KICKING OFF NEW YEAR AT INGALLS
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's hockey team (11-1-0, 6-0 ECAC), ranked No. 1 in the country for the fourth straight week and coming off a 5-3 win over the Russian Junior United Team on Wednesday, begins 2011 by hosting Holy Cross (6-9-2, 5-4-2 Atlantic Hockey) on Sunday at 4 p.m. The contest can be seen live on yalebulldogs.com.
Tickets are available for this game at Ingalls (3,500). Call the Yale Ticket Office at 203.432.1400 or go on yalebulldogs.com. Tickets at the rink are available at 2:30 on game day.
LAST TIME OUT
After a three-week break for exams and the holidays, the Bulldogs had one practice and then beat the Russian Red Stars 5-3 on Dec. 29. Kenny Agostino had two goals while Jesse Root and Antoine Laganiere each had a goal and an assist. Four different Yale players, including three freshmen, found the net despite being outshot 38-30. Root and Brad Peltz were the other newcomers to score. Three Bulldog goalies took a period each. Senior Ryan Rondeau stopped 12 of 13 shots in the opening frame. Sophomore Nick Maricic knocked aside all seven shots in the second while classmate Jeff Malcolm was the busiest with 16 saves on 18 shots. Rafael Khakimov, who was victimized by his teammates' inability to stay out of the penalty box, stopped 25 shots. He gave up two power-play goals on seven chances while his Red Stars went scoreless on two attempts.
Holy Cross, which has lost three straight and is winless in its last six, is coming off a pair of one-goal losses to Connecticut and Bowling Green at UConn's holiday tournament. Thomas Tysowsky stopped 20 of 22 shots in a 2-1 loss to the Huskies, while Derek Kump and Adam Roy (26 saves) combined efforts in goal in the 3-2 OT loss to the Falcons. Matt Clune had two of the Crusaders' three goals in the tourney.
START WORTH NOTING
Yale's 2010-11 start is unique. This is the first time the Elis have won their first six conference games, while this is the best (11-1) start of the season since Yale was perfect in 1929-30 on the way to 16 straight wins and a 17-1-1 mark. The Elis' best ECAC start was 8-1 in 1997-98.
Sophomore F Andrew Miller (46 gp, 9-44-53), voted "best passer" by his teammates, picked up where he left off his rookie campaign by dishing out 15 assists in the first 12 games. Eleven of his 15 assists are primary ones and he ranks 2nd in the nation with a 1.25 average. He is also hitting the net this season with four goals, while his three GWG are second in Division I. 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. Miller is currently seventh in the nation in points per game (1.55) and second in assists (1.27).
Goalie Ryan Rondeau (Carvel, AB) has a scoreless streak of 135 minutes and 23 seconds after stopping all 32 of Vermont's shots on Dec. 8. He became the first Bulldog netminder to notch consecutive (Dec. 5, Union) shutouts since Alex Westlund blanked Cornell (11-0) and Colgate (2-0) at the Whale on Feb. 6-7, 1998. Rondeau was ECAC Goalie of the Week on Dec. 6 (30 saves, Union; 15, RPI) and now owns all but two of Yale's decisions this season. He currently ranks third in GAA (1.70) and fourth in SP (.935) in Division I. Eight of the 17 goals he has allowed this year came on the man-advantage. The senior, who owns a 16-4-1 career record, has been in net for six wins 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 18 points. Nine of his 11 assists are primary helpers, while he ranks ninth in points per game in the country. 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 (114 gp, 36-72-108), who was voted by his teammates as the "best dresser" and "most talkative" among the Bulldogs, 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.
LOTS OF LITTLE
Yale senior forward Broc Little (Rindge, N.H.) leads the team with nine goals and 19 points. He ranks fourth in Division I for points (1.58) and fifth for goals (.75) while being the only Bulldog with three (PP, SH, GW) different types of goals this season. Five of his 10 assists have been primary ones. Little, who has two career hat tricks, 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 (107 gp, 62-56-118), who has 11 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. 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.
TOYS FOR TICKETS AT SUNDAY'S GAME
Bring a new toy to Ingalls Rink on Jan. 2 and get a free ticket for the Holy Cross-Yale men's hockey game. An inter-league game featuring two of the best from ECAC Hockey and Atlantic Hockey kicks off the new year and serves as a benefit for the Yale New Haven Hospital Toy Closet Program. The Yale Athletic Department will have a collection box at the rink. For each new toy (not stuffed animals, war or violent items), preferably for ages 3-4, you get one general admission ticket. The Bulldogs (11-1, 6-0 ECAC Hockey), ranked No. 1 in the country the last month, and Crusaders drop the puck at 4 p.m. For more information, click here: http://www.ynhh.org/community-health/toy_closets_program.aspx
Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, is 83-50-12 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 is serving as head coach of the 2010-11 U.S. Junior National Team at International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship 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.
WALLACK SERVING AS HEAD COACH
Kyle Wallack, in his first year as Yale's associate head coach, is working his fifth campaign with the Bulldogs. The exhibition against the Red Stars was his first making all the calls for the Elis while Keith Allain is out of town with the U.S. Junior National Team. He will also take over for the Jan. 2 game against Holy Cross, the school he coached at before coming to Yale.
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 six goals and 40 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.
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.
ENGINE NO. 9
Junior F Brian O'Neill (79 gp, 35-54-89) is third on the team with seven goals and ranks ninth nationally in points per game (1.50). 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, who was voted "most humorous" made the 2008-09 CHN (national) and ECAC Hockey All-Rookie teams after going 12-14-26 in 2008-09.
Chris Cahill (North Andover, Mass.) entered the season with 16 goals in threecollegiate seasons. He already has half (8) that total this winter, including three different two-goal games and a pair of three-point outings. Cahill, 14th in Division I with .67 goals per game, was named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week on Dec. 6 after leading (3-1-4) Yale to a pair of wins over nationally ranked teams with three goals and four points. The senior forward is second on the team in goals with career numbers of 24 goals and 56 points.
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. Agostino, Root and Peltz combined for four of Yale's five goals in the win over the Red Stars.
RED LIGHT DISTRICT
The Bulldogs have 59 goals and are No. 1 in the nation with a 4.92 average after finishing first last winter with just over four per game. They have scored seven goals twice, six once and five on five 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.
FROM WHENCE THEY CAME
Northeast prep schools and the United States Hockey League each contributed nine players to the Bulldog roster. Six former British Columbia Junion Hockey League skaters are at Yale while the Atlantic Junior Hockey League has a pair. One Eli played in the Eastern Junior Hockey League and another came from a private school.
The Bulldogs have outshot 11 of 12 opponents (by 125 combined) this year after having the advantage in 26 of the 34 games last year. Vermont (32-30) was the only squad to outshoot the Blue this season.
A CLASS OF ITS OWN
With its next win, the Class of 2011 will become the winningest in Yale men's hockey history. The current seniors have amassed 72 victories, equaling the total reached by the Class of 2010. In addition, the Class of 2011, which is the first from this school to be undefeated (3-0-1) at Cornell, could be the first at Yale to have four winning seasons since the Class of 1954.
Eight members of the senior class have accounted for 30 goals. The juniors (6) have hit the net 20 times. Yale sophomores (3) have five tallies while the freshman (4) have four goals. The newcomers accounted for four goals in the exhibition game against the Red Stars, but the stats from that contest do not count. Bulldog defensemen have hit the net five times.
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.
Ryan Rondeau's 10-0 record this season is the best in Division I... The Blue is 8-0 at home... Yale is tied with Princeton for first place in the ECAC, but the Tigers have three games in hand... Junior Chad Ziegler (Spruce Grove, AB) has a career-best 5-3-8 already this season.
Yale heads to Dartmouth and Harvard for ECAC contests on Jan. 7-8.
BULLDOGS IN THE PROS
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).
A survey of the 2010-11 Bulldogs produced the following results about the student-athletes.
Who on the team…
Is the strongest (pound-for-pound): Peel
Is the fastest on skates: Balch
Has the hardest shot: Matczak
Is the best fore-checker: Jaskowiak
Is the best passer: Miller
Which teammate is…
The best singer: Anderson
Has the most unique hobby (what is it): O'Neill (community theater)
Has best sense of humor: O'Neill
Has the biggest appetite: Peel
Most soft spoken: Dueck
Most talkative: Kearney
Want your sister to date: Dueck
Best dresser: Kearney
Likely to become a head hockey coach: Rondeau
YALE HOCKEY BROADCASTS
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.
The Dec. 5 game against Union aired live on ESPNU with Barry Melrose and E.J. Hradek calling the action. It was the first of two Yale games on ESPNU this season. The Feb. 20 game at Princeton is also on ESPNU. The Union game was 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 most of the 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.
NCAAS BACK AT HARBOR YARD
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 3 and 6:30 with a 6:30 p.m. championship contest on the 26th.
IN THE POLLS
For the fourth straight week Yale (11-1 overall, 6-0 ECAC) is the No. 1 ranked team in the two Division I college hockey polls. The Bulldogs had never owned the top spot in the polls. The Elis, who own the best record in the country and own the nation's longest (6) active win streak, got all 34 first-place votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and 45 out of 49 in the uscho.com poll. Yale has been ranked among the top in both polls all 13 weeks this season.
ECAC HOCKEY STANDINGS
Schools Pts Conf All
Yale 12 6-0 11-1
Princeton 12 6-3 8-5
Dartmouth 11 5-2-1 6-4-1
Clarkson 9 4-2-1 10-5-2
Quinnipiac 9 4-5-1 8-9-1
Union 7 3-2-1 10-3-3
Rensselaer 6 3-3 9-4-3
St. Lawrence 6 3-4 3-8-3
Brown 5 2-3-1 3-4-4
Cornell 4 2-4 4-6-1
Harvard 4 2-7 2-8
Colgate 1 0-5-1 3-10-1
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director