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Blue Has First ECAC Road Trip

Brian O'Neill. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Brian O'Neill. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

No. 5 Yale Heads to Northern NY

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's hockey team (5-1-0, 2-0 ECAC) heads out on its first ECAC Hockey road trip this weekend with games at Cornell and Colgate this Friday and Saturday nights. The Bulldogs and Big Red square off at Lynah Rink at 7:30 in a game televised live by CBS College Sports TV (DirecTV 613). Yale and Colgate drop the puck at 7 at Starr Rink and there is live coverage on Times Warner Cable (for New York viewers) and on

Yale outscored last weekend's opponents 8-5 and outshot them 77-54 while gaining a split of the long trip West. The Elis beat Colorado College 5-1 before dropping a 4-3 game to Air Force in Colorado Springs. The Blue managed just one power-play goal on seven chances while giving up a pair. The Bulldogs were hurt by 21 of their own penalties.

The Raiders hold a 45-37-4 advantage in a series with Yale that began in 1916-17. The Elis are 4-1-1 in the last six games after a 6-3 win at Colgate last February. The Big Red and Elis have played since the turn of the 20th century and Cornell has a 75-55-5 lead. Yale won last February's meeting at Cornell and has taken the last five straight.

The Elis got wins on the road against Colgate and Cornell last winter. Against the Raiders, Broc Little and Sean Backman tallied two goals each, while Brian O'Neill and Andrew Miller each added one en route to a 6-3 win. Yale outshot the Raiders 39-26. Billy Blase made 23 stops on the night for the Bulldogs who converted three of seven man advantages.  In a matchup of top 10 teams the next night, Yale took a 2-1 OT win against the Big Red. Sean Backman converted a perfect feed from Brian O'Neill 3:17 into the OT. He got it past Big Red goalie Ben Scrivens, who stopped 52 of 54 shots, while Billy Blase made 19 saves for the Elis.

Three Bulldogs extended their point streaks to all six games this year: Broc Little, Andrew Miller and Brian O'Neill. Chad Ziegler had his streak end at five at USAFA.

Senior goalie Ryan Rondeau (Carvel, AB) made 24 saves in the win over Colorado College and did not allow a goal on four man advantages. He did not play against Air Force. The week before, Rondeau stopped 56 of 60 shots to earn wins against Princeton and Quinnipiac. Rondeau (2.00, .928, 4-0) has been in net for four wins (two in 2008-09) 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 six goals and 12 points, notched eight of those points over the first two games (Brown, Dartmouth) 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 (108 gp, 35-67-102) 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.), who just went over the 100-game mark, shares the team lead with 12 points. 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 (101 gp, 58-53-111), 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 77-50-12 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.

Keith Allain will serve as head coach of the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team, which will not have any Yale players. The U.S. takes part in the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship this winter from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Buffalo, N.Y. The U.S. is aiming for its second consecutive title, having won the gold medal last year at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Regina and Saskatoon, Sask. Allain owns a 9-3-2 overall record as a head coach in the event, giving him the top winning percentage (.714) of any U.S. head coach to have served on multiple teams. Former Yale mentor Tim Taylor, who coached Allain in New Haven and brought him back as an assistant coach, will join his protégé as Team USA's director of player personnel. Allain and Taylor are featured in a documentary that will air on CBS College Sports TV this Friday night during the telecast of the Yale-Cornell game.

"We are excited to head to Northern New York for a big conference weekend in two great hockey towns. Both Cornell and Colgate are playing well and we expect tough competition on both nights."

Captain Jimmy Martin (St. Louis, Mo.) is a defensive defenseman who has turned himself into a player with offensive potential. He notched his first goal of 2010-11 at Air Force with a nasty shot from the point that went off the crossbar. He now has five goals and 37 career points, including a career-best two goals and 17 assists last winter.  

Yale, No. 3/4 last week, is now No. 5 in both Division I poll and the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll.

Sophomore F Andrew Miller (40 gp, 6-36-42) picked up where he left off his rookie campaign by dishing out seven 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 last year with .85 assists per outing.

A pair of experienced sophomores joins Rondeau in the net mix. Jeff Malcolm (12 gp, 4.02, .837, 6-4-0) made 16 saves in the 7-4 win over Brown on Oct. 29 before stopping 25 shots in a 4-3 loss at Air Force. Six of the eight goals he has allowed came on the power play, two with a 5-on-3 advantage. Nick Maricic (14 gp, 2.95, .888, 7-4-2), who has not seen action this season, is the other returnee between the pipes.

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Junior F Brian O'Neill (73 gp, 34-48-82) is tied for the team lead with six goals. 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.

The Bulldogs have 32 goals and are No. 1 in the nation with a 5.33 average after finishing first last winter with just over four.  
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 235-160) 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 32-16, including 10-2 in the second… Yale is 7-for-32 (21.9) on the power play but has just a 78.0 success rate on its penalty kill… The Blue leads the nation with 2.42 penalty minutes per game… Twelve different Elis have scored goals… Eighteen different Bulldogs have a point… Denny Kearny and Brian O'Neill's goal per game average is tops in Division I… Broc Little's 2.0 points per game rank No. 2 in the country.

After a four-game road trip, the Elis return to Ingalls on Nov. 23 to host Sacred Heart in a 7 pm faceoff.

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 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.

report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director