Bulldogs Hosting Friday, Sunday ECAC Set

Mike Matczak. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Mike Matczak. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

3 Ranked Teams Skate at Ingalls

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 2 Yale men's hockey team (8-1-0, 4-0 ECAC), after a weekend off, is back at the Whale for an ECAC set this Friday and Sunday featuring three nationally ranked squads. No. 15/16 Rensselaer (7-3-3, 2-2-0) comes to town Friday at 7 p.m. before the Bulldogs and No. 13Union (7-2-3, 2-1-1) drop the puck at 3 p.m. Sunday. The first game can be seen live on yalebulldogs.com (All Access), while the Sunday matinee is slated for ESPNU.

A limited number of tickets are available for both games and can be purchased through yalebulldogs.com or by calling 203.432.1400. Sellouts are expected for both games at the Whale (3,500).

The Bulldogs and Engineers first played in 1908-09 and RPI has a 49-37-6 lead including a 4-0 win at Ingalls last winter.  The Elis have a 20-14-3 lead in a series that began in 1991-92, the year Union replaced Army in ECAC Hockey. The Dutchmen have taken two of the last three at Ingalls.

Yale beat Sacred Heart 5-1 on Nov. 23 at the Whale with a power play (3 goals) that was clicking on the way to a third straight win. Chad Ziegler had a career-high two goals while Broc Little and Denny Kearney each had a goal and two assists in Yale's first home game in five contests. Jimmy Martin had the other goal as the Bulldogs outshot SHU 44-23. Ryan Rondeau, the Elis' senior goalie, made 22 saves to earn his seventh win of the year. He stopped all 10 of the Pioneers' shots in the third period and allowed just a power-play tally. Sacred Heart's Steven Legatto, who made 39 saves, was the reason the game was not a blowout. He had 18 stops in the first with 10 in the second and 11 in the final frame.  

RPI at Yale, Feb. 2010:

Allen York stopped all 22 shots he faced and Chase Polacek and Jerry D'Amigo both had a goal and two assists as Rensselaer shut out No. 6 Yale, 4-0, last January at New Haven.  Nick Maricic made 22 saves for the Bulldogs.

Union at Yale, Feb. 2010:

Brendan Mason's two goals were the difference as the No. 6 Bulldogs took a 4-3 contest before a sold-out crowd. Mason notched his first collegiate multiple-goal outing and the game-winner as the Elis outshot the Dutchmen 40-25. Nick Maricic had 22 saves and stopped all five Union man-advantages while Keith Kinkaid made 36 saves for Union.

RPI is also on a three-game win streak that included winning (Connecticut, Bowling Green) its own holiday tournament at Troy last week. Senior F Chace Polacek (7-9-16), the 2009-10 ECAC Hockey Player of the Year, leads the Engineers in goals and points, while classmate Allen York (1.80, .930, 6-3-3), seventh in Division I goals against average, has been outstanding between the pipes. York has helped RPI rank fourth nationally in scoring defense.

Union, which has not played since a 4-3 loss to RPI on Nov. 13, is at Brown Friday night before heading down to New Haven. The Dutchmen own the nation's top-ranked defense (1.92) while ranking fourth among Division I teams with 3.92 goals per game and a power play operating at 37 percent efficiency. Sophomore F Jeremy Welsh (7-9-16) leads the squad in goals and senior F Adam Presizniuk (5-12-17) is the points leader. Second-year goalie Keith Kinkaid (1.59, .936, 7-2-2) is third in the nation in goals against average and fourth in save percentage.

Goalie Ryan Rondeau (Carvel, AB), who owns all but two of the decisions this season, has been a consistent force. He currently ranks 13th in GAA (2.15) and 22nd in SP (.918) in Division I. Eight of the 15 goals he has allowed this year came on the man-advantage. The senior 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) is second on the team with seven goals and 17 points. Among Division I players, he currently ranks third in points per game and fourth in goals. He notched eight of his points over the first two games (Brown, Dartmouth on Oct. 29-30) 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 (111 gp, 36-71-107) 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.), the only Bulldog with a point in every game, leads the team with eight goals and 18 points. He is also 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. Little (104 gp, 61-56-117), who has 13more 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. 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 80-50-12 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 80-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. Allain, a former NHL (17 years) and Olympics (1992, 2006) assistant, was named the 11th head coach of the Yale men's ice hockey program on April 15, 2006. Allain is the second Yale graduate to take the position and the first since Holcomb York '17 led the Bulldogs from 1930 to 1938 (Lawrence M. Noble '27 coached the Elis from 1928 to 1930). The starting goalie on four Bulldog squads, Allain recorded the second-most (31) wins for a Yale netminder and ranks third at the school with 2,337 career saves. He owns four of the top 10 Yale single-game save totals, including 55 stops in a 7-3 loss at Minnesota on Dec. 28, 1978.

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, joins his protégé as Team USA's director of player personnel. Allain and Taylor were featured in a documentary that aired on CBS College Sports TV during the Nov. 19 Yale-Cornell broadcast.

"RPI and Union are two talented teams that will be a big test for us in our building this weekend. We are excited about the opportunity to play them on our last conference weekend before the break."

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. Martin is a political science major who was a member of the Des Moines Buccaneers' 2007 USHL final four squad.  
Sophomore F Andrew Miller (43 gp, 7-38-45) picked up where he left off his rookie campaign by dishing out nine assists in the first nine 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. The speedy forward was the 2008-09 USA Junior Player of the Year and 2007 Michigan High School Mr. Hockey. Last winter, he 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 Ryan 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. The Lethbridge, AB, native has allowed eight goals, including six on the power play and two with a 5-on-3 advantage. Alta Loma, Calif., resident Nick Maricic (14 gp, 2.95, .888, 7-4-2), who has not seen action this season, is the other returnee between the pipes.

Junior F Brian O'Neill (76 gp, 34-49-83) is second on the team with six goals. He began 2010-11 with a 3-2-5 weekend 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.), F Kenny Agostino (Flanders, N.J.) and F Jesse Root (Pittsburgh, Pa.) have all found the net this season. D Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.) has an assist in two games played, while F Brad Peltz (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) is looking for his first action.

The Bulldogs have 47 goals and are No. 1 in the nation with a 5.22 average after finishing first last winter with just over four.  They have scored seven goals twice, six once and five on four occasions this year.

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 while six hail from Alberta, including a Calgary pair.

The Bulldogs have outshot all opponents (by 110 combined) this year after having the advantage in 26 of the 34 games last year.

Eight members of the senior class have accounted for 23 goals and 61 points. The juniors (6) have hit the net 17 times with 34 points. Yale sophomores (3) have 3-16-19 while the freshman (4) have 4-4-8. Bulldog defensemen have four goals and 20 points.

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.

Yale had 21 shots on goal in the first period the last two (Colgate, SHU) games... The current seniors are the only Yale class to have won all four games at Lynah Rink… The Bulldogs have outscored opponents 47-33, including 17-6 in the second… Yale is averaging 2,971 over five home games at Ingalls Rink (3,500)… The Bulldogs have an exhibition game against a Russian national team on Dec. 29 at Ingalls. The Russian roster has yet to be determined… Former Yale skater Jeff Dwyer '04 is the director of education and recruitment for College Hockey, Inc., which was formed by the commissioners of the six Division I men's leagues to raise college hockey's profile… Twenty-one Bulldogs have points this year, 16 have goals.

The Elis host Vermont from Hockey East on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. The Catamounts edged the Bulldogs last season at Burlington 1-0 on a controversial goal.

Fourteen former Yale players are skating professionally this winter: 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; Albany Devils, AHL), 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 "TV" broadcasts on yalebulldogs.com are a Yale Athletic Department production that employs students to produce, shoot and broadcast most of 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 as well as an interview with Coach Allain.

Sunday's game airs live on ESPNU with Barry Melrose and E.J. Hradek calling the action. This is the first of two Yale games on ESPNU this season. The Feb. 20 game at Princeton is also on ESPNU.  The Union game is Yale's third on the tube this season. The first was Nov. 19 at Cornell on CBS College Sports followed by a Nov. 20 game at Colgate on Time Warner Cable.

The Yale student radio station formerly found on AM-1340 and on wybc.com, is only availabe via internet this season. WYBC does all home contests and a pre-game interview with Coach Allain.

Yale hockey 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.

The two Division I men's college hockey polls had Yale at No. 2, the best ranking ever for a Bulldog hockey team. The uscho.com poll had the Elis tied with Boston University (7-1-5) while the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings slated Yale alone at the second spot. The Bulldogs, who did not receive any first-place votes, moved up a spot from No. 3 (previous best) in both of last week's polls after beating Sacred Heart 5-1 on Nov. 23 and having last weekend off. Minnesota-Duluth (11-1-2) received all but one of the first-place votes between the two polls, while Boston University grabbed one of those top votes. The Elis were 66 points behind UMD in the USA Today poll, while the Terriers and Bulldogs trailed by 98 points on the uscho.com list. No. 15/16 Rensselaer and No. 13/13 Union., who happen to be in town this weekend, are the only other ranked ECAC teams.

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director