NORTH COUNTRY COMES TO NEW HAVEN
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The weight of the nation's longest active win streak no longer exists, but the Yale men's hockey team still has the No. 1 target on its backs. The top-ranked Bulldogs (15-2, 9-1 ECAC), holding a slim lead atop the conference standings, hosts North Country rivals Clarkson (11-8-2, 5-3-1) and St. Lawrence (7-10-4, 3-6) this Friday and Saturday nights at 7. Both games can be seen live on yalebulldogs.com.
A limited number of general admission and standing-room-only tickets are available for both games. Call the Yale Ticket Office at 203.432.1400 to order. All reserved seats for both games are sold out.
The Elis have played Clarkson 102 times since 1929-30 and the Knights own a 68-30-4 lead. Yale swept last year, but the two teams split the previous four games. Three goals in 51 seconds enabled the Blue to erase a 4-1 deficit in the third before Broc Little's one-timer with 1:53 left in overtime gave Yale a 5-4 win last February. Little had three goals and one assist against Paul Karpowich, who stopped 51 of 56 shots. Yale outshot the Knights 56-26, including 23-7 in the third, but had to erase a deficit for the second straight game to earn a third consecutive four-point conference weekend.
Yale and St. Lawrence split last year after going 1-1-1 the year before. The Saints have a 53-25-8 overall advantage. Kevin Peel had two goals and Brian O'Neill and Broc Little each had a goal and two assists as No. 5 Yale remained in a tie for first place in the ECAC by defeating SLU 7-5 before a sellout crowd at Ingalls last February. The win, Yale's fifth straight, clinched home ice in the conference quarterfinals. This game almost went the other way because Travis Vermeulen had three goals and one assist while Brandon Bollig had three helpers. Brendan Mason, Mark Arcobello and Sean Backman had the other Yale goals while Jimmy Martin had two assists as Yale outshot the visitors 44-21.
The nation's longest active win streak came to an end at 10 on Sunday afternoon at Meehan Auditorium when Harry Zolnierczyk scored with 46.2 seconds left to give Brown a 3-2 win over Yale. The Bears erased a pair of one-goal deficits before scoring the last two to snap Yale's win streak and hand the Blue its first ECAC defeat while splitting the weekend home-and-home series. The Elis outshot Brown 29-26 and had goals from Denny Kearney and Brian O'Neill. Broc Little added two helpers while Ryan Rondeau stopped 22 shots. The day before, five different Bulldogs scored and 10 players had a point as Yale beat Brown 5-2 before a jammed Ingalls Rink. Yale outshot Brown 40-24 and got 22 saves from Rondeau (12 in the third). Mike Clemente had 35 saves, including 17 in the second frame. The home team's scoring came from Broc Little, Clinton Bourbonais, Andrew Miller, Brian O'Neill and Josh Balch. Kenny Agostino and Chris Cahill both had a pair of assists. The Elis outshot the Bears 69-50 combined while scoring seven goals and allowing five. Yale tallied four times on 14 man-advantages and blanked Brown on six power plays.
The Golden Knights, off last weekend, beat RPI and lost to Union on Jan. 7-8. Clarkson, which has seven NHL draft picks on the roster, owns non-league wins against St. Cloud State, Bowling Green and Lake Superior State. The guys from Potsdam, N.Y., are led offensively by Brandon DeFazio (9-9-18) while junior Paul Karpowich (3.00, .914, 11-7-2) has the majority of the work between the pipes.
A pair of newcomers has been leading the way for SLU. Greg Carey (14-10-24) leads the team in scoring and Matt Weninger (2.37, .916, 4-9-3) is its top netminder. The Saints, whose out of conference victims include New Hampshire, Vermont and Michigan Tech (last weekend), skate at Brown Friday night.
After opening the season with five straight wins, the Blue stumbled on Nov. 14 at Air Force before bouncing back with a road win at Cornell on Nov. 19. That was the first of 10 straight wins that carried through last Saturday's 5-2 victory over Brown at Ingalls. Division I's longest win streak this year came to an end the next day at Brown.
Yale's 2010-11 start is unique. This is the first time the Elis have won their first nine conference games, while this is the best (15-2) first half of a season since Yale ran off 16 straight wins in 1929-30 and finished 17-1-1. The Elis' best ECAC start was 8-1 in 1997-98.
Senior forwards Broc Little and Denny Kearney have been nominated for the 2011 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. The first phase of the voting process includes the fans, who can go to hobeybakeraward.com and make their choice once every 24 hours. The results of the fan voting will impact the final selection process.
Sophomore F Andrew Miller (51 gp, 10-48-58), voted "best passer" by his teammates, is No. 2 in the nation with 1.12 assists per game. What's more impressive is that 13 of his 19 assists are primary ones. He is also hitting the net when it counts this season; four of his five goals have been winners, which ranks second in Division I. Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), who is eighth in the nation with 1.41 points per contest, 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.
Goalie Ryan Rondeau (Carvel, AB), who has 86 percent of the time in the Yale net, has twice been named ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Week. Rondeau, who had a 141:29 scoreless streak and consecutive shutouts (first time for a Yalie since 1998) in December, has won 14 of the 15 games he started this winter. He ranks third in GAA (1.85) and fifth in SP (.931) in Division I. Nine of the 27 goals he has allowed this year came on the man-advantage. Rondeau's season-high is 32 saves (twice) while his career-high is 40 at Princeton in 2009. The senior, who owns a 20-5-1 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 third on the team with nine goals and 23 points. His assist total (14) includes 11 that were primary helpers, while he ranks 18th in the country with a .82 overall average. Kearney is 14th in Division I with 1.35 points per game. He notched eight of those 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 most prolific weekend of his collegiate career. In addition, all four assists were primary ones. Kearney (119 gp, 38-75-113), who was voted by his teammates as the "best dresser" and "most talkative" among the Bulldogs, is Yale's active career assist leader (7th best at Yale) 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 13 goals and 27 points. He is sixth in the nation with .76 goals per game and is fourth with 1.59 points after tallying three last weekend. Little had his third career hat trick (3-1-4) against Holy Cross on Jan. 2. Eight of his 14 assists have been primary ones. He 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 (112 gp, 66-60-126), who has 14 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, including RBK Second-Team All-America, first-team All-ECAC, All-Ivy and All-New England. Little, a political science major, has shown the same dedication in the classroom with a 3.1 GPA and three-time ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team status.
Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, is 87-51-12 as a head coach, including 9-7 in the post season. Only two 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.
"I don't feel like we deserved to win tonight [Sunday at Brown], but I do feel like we had the better grade-A scoring chances. We have to take advantage of it [the loss]. You are not going to go through a season and not get a loss in the league. If it wakes us up a little, it may be good."
Keith Allain served as head coach of the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team and led the squad to a bronze medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y. The U.S., which won all but its semifinal game, defeated Sweden to take the bronze on Jan. 5. Allain, who helped the U.S. National Junior Team win a second straight medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship for the first time, owns a 13-4-2 overall record as a head coach in the event, giving him the top winning percentage (.736) of any U.S. head coach to have served on multiple teams. Allain was joined on the U.S. team by Yale's hockey strength & conditioning coach Joe Maher. Kyle Wallack, Yale's fifth-year assistant who is in his first season as associate head coach, served as Yale's head coach in Allain's absence.
Captain Jimmy Martin (St. Louis, Mo.) is a defensive defenseman who has turned himself into a player with offensive potential. He has four assists over his last six games and now has six goals and 43 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 (15 gp, 2.96, .887, 7-4-2) played the last period against Holy Cross (5 saves) but has not had a start this winter.
ENGINE NO. 9
Junior F Brian O'Neill (84gp, 38-56-94), the only Eli with two goals last weekend, is second on the team with 10 goals and ranks 14th nationally in points per game (1.35). 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 (Yardley, Pa.), who was voted "most humorous" by his teammates, 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 three collegiate seasons. He already has nine this winter, including three different two-goal games and a pair of three-point outings. Cahill, 25th in Division I with .56 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 third on the team in goals with career numbers of 25 goals and 61 points in 107 games.
Kenny Agostino, the leading scorer among the Yale freshmen, has five goals and 12 points. On Jan. 2 he became the first Yale newcomer in 30 years to record five points in one game. He notched three goals and two assists against Holy Cross and became the school's first freshman to tally five points since former Olympian and NHL star Bob Brooke '83 established the school rookie record against Dartmouth in 1980.
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 regular season action. Agostino (2), Root and Peltz combined for four of Yale's five goals in the win over the Red Stars. Agostino tied a school rookie record with five (3-2) points against Holy Cross.
RED LIGHT DISTRICT
The Bulldogs have 82 goals and are No. 1 in the nation with a 4.82 average. They scored 10 against the Crusaders and had seven goals twice, six once and five on six occasions this year. Yale led the nation in scoring 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 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 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 16 of 17 opponents (by 175 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
The Class of 2011 became the winningest in Yale men's hockey history after beating Holy Cross on Jan. 2. The current seniors have amassed 76 victories, surpassing 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 39 goals. The juniors (6) have hit the net 24 times. Yale sophomores (3) have tallied 10 goals, while the freshmen (4) have added nine. Bulldog defensemen have hit the net six times.
Yale had four shorthanded goals last year and led the nation with nine the year before. The Bulldogs' first goal of 2010-11 was shorthanded by Broc Little, the school's career leader with seven, but the team has not done that since.
Yale has the top (.882) winning percentage in Division I hockey… The Elis are 5-1 in Ivy League games and have a two-point lead over 4-1 Dartmouth… The Bulldogs are 10-0 at home and are averaging 3,236 (3,500 capacity) at Ingalls Rink… The average attendance at a Yale road game is 3,280… The Blue has three NHL draft picks on the roster: Kenny Agostino (Penguins), Gus Young (Avalanche) and Brad Peltz (Senators).
The Blue goes on the road to the Capitol District next weekend to face a pair of nationally ranked teams, Union and RPI.
BULLDOGS IN THE PROS
Thirteen former Yale players are skating professionally this winter: Sean Backman '10 (Texas Stars, AHL, 28 GP, 5-7-12 ), Ryan Donald '10 (Providence Bruins, AHL), Mark Arcobello '10 (Stockton Thunder, ECHL, 29 GP, 6-10-16), Alec Richards '09 (Rockford Icehogs, AHL, 21 gp, 50 GA, 2 SO, 2.65 GAA, 9-9-1, .909 save percentage), 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 Higgins '05 (Florida Panthers, NHL, 34 GP, 8-8-16), 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 best sense of humor: O'Neill
Has the biggest appetite: Peel
Most soft spoken: Dueck
Most talkative: Kearney
Want your sister to date: Dueck
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 calls for the Elis as well as an interview with Coach Allain.
YALE ON YES
The Feb. 5 Dartmouth game airs live on the YES Network as part of the winter Yale on YES package. This is the first time the Yale hockey team will appear on YES, the network available in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania on cable, DirecTV, AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS. The home of the New York Yankees and New Jersey Nets is also available nationally on DirecTV, AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS and select cable operators.
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 available 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 BRIDGEPORT
Yale and Fairfield hosted the 2009 East Regional in Bridgeport at Webster Bank's Arena at Harbor Yard, and the Bulldogs were one of the four teams to participate. The 2011 and 2012 East Regionals are also slated for the Yard. 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
A weekend split with a strong conference rival did not drop the Yale men's hockey team from its perch above Division I. The Bulldogs, for the seventh straight week, are ranked No. 1 in both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine and the USCHO.com polls. The Elis received 26 of the 34 first-place votes in the USA Today Poll. North Dakota, which split a weekend series to stay at No. 2, had the other eight votes for the top spot. Yale grabbed 38 of the 50 USCHO.com first-place votes. The Fighting Sioux (9), Boston College (1), Denver (1) and Michigan (1) had the others. Five ECAC teams (Union, RPI, Dartmouth, Princeton) are among the top 20 in the USCHO.com poll. Three (Union, RPI) made USA Today's top 15.
Yale, winners of the last two conference regular season titles, has a three-point lead over second-place Union and Princeton with almost a full ECAC schedule on tap for this weekend.
Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director