ELIS COMPETE ON DIFFERENT ICE
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- There was a report of Bulldogs walking around ice carrying brushes and pushing stones in the Fairfield County area, and it had nothing to do with a work-release program at the municipal pound.
The Yale men’s hockey team, preparing for this weekend’s ECAC Hockey Quarterfinal Playoff Series with Brown, took a break during the school’s spring break to “hit the broom” at the Curling Club in Bridgeport on Monday.
The Elis, not far from the Arena at Harbor Yard, the site of the 2009 and 2011 NCAA East Regional Championships, received some basic instruction before splitting up into six teams and playing two hours of the game they often imitate on the Ingalls ice before suiting up on game night. The heightened interest stemmed from the frequent broadcast of the Vancouver competition last month.
“Curling grew in popularity amongst the guys throughout the Olympics. It was great to get to try it,” said Yale captain Ryan Donald. “It was good for us to get away from the rink and have a day to ourselves.”
Donald made sure to note that Calgary native Colin Dueck was the most valuable curler on the team and that Jeff Anderson was the first to “end up on his butt on the ice.”
Yale earned the bye in the first round of the playoffs and most of the campus has taken off for a two-week spring break that began last weekend. The confluence of hockey and school schedules could become an issue for some teams, but Donald felt this getaway really helps.
“With the bye week, it is easy to fall into a rut. This was a good way to keep us sharp so when we get back into this week’s preparation we will be ready to go.”
Last season, early in February on a frigid afternoon, the Bulldogs took a day off from Ingalls and played pond hockey on Yale’s famous golf course, which was covered by a deep blanket of snow. This year’s excursion was a bit less challenging to organize but equally fun.
Release filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
Image by Wayne Dean