 goals and 96 points in three-plus seasons. He is second to Backman among active career leaders in goals.
The current Elis are a true mix of experience. Last weekend's Yale lineup included seven juniors, six sophomores, four seniors and two freshmen. No class has been common for any one Bulldog line or defensive pairing.
Two Yale Olympians (1948 St, Moritz) recently passed away: Fred Pearson ‘45, a forward, and former goalie Terry VanIngen ‘45... Forty former players returned to Ingalls last Saturday to compete in the alumni game... Yale has had 24 skaters suit up for games this year and all four goalies... Senior G Billy Blase is president of Sigma Nu (fraternity) and the founder and president of Yale's Undergraduate Student Entertainment Society... Freshman F Antoine Laganiere, whose brother is in his fourth year at the Yale Medical School, is an accomplished piano player who also plays guitar... Freshman G Nick Maricic started playing hockey on rollerblades in Alta Loma, Calif... Freshman F Andrew Miller worked as a lacrosse coach at Cranbrook Kingswood School in Michigan.
The Yale roster includes players from 12 different states and three provinces. The most from a state is two (California, Connecticut, Illinois and New Hampshire) while six hail from Alberta, including a Calgary pair.
The Bulldogs have outshot opponents in 12 of the 17 games and are 9-2-1 in those outings. The Elis average 38 shots and give up just over 27. In the third period alone the Blue has an 81-shot advantage.
Nobody expects to score goals down a man, but the Elis were among the best in the country at scoring shorthanded last winter with nine. Broc Little led the country with five with Denny Kearney grabbing two and assisting on almost every Little tally. Sean Backman and Tom Dignard had the others in 2008-09. Little and Mark Arcobello have Yale's only SHG this year.
The Blue managed four PPG over the first six games and were operating at just over 11 percent efficiency. The Elis (24 % for season) are 20-for-67 (29.8) in the last 11 games. Yale's best day on special teams was (5-for-8) against Brown on Jan. 16. The Elis had four at Holy Cross in November.
Little LEADS NATION
Junior F Broc Little (15-20-35 last year) led the nation last year with five shorthanded tallies. He currently leads Division I with .82 goals per game after a two-goal performance against Brown. Little (14-6-20) leads the Elis in goals. He has a point in all but three games and seven multiple-point outings this season.
O'NEILL ON TOP
Sophomore F Brian O'Neill, who has points in 12 of 17 games and had the tying goal in the OT draw in the Badger Showdown title game, leads the team with 21 points. He had 2-1-3 in the win over Sacred Heart on Nov. 24 and 1-2-3 vs. Ferris State. O'Neill's 1.24 points per game are 26th in Division I. He made the CHN (national) and ECAC Hockey All-Rookie teams after going 12-14-26 last winter. His career numbers are 40-38-78 in 78 games.
Junior F Denny Kearney (5-11-16), who has a point in 12 of 17 games, had two goals in the win over Quinnipiac. Kearney, who has 22 career goals and 69 points in 85 games, was in Colorado over the break to watch his sister, Hannah, 2005 world champion, qualifiy for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver as a mogul skier.
All seven members of the class of 2013 have been in the lineup at times this year. The five frosh skaters have combined for 49 games played with nine goals and 33 points. Antoine Laganiere leads the newcomers with four goals, while Andrew Miller has 13 assists and 16 points. The two goalies, Nick Maricic and Jeff Malcolm, who have contributed a combined four assists to the offense, own 13 of the 17 decisions and eight of the 10 wins.
Four different Bulldogs have earned a win in net this season: two freshmen, a junior and senior. Newcomers Nick Maricic (2.41, .909, 3-1-2), who has not played since the Jan. 3 tie against Wisconsin, and Jeff Malcolm (2.58, .893, 5-2-0), junior Ryan Rondeau (3.84, .880, 1-1-1) and senior Billy Blase (3 saves, 1-0-0) have been in net. Rondeau has the top save night with 40 at Princeton. Malcolm, who has the most wins, has been in net the last three games, but Maricic has the top GAA and SP. Blase is the only Eli with a collegiate shutout.
Backman MOVING UP
F Sean Backman (12-8-20) has 111 points in 110 career games and is fifth at Yale with 68 career goals. Backman, who trails Mark Kaufmann (69) by one for the No. 4 spot, was named to the College Hockey News (CHN) 2009-10 Pre-Season All-America squad. Ding Palmer's 87 career goals between 1927-30 are a long way off. Backman has a point in 12 of 17 outings this winter and is seventh in Division I with .71 goals per game. 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.
Senior defenseman Tom Dignard (4-15-19) has 17 career goals, which is fourth on the school charts and a dozen shy of the record set by Dave Baseggio (29-79-108) between 1985-89. Dignard needs five goals to catch Darcy Ryan and Ray Giroux (22) and tie for second. He is sixth among Yale blueliners in career points with 68, one behind Jeff Dwyer ‘04 (69) for fifth. The current Bulldog ranks No. 2 in the nation among blueliners and 10th overall with 1.36 points per game.
Senior F Mark Arcobello has 114 career games played. Most Eli seniors don't get a glimpse of triple digits until late in their final campaigns. Teammates F Sean Backman (110) and D Ryan Donald (106) recently followed Arcobello. All three could break the record of 125 games shared by Jeff Hamilton ‘01 and Jeff Hristovski ‘06. The Elis have a minimum of 14 games left.
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 has already tied his career-high for goals (2) in a season and is one-point shy of that mark in points (8). The defensive-blueliner (5-18-23 career) 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 is a political science major who was recognized as a member of the ECAC All-Academic team in 2009.
CARE TO COMPARE
The 2008-09 Bulldogs enjoyed the best season in the history of Yale hockey after starting 11-5-1 with 55 goals. The current Bulldogs have one less victory in their first 17 but have hit the net 74 times. The Elis were 2-1 against ranked teams in the first 17 last year, they are 4-2-1 this season.
In the Polls
Yale stayed at No. 5 on the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national poll while dropping a spot to No. 6 on the USCHO.com list this week. The No. 5 ranking matches the best Yale has every been. The Bulldogs are 2-1-2 against top 15 teams in the current USA Today rankings and 2-2-2 vs. the USCHO's top 20. Yale is 4-2-1 against teams that were ranked on game night. The PairWise Rankings have the Elis tied for 15th with New Hampshire.
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 back 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. This is Allain's 11th overall year at Yale; he spent four as a student-athlete and goalie and three as an assistant coach in the 1980s.
"We made some changes on our special teams and it certainly worked out for us," said Keith Allain ‘80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, after Saturday's game. "Any time you can get scoring from all your lines, it picks them up."
The junior class has contributed 27 goals this season, the seniors have 24. The sophomores are third with 15 while the newcomers have eight goals.
BULLDOGS IN THE PROS
Fourteen former Yale players are skating professionally this winter. Here are the details on each. Alec Richards '09 (Rockford Icehogs, AHL), Brennan Turner '09 (Elmira Jackals, ECHL), David Meckler '09 (Manchester Monarchs, AHL), Blair Yaworski '08 (Wheeling Nailers, ECHL), Matt Cohen '07 (Trenton Devils, ECHL), Brad Mills '07 (Lowell Devils, AHL), Chris Brooks ‘06 (Bakersfield Condors, ECHL), Joe Zappala ‘06 (Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, CHL), Chris Higgins '05 (New York Rangers, NHL), Joe Callahan '05 (Worchester Sharks, AHL), Stacey Bauman '03 (Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, CHL), Jeff Hamilton '01 (Lugano, Swiss-A), Ray Giroux '98 (St. Petersburg SKA, KHL) Alex Westlund '98 (Linz EHC, Austria).
The Yale hockey program celebrated the re-dedication of Ingalls Rink on Jan. 16 with a ceremonies on and off the ice. The rink has been modernized in many ways while adding 13,000 square feet of varsity operational space. The additions include locker rooms and space for strength & conditioning (including skating treadmill), student-athlete study area, medical & training, officials, video, coaches, equipment, reception (Schley Room) and more. There are new historical displays and concession stands and bathrooms.
BULLDOGS ON THE AIR
All Yale home games include live video and audio streaming. All games from Ingalls can be seen live through Yale's All Access on yalebulldogs.com. The audio is provided by WYBC radio, and the broadcast can also be heard on either AM 1340 or on wybc.com.
SKATE WITH THE BULLDOGS
The YUAD invites Yale hockey fans to an Ingalls Rink open skate with the men's and women's teams from 2:15 to 3:30 on Sunday, Feb. 7. Facility tours will also be available.
Release filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director