February 4, 2011

Big ECAC Weekend in New Haven

Crimson, Big Green At Whale For Alumni Weekend

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 2/3Yale men's hockey team (17-4, 11-3 ECAC), holding a one-point lead over second-place Union in the conference standings, hosts long-time rivals Harvard (4-16, 3-12) and No. 17 Dartmouth (12-6-3, 8-4-2) on Alumni Weekend at the Whale. Opening faceoff on Friday and Saturday nights is 7. Saturday's Bulldogs-Big Green game airs live on the YES Network (DirecTV 631).

TICKETS

There are NO tickets left to purchase for this weekend. Yale students, with a proper Yale ID, can pick up one ticket at the Yale Book Store while they last.

VS. HARVARD
The Elis and Cantabs split last year with the home team taking each contest. Yale has taken two of the last three, including the game last month at Boston, but Harvard leads the overall series, 135-76-18. Four different players scored and Ryan Rondeau stopped 29 shots as Yale beat Harvard 4-2 before 3,076 at Bright Hockey Center on Jan. 8. Kenny Agostino, Chris Cahill, Brendan Mason and Chad Ziegler found the net as the Bulldogs outshot the Crimson 39-31 and converted two of seven power plays. Rondeau had a dozen stops in the first, seven in the second and 10 in the third. The Crimson got 35 saves from senior Ryan Carroll and a pair of goals from Danny Biega.

VS. DARTMOUTH
Yale and Dartmouth have met 196 times since 1907 with Yale leading 101-84-12. The Bulldogs swept the series last year and have taken the last five straight, including two this season. Ryan Rondeau stopped 32 shots to help Yale beat Dartmouth 2-1 on Jan. 7 at Thompson Arena in the most recent meeting. All three goals came in the second period, including clutch shots from Yalies Antoine Laganiere and Josh Balch. Rondeau, who tied a career-high with his save total, may have played his best game for the Bulldogs. The senior stopped 12 in the first and 10 in each of the last two periods on a night when both teams went scoreless on two man-advantages. The Blue had the shots advantage, 37-33, as James Mello made 35 saves for the Big Green.

YALE IN DIVISION I
Scoring:         4.52 GPG (1st)
Defense:         2.24 GPG (10th)
Penalty Kill:         80.4 (40th)
Power Play:         25.2 (2nd)
Penalty Minutes:     15.9 (15th)
Scoring Margin:     2.29 (1st)

YALE ON YES
This Saturday's Dartmouth game airs live on the YES Network as part of the winter Yale on YES package with Ron Vaccaro '04, the voice of Yale football, and Bob Norton calling the action. This is the first Yale hockey game to appear on YES, available on cable in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 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. Encore airings of the Yale-Dartmouth game are Feb. 5 at 11:30 p.m. and Feb. 6 at 5 p.m.

LAST WEEKEND
The Bulldogs were outscored 8-4 despite outshooting last week's opponents 70-52. The Elis converted four of 12 power plays but gave up five man-advantage tallies on 11 attempts. Allen York stopped 38 shots as No. 10 Rensselaer handed Yale a 5-2 loss on Big Red Freakout Night before 4,780 at Houston Field House last Saturday. The Bulldogs outshot the Engineers 40-18, but RPI's junior goalie stood on his head, making 13 saves in the first, 15 in the second and 10 in the final period. Denny Kearney and Kevin Peel had the Bulldog goals – both on the power play - while Ryan Rondeau (8 saves), who gave up four goals, and Nick Maricic (5) combined for 13 saves. Yale fell 3-2 at No. 12/13 Union last Friday before a sell-out crowd at Messa Rink. Ryan Rondeau stopped 31 of 34 shots and kept Yale in a game they nearly escaped from with a dominating third period that almost erased a pair of two-goal deficits. Rondeau, who gave up two on the power play, saw most of the action for the first 40 minutes with 27 saves. It was just the second time this season the Bulldogs have been outshot (34-30) in a game. Kenny Agostino and Jimmy Martin were the two Bulldogs who hit the net with a man-advantage.

CRIMSON
Harvard, coming off a split at home with Colgate (6-2 W) and Cornell (2-1 L), ended a seven-game skid with the win in its highest scoring game of the year over the Raiders last Friday. Alex Killorn (7-9-16) leads the team in goals and points with brothers Michael (6-10-16) and Danny Biega (6-9-15) right with him. Kyle Richter (2.75, .909) and Ryan Carroll (3.45, .906) have the majority of the net work this winter.
 
BIG GREEN
Dartmouth, one of the least (10 min. avg.) penalized teams in the country, had a three-point (Cornell 2-2, Colgate 7-3 W) weekend and is 5-1-1 over its last seven heading into its Friday night game at Brown. Scott Fleming (11-12-23) leads the Green in scoring and is one reason Dartmouth is sixth in the nation in goals per game. Adam Estoclet is second with eight goals, while James Mello (2.13, .930) has been in goal for 10 wins this winter.

HOT DOGS
F Kenny Agostino has eight tallies in his last nine games… F Denny Kearney has points in four of five… D Jimmy Martin has points (1-3-4) in his last four games, while fellow blueliner Kevin Peel has them in five of six… F Brian O'Neill has four goals in his last six games and has a point in five.

PAIRWISE
The NCAA Hockey Committee's ranking system is called Pairwise, which it uses to gather teams for the post-season tournament. It uses four criteria: record against common opponents, head-to-head competition, record against other teams under consideration and the RPI ranking. Yale is currently first with 32 points followed by Denver (30) and Minnesota-Duluth (30).

RANKED TEAMS
Yale is 2-2 vs. ranked teams this year, all four coming as weekend sets with Union and RPI. The Elis swept at home in December and were swept on the road in January.

BOUNCING BACK
Yale's consecutive ECAC losses last weekend were the first since Feb. 2008 when the Blue dropped a weekend set to Harvard and Dartmouth before the skid went to three the next game against Union. The Bulldogs went 57 conference games without consecutive losses.  

LEAGUE WITHIN A CONFERENCE
Six members of ECAC Hockey compete for the Ivy League's Hobey Baker Trophy, which is all that is on the line in this race. Yale is first with 10 points, but Dartmouth (9), Brown (6), Princeton (6) and Cornell (5) are all within range. Each team has played six of their 10 Ivy games.
 
CAPTAIN AHAB BEWARE
The Whale (Ingalls Rink) has been a tough (12-0 for Yale) place for visitors this season, Moby Dick would be proud. This is just the fourth time (last in 2008-09) in school history that Yale has won at least a dozen at home. The Bulldogs aren't biting any legs off, but they are 35-9-2 over the last three seasons at the Whale.

BENCH LEADER
Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, is 89-53-12 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.
 
WORLD JUNIORS
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. 

MILLER TIME
Sophomore F Andrew Miller (55 gp, 10-51-61), voted "best passer" by his teammates, is No. 3in the nation with 1.05 assists per game. What's more impressive is that 15 of his 22 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 fifth in Division I. Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), who is 18th in the nation with 1.29 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.
 
NET GAIN    
A year after four goalies shared the Yale net, Ryan Rondeau (Carvel, AB), one of the four in 2009-10, has started 19 of the 21 games and has twice been named ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Week. He has started the last 15 games; the last time an Eli netminder had a streak like that was 2005-06 (Alec Richards '09). Rondeau, who had a 141:29 scoreless streak and consecutive shutouts (first time for a Yalie since 1998) in December, is 16-3. He ranks eighth in GAA (2.02) and 12th in SP (.924) in Division I. Fifteeen of the 37 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 22-7-1 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.
 
GOLD STANDARD
Hobey Baker candidate Denny Kearney (Hanover, NH) is third on the team with 11 goals while his 26 points are second. His assist total (15) includes 12 that were primary helpers, while he ranks 22nd in the country with 1.24 points per game. Kearney 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 (123 gp, 40-76-116), 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.), a Hobey Baker candidate, leads the team with 13 goals and 27 points despite being kept off the board the last four games. He is 11th in the nation with .62 goals per game, 18th with 1.29 points. 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 (116 gp, 66-60-126), 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, 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.

VOTE HOBEY
Senior Yale hockey forwards Broc Little (Rindge, N.H.) and Denny Kearney (Hanover, N.H.) have been nominated for the 2011 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. The first phase of the process includes fan voting. Go to hobeybakeraward.com and make your choice once every 24 hours. The results of the fan voting will impact the final selection process.
 
CAPTAIN MARTIN
Captain Jimmy Martin (St. Louis, Mo.) is a defensive defenseman who has turned himself into a player with offensive potential. He has points in his last four games and had a goal at Union last weekend. His three goals this year are a career-high. He now has seven goals and 47 career points, including 2-17-19 last winter. Martin, who attended three different high schools in three states before coming to New Haven, is a political science major who helped the Des Moines Buccaneers make it to the 2007 USHL final four.  
 
BACKSTOP BACKDROP
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 (16 gp, 2.89, .888, 7-4-2) played the last period against Holy Cross (5 saves) and some of the third at RPI. Maricic has not had a start this winter.
 
ENGINE NO. 9
Junior F Brian O'Neill (88gp, 40-57-97), who had goals in four straight outings before last weekend, is second on the team with 12 goals and ranks 19th nationally with .57. 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.

BLUE LINE
Three seniors, two juniors and a sophomore comprise the typical Yale defensive lineup this season. These six players, who have eight goals between them in 2010-11, have a combined 486 career games played. Two seniors with 12 points each, Jimmy Martin and Mike Matczak (Sewell, N.J.), have combined for five goals.
 
CAHILL
Chris Cahill (North Andover, Mass.) entered the season with 16 goals in three collegiate seasons. He already has 11 this winter, including four different two-goal games and a trio of three-point outings. Cahill, 23rd in Division I with .55 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 has career numbers of 27 goals and 66 points in 111 games.

HOTTEST BULLDOG
Yale freshman forward Kenny Agostino, named ECAC Hockey MLX Skates Rookie of the Week on Jan. 23 (3 goals vs. Clarkson/SLU), is the only Bulldog to earn conference rookie honors this season. Agostino, the hottest hand on the team, has eight goals over his last nine games. His transition from first half of rookie season to second
has been tremendous. The former Delbarton School star had a goal and three assists before the holiday break, and has eight goals and four assists since. The leading scorer (9-7-16) among Yale freshmen, he ranks seventh nationally among rookies with one point per game (21st overall).  Agostino became the first Yale newcomer in 30 years to record five points in one game on Jan. 2. 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.

FROSH
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.), who has been fighting injuries, 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 Russian Red Stars. Agostino tied a school rookie record with five (3-2) points against Holy Cross.
 
RED LIGHT DISTRICT
The Bulldogs have 95 goals and are No. 1 in the nation with a 4.52 average. They scored 10 against the Crusaders and had seven goals twice, six once and five on seven occasions this year. Yale led the nation in scoring in 2009-10.
 
GEOGRAPHIC BALANCE
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.
 
SHOOTERS
The Bulldogs have outshot 19 of 21 opponents (by 210 combined) this year after having the advantage in 26 of the 34 games last year. Vermont (32-30) and Union (34-30) are the only squads to outshoot the Blue this season.

STREAK
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 to the Jan. 15 victory over Brown at Ingalls. Division I's longest win streak this year came to an end the next day at Brown.

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, is the first at Yale to have four winning seasons since the Class of 1954.
 

SCORING SPREAD    
Eight members of the senior class have accounted for 45 goals. The juniors (6) have hit the net 27 times. Yale sophomores (4) have tallied 10 goals, while the freshmen (4) have added 13. Bulldog defensemen have hit the net eight times.

SHORTY
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.

BULLDOG BITES
This is Yale Hockey Alumni Weekend with the annual Blue-White Game set for 9:30 AM on Saturday… The Bulldogs wore home white jerseys in both games last weekend because RPI wanted to wear red… Four different players scored goals last weekend… Yale has played in front of four straight sellout crowds… The last three games at Ingalls have been sold out.

UP NEXT
The Blue heads to the North Country to face St. Lawrence and Clarkson next Friday and Saturday.

BULLDOGS IN THE PROS
This season, for the first time ever, two former Yale players skated on the same National Hockey League team. Chris Higgins '05 and Joe Callahan '05 have been on the Florida Panthers' roster at times. They played in the same game twice in November. In other alumni news, Mark Arcobello '10 was named MVP of last week's ECHL All-Star Game after netting three goals. Thirteen former Yale players are skating professionally this winter: Sean Backman '10 (Texas Stars, AHL, 36 GP, 5-10-15 ), Ryan Donald '10 (Reading Royals, ECHL), Mark Arcobello '10 (Stockton Thunder, ECHL), Alec Richards '09 (Rockford Icehogs, AHL, 61 GA, 2 SO, 2.64, 9-13-1, .906), Brennan Turner '09 (Gwinnett Gladiators, 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, 36 GP, 8-9-17), Joe Callahan '05 (Florida Panthers, NHL; Rochester Americans, AHL), Stacey Bauman '03 (Tulsa Oilers, CHL), Jeff Hamilton '01 (HIFK Helsinki, FNL), Ray Giroux '98 (Chelyabinsk Traktor, KHL).

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.

ON 'TV'
The Dec. 5 game against Union aired live on ESPNU, 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. Both games last weekend were aired on TWC.
 
WYBC
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.
 
INGALLS RENOVATIONS
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
Yale dropped from the top spot in both polls on Monday. The Elis are now No. 2 in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll with three of the 34 first-place votes. Twenty-six went to No. 1 Boston College with Denver and Minnesota-Duluth splitting the remaining votes. The Bulldogs are No. 3 in the latest uscho.com poll with BC and Denver ahead of them.



filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director

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