OLD RIVALS INVADE INGALLS
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Yale men's hockey team (12-6-3, 8-4-2), coming off a 5-3-1 January mark that included splitting its last three conference sets, looks to begin February with a bang as old rivals Dartmouth (6-15-0, 4-10-0) and Harvard (5-12-3, 5-6-3) come to the Elm City with a lot at stake in the ECAC Hockey and Ivy League standings. The No. 8 Bulldogs and the Big Green skate at 7 pm on Friday, followed by the 4 pm Saturday Yale-Harvard game. Both games can be seen live on yalebulldogs.com.
There are no tickets of any type left for Saturday's Harvard game. A limited number of seats are available for Friday night. Students can pick up tickets while they last at the Yale Bookstore.
Cornell (20 points) has the top spot and a two-point lead over Yale, Union and St. Lawrence. Harvard is eighth and five points behind that trio while 11th-place Dartmouth has eight points.
YALE VS DARTMOUTH
The teams have met 194 times since 1907 with Yale having a 99-84-12 lead. The last four games at Ingalls have been split.
YALE VS. HARVARD
Harvard's win at Boston last month increased its series lead over Yale to 135-74-18
heading into the 228th meeting. However, the Elis own a 43-38-12 edge in home games, including 3-0-1 over the last four seasons.
YALE 4, DARTMOUTH 2 (at Hanover, Jan. 10)
Mark Arcobello scored two goals and Jeff Malcolm made 29 saves as Yale won at Thompson Arena. Malcolm helped the Blue kill off eight of nine power plays as the Elis were outshot 31-27. Jeff Anderson and Brendan Mason had the other Yale goals against Jody O'Neill (23 saves).
HARVARD 3, YALE 2 (at Boston, Jan. 12)
Junior Ryan Carroll stopped 35 of 37 shots as Harvard took the first meeting with Yale despite being outshot 37-22. Sean Backman and Broc Little hit the net for the Elis, who converted just one of five man-advantages. Jeff Malcolm made 19 saves for the Blue at the Bright Hockey Center.
LAST WEEKEND AT INGALLS
For the second straight weekend the Elis won Friday and lost Saturday and came away with two points. Brendan Mason's two goals led the Blue to a 4-3 win over No. 18 Union on Friday. Nick Maricic made 22 saves as the home team outshot the Dutchmen 40-25. Allen York made 22 saves in a 4-0 RPI win on Saturday. The Engineers outshot Yale 26-22 and scored one power-play goal.
Here are the per game averages for each team and where it ranks in Division I.
YALE DARTMOUTH HARVARD
3.95 (1) 2.62 (45) 2.68 (43)
2.90 (32) 3.57 (50) 3.37 (45)
12.8 (42) 14.2 (27) 11.8 (48)
21.4 (8) 14.0 (49) 18.4 (31)
81.5 (28) 77.6 (50) 78.8 (42)
This is the last of the Ingalls games featuring Ivy League teams. Yale currently leads the Ancient Eight standings with 10 points, but Cornell is just two points back and Harvard and Princeton are within striking (7) distance. In addition to this weekend's games, the Elis also play at Cornell and Princeton.
Dartmouth has won two of its last three after splitting home games last weekend with Quinnipiac (4-3 W) and Princeton (5-3 L). The Green, whose road wins this year came at Harvard and Union, are led offensively by junior forwards Adam Estoclet (8-12-20) and Scott Fleming (10-8-18). Sophomore Jody O'Neill (.890, 3.82) has all but three decisions in net.
Harvard,which lost to BC at Monday's Beanpot and plays at Brown Friday, is 3-2-1 over the last seven. Newcomer Louis Leblanc, one of six NHL draft picks on the roster, leads the team with 9-8-17. Freshman Conor Morrison is second with eight goals. A pair of juniors, Kyle Richter (.900, 3.74) and Ryan Carroll (.924, 2.55), have shared the time in net.
RED LIGHT DISTRICT ON PROSPECT STREET
Yale averages over five goals at home this season despite the shutout by RPI last week. The Elis have 41 goals in nine games at Ingalls Rink. The Elis lead the nation with 3.95 goals per game and have a power play that ranks eighth in Division I at 21.4. Two Bulldogs (Sean Backman, Broc Little) are among the top 20 in the nation in goals per game, while defenseman Tom Dignard is second in Division I points per game for defensemen. Yale has scored 27 power play goals and 83 overall. The 1985-86 Bulldogs own the school record for both, 59 and 160 respectively.
MASON ON LINE
Junior F Brendan Mason (6-4-10) entered the season with six career goals and has already met that number in 21 outings this winter. He had his first collegiate two-goal game, including the winner, in a 4-3 win over Union on Jan. 29. Mason, classmate Jeff Anderson (3-4-7) and sophomore Charles Brockett (0-2-2), known as Yale's checking line, have produced nine goals and 19 points this year. Mason had four goals and seven points in January, a goal shy of his top (2007-08) season total.
CLASS OF ‘10
The four skaters in Yale's class of 2010 have accumulated 132 career goals and 301 combined points over three-plus seasons. A few other classes have produced more offense -- all with at least two more skaters -- including 1993 (Mark Kaufmann, James Lavish, Yannick Chiasson, Jack Duffy, Peter Allen, Dean Malish) which had 170 goals and 431 combined points.
The players on the ice don't always match the night's line sheet. Changes are frequent, but even more so last week. The Bulldogs skated wholesale changes that included separating Yale's active career points leaders Mark Arcobello and Sean Backman. One of the four foward lines was the same both nights.
Senior F Mark Arcobello (7-10-17) has a point in five of the last eight games that includes four goals over the last seven 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 41 goals and 97 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 lineup included six juniors, five sophomores, four seniors and four freshmen, including a goalie. No class has been common for any one Bulldog line or defensive pairing.
Saturday's 4-0 loss to RPI was the first time Yale had been shut out at home since November of 2008 against Alabama-Huntsville (1-0)... Yale is 5-1 on Fridays this year, 6-2-2 on Saturdays. That includes 8-5-3 in night games and 4-1 during the day... Yale's last two regular-season Saturday games are at 4 pm including this Saturday's contest with Harvard... The three home afternoon games slated for this winter are the most the Blue has ever had... Yale's 22 shots on goal were a season-low and the fewest since the Elis had 15 at Union last February in a 4-2 win... Sean Backman and Broc Little were named among the 16 finalists for the 2010 Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England... Chris Higgins ‘05, who had 6-8-14 in 55 games with the New York Rangers this winter, has been traded to the Calgary Flames.
Saturday's crowd of 3,500 marked the fifth sellout at Ingalls this year and the third straight. Yale had six sellouts in 2008-09.
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 15 of the 21 games and are 10-2-1 in those outings. The Elis average 38 shots and give up 26. In the first period alone the Blue has a 96-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.
It's been an up-and-down special teams season. After having eight power-play goals over three games, the Elis are now one for their last 19 over three games. The Blue managed four PPG over the first six games of 2009-10 and were operating at just over 11 percent efficiency. The Elis are now at 21.4 percent, which is eighth in Division I. Yale's best day on special teams was 5-for-8 against Brown on Jan. 16, the most productive PP day since Nov. 13, 1992 when the Blue went 5-for-7 in a 10-6 win over Colgate at Hamilton.
Junior F Broc Little (15-20-35 last year) led the nation last year with five shorthanded tallies. He currently sits fifth among Division I players with .71 goals per game. Little (15-7-22) leads the Elis in goals. He has a point in all but six games and eight multiple-point outings this season. Little's nine game point streak to start 2009-10 is a team best.
Sophomore F Brian O'Neill, who has points in 15 of 21 games and had the tying goal in the OT draw in the Badger Showdown title game, leads the team with 24 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 1.14 points per game are 30th 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 21-29-50.
Junior F Denny Kearney (5-13-18), who has a point in 14 of 21 games, had two goals in the win over Quinnipiac. Kearney, who has 22 career goals and 72 points in 89 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. As the Elis pulled into Lake Placid for practice on Jan. 21 on the way to the North Country, Hannah was winning the 2010 Freestyle World Cup Moguls on Whiteface Mountain, just nine miles away. Her competition day at Vancouver this month is Feb. 13, the day Yale plays at Cornell.
All seven members of the class of 2013 have been in the lineup at times this year. The five frosh skaters have combined for 58 games played with 10 goals and 37 points. Antoine Laganiere leads the newcomers with five goals, while Andrew Miller has 16 assists and 19 points. The two goalies, Nick Maricic and Jeff Malcolm, who have contributed a combined four assists to the offense, own 17 of the 21 decisions and 10 of the 12 wins.
Four different Bulldogs have earned a win in net this season: two freshmen, a junior and senior. Newcomers Nick Maricic (2.63, .900, 5-3-2), who has started three of the last four games, and Jeff Malcolm (2.74, .887, 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. Blase is the only Eli with a collegiate shutout. Maricic ranks 29th nationally in GAA, 57th in save percentage.
F Sean Backman (13-9-22) has 113 points in 114 career games and is tied for fourth (Mark Kaufmann ‘93) at Yale with 69 career goals. Backman 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 14 of 21 outings this winter and is 17th in Division I with .62 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 D 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 22nd overall with 1.19 points per game.
On one hand, the Bulldogs lose three of their top five point producers (126 career goals) to graduation after the 2009-10 season. On the other hand, Yale returns seven of its top 10 point scorers and three of the four goalies next season.
Senior F Mark Arcobello has 118 career games played. Most Eli seniors don't get a glimpse of triple digits until late in their final campaigns. Teammates F Sean Backman (114) and D Ryan Donald (110) 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.
Ryan Donald (St. Albert, ALB), a class of 2010 defenseman, is the captain of the 2009-10 Bulldogs. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound skater has already tied his career-high for goals (2) in a season and is one 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 15-5-1 with 70 goals. The current Bulldogs have one less win in their first 21 but have hit the net 83 times. The Elis were 4-1 against ranked teams in the first 21 last year, they are 5-2-1 this season.
In the Polls
Yale fell one spot to No. 8 on the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national poll while dropping two to No. 8 on the USCHO.com list this week. Yale had been No. 5 for two weeks this year which matches the school record. The Bulldogs are 2-1-1 against top 15 teams in the current USA Today rankings and 3-2-2 vs. the USCHO's top 20. Yale is 5-2-1 against teams that were ranked on game night. The PairWise Rankings have the Elis tied for 17th with Michigan, Union and UMass-Lowell.
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 four 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 goalie and three as an assistant coach in the 1980s.
"We just weren't good enough tonight in any facet of the game," said Allain after Saturday's game with RPI. "We have to tighten up some areas of our game. We didn't test [Allen York, RPI goalie] him very much."
The junior class has contributed 31 goals this season, the seniors have 26. The sophomores are third with 16 while the newcomers have 10 goals.
Ed Maturo, in his 33rd year as Yale's Director of Equipment Services, will be retiring at the end of the 2009-10 season. Maturo, who began working with Yale hockey teams in 1977-78 and was nicknamed "Fox" because of his silver-colored hair many years ago, missed the 1993-94 and 2005-06 seasons to work for U.S. Teams at the winter Olympic games. He has worked 937 Yale men's varsity hockey games.
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 (Calgary Flames, 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
Image of Captain Ryan Donald by Sam Rubin '95