Going West For Test

Jimmy Martin. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Jimmy Martin. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Taking on CC, USAF This Weekend


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NEW HAVEN, Conn. –  The Yale men's hockey team (4-0, 2-0 ECAC) has enjoyed the friendly confines of Ingalls Rink this season, taking its first four games at its home venue. The No. 3/4 Elis hit the road for the first time with a trip to the Centennial State to face Colorado College and Air Force on Saturday and Sunday nights. Both Saturday's 9 p.m. ET faceoff at Colorado Springs World Arena and Sunday's 8 p.m. ET puck drop at Cadet Ice Arena can be seen live on americaone.com.

The Bulldogs and Tigers first met during the 1940-41 season as Yale earned a sweep at Colorado Springs. CC won six of the next 13 meetings and now leads the series 8-7. All but three of the games have been played out West with CC holding a 7-5 lead in those contests. The last meeting was a 6-5 OT decision in 1985 for the Elis in New Haven. Yale and USAF have met 12 times since 1989-90, the year the Blue hosted the Falcons in the Yale Hockey Classic and took an 8-5 win. The last meeting was a 3-2 Yale win at Ingalls in January of 2009. The Elis have a 9-3 advantage heading into the 13th meeting.

The fans who packed sold-out Ingalls Rink anticipated an offensive flurry from the home team at some point. They just didn't figure to wait so long. The flurry came with abundance as Yale erased an early 1-0 deficit with five straight goals over the last two periods to beat Quinnipiac 5-1 in an ECAC Hockey contest. The Bulldogs scored late in the second to take the lead and then broke it open with three in the third while slightly outshooting the visitors, 33-30. Brian O'Neill hit the net twice while the Elis also got goals from Jeff Anderson and Denny Kearney, who had two points.  Chris Cahill added two assists in Yale's second straight home win over the Bobcats.  Senior Yale goalie Ryan Rondeau was as impressive as his team's offensive outburst. He stopped 29 of 30 shots and four out of five man-advantages to earn his third win of the year.

YALE 5, PRINCETON 3 (Nov. 5)
The conference season began with a bang for the two-time defending regular season champions. Senior F Chris Cahill scored twice and added an assist and senior G Ryan Rondeau stopped 27 shots as No. 5 Yale beat Princeton 5-3 on the first night of ECAC Hockey action at Ingalls Rink. The Bulldogs, who outshot the 0-3 Tigers 46-30, had a real battle from the visitors. Rondeau made six saves in the first, nine in the second and finished with a dozen big saves in the final frame. The Elis, who killed off six of seven Princeton advantages, had multiple 5-on-3s to wipe away as their senior netminder reeled off big save after big save.

Senior goalie Ryan Rondeau (Carvel, AB) stopped 56 of 60 shots to earn two wins in net against Princeton and Quinnipiac. The senior allowed two power-play goals combined. He made 12 saves on 13 shots in the third period against the Tigers in a 5-3 win on Nov. 5. Rondeau (2.34, .919, 3-0) stopped 13 of 14 shots in the first period against the Bobcats and allowed his team to score five straight in a 5-1 win. He has been in net for four wins over ranked teams including a 3-2 decision with North Dakota at the 2010 NCAA Northeast Regional semifinal.

Denny Kearney (Hanover, NH), who is tied for the team lead with five goals and 10 points, notched eight of those points over the first two games and was ECAC Hockey's Player of the Week. That included his first collegiate hat trick (natural) and a game-winner during the best weekend of his collegiate career. In addition, all four assists were primary ones. Kearney (106 gp, 34-66-100) is Yale's active career assist leader but may not be the best athlete in his family. His sister, Hannah Kearney, won an Olympic gold medal in mogul skiing at the 2010 Games and is the top ranked American in that event.

Yale senior forward Broc Little (Rindge, N.H.), whose next game is the 100th of his career, shares the team lead with five goals and 10 points after four outings. He is the only Bulldog with three (PP, SH, GW) different types of goals this season. Little was named one of the 20 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in hockey, which honors student-athletes who excel both on and off the ice. 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 – community, classroom, character and competition. Little (99 gp, 58-51-109), who has 10 more points than games played, led the 2009-10 Bulldogs with 27 goals, a Yale record for juniors, while leading all of Division I in goals per game (.79). He was second on the team with 41 points and garnered numerous post-season honors. Little was named RBK Second-Team All-America and first-team All-ECAC, All-Ivy and All-New England. He was also named ECAC Hockey Player of the Year by the New England Hockey Journal. Little, a political science major, has shown the same dedication in the classroom. He owns a 3.1 GPA and has been a three-time ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team pick.

Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, is 76-49-12 as a head coach, including 9-7 in the post season. Only four other Yale hockey head coaches have more wins, and none have reached the 70-win mark faster than Allain. The former Yale goalie has led the Blue to three Ivy League titles, two ECAC regular season championships and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. Allain, who played and worked for Tim Taylor at Yale, earned the 2008-09 Tim Taylor Award as the ECAC Hockey Coach of the Year by leading the Elis 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 were a few reasons why he was selected. College Hockey News named him 2008-09 national coach of the year. This is Allain's 12th overall year at Yale; he spent four as a student-athlete goalie and three as an assistant coach in the 1980s.

"We are excited about making the trip West and playing some new teams in new venues. Colorado College and Air Force are perennial powers that will provide a great test for our hockey team."

He's the team leader but the team does not rely on him for offense. Captain Jimmy Martin (St. Louis, Mo.) is a defensive defenseman who happened to get very involved at the other end last year. Martin, who has four goals and 36 career points, notched a pair of goals and 17 assists last winter. He has one assist in 2010-11.

Yale took the No. 3 spot in this week's uscho.com Division I poll, the best Bulldogs' ranking ever. The Elis are No. 4 in the latest USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll.

The Tigers (4-5-1, 2-4 WCHA), who play at Air Force Friday night, have made 19 NCAA Tournament appearances with a pair (1950, 1957) of national titles. Colorado College, coming off a home-and-home series split with No. 15 Denver, dropped the first game 4-1 but rebounded to win the next night at home, 9-2, behind a five-point game from senior winger Stephen Schultz. The Tigers, who had six goals in the third period, outshot Denver 44-17 and got 15 saves from Joe Howe. CC is led offensively by brothers Jaden and Rylan Schwartz, whose sister, Mandi Schwartz, is a Yale hockey player. Jaden Schwartz (8-6-14), a freshman, was drafted 14th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 2010 NHL draft, while Rylan (2-9-11), a sophomore, leads the team in assists and is second in points.

Air Force (2-5, 2-3 Atlantic Hockey), which has been to three NCAA Tournaments in the last four years, is tied for fifth place in its league standings after last weekend's home split. The Falcons fell 6-2 to Mercyhurst before beating 2010 Frozen Four participant RIT, 4-3, with three third-period goals. Senior F Jaques Lamoureux (3-6-9), who has 58 career goals and 104 points, leads USAF in scoring. Air Force graduated its career goaltending leader, Andrew Volkening, and has used three different players this season with a combined career total of 13 games in net. Each has started three games this season.

Sophomore F Andrew Miller (38 gp, 5-34-39) picked up where he left off his rookie campaign by dishing out five assists in the first four games. Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) registered the most (34) points by a Yale rookie since Tom Walsh set the bar with 41 in 1984-85. Miller, the 2008-09 USA Junior Player of the Year and 2007 Michigan High School Mr. Hockey, was second among conference rookies with one point per game, which also put him fourth in the country for newcomers. He ranked eighth in Division I with .85 assists per outing.

A pair of experienced sophomores joins Rondeau in the net mix. Jeff Malcolm (11 gp, 3.16, .869, 6-3-0) made 16 saves in the 7-4 win over Brown on Oct. 29. All four Bear goals came on the power play, two with a 5-on-3 advantage. Nick Maricic (14 gp, 2.95, .888, 7-4-2) is the other returnee between the pipes.

NO. 9
Junior F Brian O'Neill (71 gp, 33-47-80) had two goals and four points last weekend. The junior handed out two helpers in the 5-3 win over Princeton before notching two goals in the 5-1 win over Quinnipiac. All four points were even strength. He began 2010-11 with 3-2-5 in the two wins including a career-best 2-1-3 and the GWG against Dartmouth on Oct. 30. Last winter he led the Elis with 29 assists and 45 points while ranking seventh in the country with 1.32 PPG. One of his best plays of 2009-10 was a pass he put on Sean Backman's stick in OT that set up the winner at Cornell. He also had the tying goal in the OT draw at the Badger Showdown title game against Wisconsin. O'Neill made the 2008-09 CHN (national) and ECAC Hockey All-Rookie teams after going 12-14-26 in 2008-09.

The class of 2014 includes four forwards and one defenseman. All five competed in the Northeast during 2009-10. Three of the new Elis played in the juniors (Eastern, North Atlantic) last winter while two came to Yale from New England prep schools. F Clinton Bourbonais (Colchester, Conn.) is the only rookie to hit the net, but D Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.), F Kenny Agostino (Flanders, N.J.) and F Jesse Root (Pittsburgh, Pa.) also saw action. F Brad Peltz (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) is the other freshman.

It is only four games into the season, but the Bulldogs have 24 goals and have picked up where they left off as the nation's leader with better than four goals per game in 2009-10.

The Yale roster includes players from 12 different states and three provinces. Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania are represented twice each on the roster while six hail from Alberta, including a Calgary pair.

The Bulldogs outshot all four opponents (combined 158-106) this year after having the advantage in 26 of the 34 games last year.

Yale's first goal of 2010-11 was shorthanded by Broc Little, the school's career leader with six. The Elis had four SHG last winter.

The Bulldogs have outscored opponents 24-11, including 8-1 in the second and 9-3 in the final frame… Yale is 6-for-25 (24.0) on the power play but has just a 74.0 success rate on its penalty kill… Nine different Elis have scored goals… Sixteen different Bulldogs have a point… Colorado College's World Arena seats over 7,000 and has been the site of NCAA Regionals and other college tournaments. The Tigers have a .709 winning percentage in their 12-year-old home.

Fourteen former Yale players are skating professionally this winter, including Brad Mills '07 (in photo), who recently joined the New Jersey Devils. Here are the details on each. Sean Backman '10 (Texas Stars, AHL), Ryan Donald '10 (Reading Royals, ECHL), Mark Acrobello '10 (Stockton Thunder, ECHL), Alec Richards '09 (Rockford Icehogs, AHL), Brennan Turner '09 (Elmira Jackals, ECHL), David Meckler '09 (Manchester Monarchs, AHL), Matt Cohen '07 (Hamburg Freezers, DEL), Brad Mills '07 (New Jersey Devils, NHL), Chris Brooks '06 (Bakersfield Condors, ECHL), Chris Higgins '05 (Florida Panthers, NHL), Joe Callahan '05 (Rochester Americans, AHL), Stacey Bauman '03 (Tulsa Oilers, CHL), Jeff Hamilton '01 (HIFK Helsinki, FNL), Ray Giroux '98 (Chelyabinsk Traktor, KHL).

The pay-per-view Yale home hockey broadcasts on yalebulldogs.com are a Yale Athletic Department production that employs students to produce, shoot and broadcast the action. Sam Dorward '13 is the producer and Joel Oblizalo '12 does the camera work. Evan Ellis '11 handles most of the play-by-play for the Elis.

The Yale hockey program celebrated the re-dedication of Ingalls Rink (3,500 capacity) on Jan. 16, 2010, with ceremonies on and off the ice. The rink built in 1958 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 for the building nicknamed the Yale Whale because of its humpback-shaped roof.

Yale co-hosted the 2009 East Regional at The Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, and the Bulldogs were one of the four teams to participate. The 2011 and 2012 East Regional Tournaments will also be at The Arena co-hosted by the Elis and Fairfield. This coming NCAA tourney is March 25-26. Game times on the 25th are 4 and 7:30 with a 7 p.m. championship contest on the 26th.

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director