Blue Travels to SLU, Clarkson This Weekend
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The No. 2 Yale men's hockey team (19-4, 13-3 ECAC), coming off a pair of conference wins that clinched home ice for the playoffs, is on the road this weekend for the North Country set against St. Lawrence (8-14-5, 4-10-1) and Clarkson (12-13-2, 6-8-1), a pair of 7 p.m. starts at Appleton and Cheel Arenas.
VS. ST. LAWRENCE
Yale and St. Lawrence split last year and the Blue has a 3-2-1 advantage over the last six meetings. The Saints have a 53-26-8 overall lead. Kenny Agostino had two goals as Yale beat St. Lawrence 4-1on Jan. 22 at the Whale. Ryan Rondeau stopped 28 of 29 shots and his defensive mates blanked a solid Saints' offense for just over 58 minutes. Rondeau, who made a dozen saves in the first, stopped all four SLU advantages and knocked aside numerous grade-A chances to prevent the visitors from taking the game's first goal. The Blue outshot SLU 36-29 and kept freshman goalie Matt Weninger (32 saves) very busy. He prevented the Elis from hitting the net on six of seven power plays and picked a number of pucks headed for the corners out of the air. In addition to Agostino, Mike Matczak and Brian O'Neill tallied while Chris Cahill and Brendan Mason each had two assists.
The Elis have played Clarkson 103 times since 1929-30 and the Knights own a 68-31-4 lead. Yale has taken the last three meetings. Kenny Agostino's goal with 11:16 left in the third broke open a 2-2 game and sent Yale to a 5-2 win on Jan. 21 at Ingalls. On a night when the Bulldog power play went 0-for-7, the home team still got two goals from Chris Cahill (3 points) and scores from Brian O'Neill and Denny Kearney. Kevin Peel pitched in two assists while Ryan Rondeau stopped 21 of 23 shots. Rondeau and the Yale penalty-kill were successful on seven of eight attempts. The senior goalie stopped all 10 shots in the second period, when the Elis needed him the most. Yale outshot Clarkson 33-23 during one of the most physical games of the season. The Knights' netminder Paul Karpowich made 28 saves and was the primary reason the game was so close most of the way.
YALE IN DIVISION I
Scoring: 4.35 GPG (1st)
Defense: 2.13 GPG (7h)
Penalty Kill: 81.2 (36th)
Power Play: 24.6 (3rd)
Penalty Minutes: 15.6 (16th)
Scoring Margin: 2.22 (1st)
Yale swept its home conference set at Ingalls, outscoring opponents 5-2 while having a 77-61 advantage in shots. The Elis went 1-for-5 on the power play and killed off all five penalties. Five different Bulldogs hit the net and Broc Little was the only skater to have multiple points. Ryan Rondeau stopped 59 of 61 shots and registered his third SHO of the season.
SLU beat Colgate and lost to Cornell last week and is 1-4-1 over its last six. Three of the Saints' biggest wins this year came against New Hampshire, Vermont and Cornell.
Clarkson, coming off losses last weekend at Cornell and Colgate, has dropped four straight heading into Friday's game with Brown. The Knights had a four-game win streak earlier this year and have wins over RPI and Princeton and a sweep of rival St. Lawrence.
The Bulldogs are certainly spreading it out; eight different players have scored Yale's last eight goals. F Kenny Agostino has eight tallies in his last 11 games… F Brian O'Neill has points in seven of eight… F Denny Kearney has points in three of four… D Jimmy Martin has points five of six, while fellow blueliner Kevin Peel has them in five of eight.
The NCAA's power ranking system used to compare teams for tournament time is called Pairwise. 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 29 points followed by Minnesota-Duluth, North Dakota, Boston College and New Hampshire (all with 26).
Yale is 3-2 vs. ranked teams this year. The Elis beat Union and RPI in December and Dartmouth last weekend at home while falling to the Dutchmen and Engineers on the road.
The Blue bounced back from a pair of road losses to sweep at home last weekend. Yale had gone 57 conference regular season games (Feb. 2008) since falling twice in a row.
The Elis have clinched a home ECAC Hockey playoff series in March, but the weekend has yet to be determined. The top four seeds have a bye for the first round and host quarterfinal series on March 11-13. The fifth through 12-place teams play March 4-6, with the top four getting home ice.
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 14 points, but Dartmouth (11), Brown (6), Princeton (6) and Cornell (5) are all within range. The Blue and Green have played eight of their 10 Ancient Eight games.
Sophomore F Andrew Miller (57 gp, 11-51-62), voted "best passer" by his teammates, is No. 6in the nation with .96 assists per game. 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 six goals have been winners, which ranks fifth in Division I. Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), who is 22nd in the nation with 1.22 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.
CAPTAIN AHAB BEWARE
The Whale (Ingalls Rink) has been a tough place for visitors this season, Moby Dick would be proud. Yale, 14-0 at Ingalls and the only Division I team perfect at home, has never won that many games in a season at New Haven. Yale,, which has never been perfect at Ingalls in a year, last went unbeaten at New Haven in 1928--29. The Bulldogs aren't biting any legs off, but they are 37-9-2 over the last three seasons at the Whale. Yale has sold out its last nine straight games.
A year after four goalies shared the Yale net, Ryan Rondeau (Carvel, AB) has started 21 of the 23 games and has been named ECAC Hockey MLX Skates Goalie of the Week three times. Last weekend, Rondeau stopped 59 of 61 shots including all 34 (season-high) by Harvard to register his third shutout of the year and earn the conference award. Rondeau, who had a 141:29 scoreless streak and consecutive shutouts (first time for a Yalie since 1998) in December, is 18-3 this year. He ranks fourth in GAA (1.92) and seventh in SP (.929) in Division I. Rondeau's career-high is 40 saves at Princeton in 2009. The senior, who owns a 24-7-1 career record, has been in net for seven wins over ranked teams including a 3-2 decision with North Dakota at the 2010 NCAA Northeast Regional semifinal.
Hobey Baker candidate Denny Kearney (Hanover, NH) is third on the team with 11 goals and 27 points. His assist total (16) includes 12 that were primary helpers, while he ranks 30th in the country with 1.17 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 (125 gp, 40-77-117), 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) and is 11th in points and third in career games played. He 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 14 goals and 29 points. He is 13th in the nation with .61 goals per game and 19th with 1.26 points. Little, sixth on Yale's career goals list, had his third career hat trick (3-1-4) against Holy Cross on Jan. 2. Nine of his 15 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 (118 gp, 67-61-128), 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.
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.
Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, is 91-53-12 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 90-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 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 points in five of his last six games. His four goals this year are a career-high. He now has eight goals and 48 career points which rank ninth at Yale (tied with Peter Allen '93). 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.
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 (90gp, 40-59-99), who has points in seven of the last eight games, is second on the team with 12 goals and 28 points. He ranks 28th nationally with .52 goals per game. O'Neill 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.
Three seniors, two juniors and a sophomore comprise the typical Yale defensive lineup this season. These six players, who have nine goals between them in 2010-11, have a combined 498 career games played. Two seniors with 25 points combined, Jimmy Martin and Mike Matczak (Sewell, N.J.), have combined for six goals.
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, 29th in Division I with 1.18 points 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 27 goals and 67 points in 113 games.
Yale freshman forward Kenny Agostino, named HCA National Rookie of the Month for January (8-4-12), is the first Yale freshman to receive that award. He was ECAC Hockey MLX Skates Rookie of the Week on Jan. 23 (3 goals vs. Clarkson/SLU), becoming the only Bulldog to earn conference rookie honors this season. Agostino, the hottest hand on the team, has eight goals over his last 11 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 ninth nationally among rookies with .89 points per game. 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.
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.
The Bulldogs have 100 goals and are No. 1 in the nation with a 4.35 average after 23 games. 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 and hit the 100 mark in game No. 25.
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 21 of 23 opponents (by 226 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.
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 78 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.
Eight members of the senior class have accounted for 47 goals. The juniors (6) have hit the net 29 times. Yale sophomores (4) have tallied 11 goals, while the freshmen (4) have added 13. Bulldog defensemen have hit the net nine 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.
The Blue opens 2011-12 with the Ivy Shootout at Dartmouth (pairings TBA) before playing other non-league games against Connecticut (home, Nov. 19), Sacred Heart (Harbor Yard, Nov. 22), Boston College (home, Nov. 26) and UMass (away, Dec. 7)… Yale has not had a player with a multiple-goal outing since Kenny Agostino had two against SLU on Jan. 22 … The Blue has outscored opponents 37-18 in third periods… Yale has 103 more shots on goal than the opposition in second periods.
The Blue has an atypical ECAC weekend with an 8 p.m. (Comcast New England/CPTV) game on Friday at Quinnipiac followed by a Sunday 1 p.m. (ESPNU) contest at Princeton.
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.
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 YES Network aired the Feb. 5 Dartmouth game. The Elis have also been on CBS College Sports (at Cornell) and Time Warner Cable (at Colgate, Union and RPI).
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
Yale moved up one spot to No. 2 in the uscho.com poll and remained in the second spot in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll. The Blue received one of the 34 first-place votes in the USA Today list. Boston College had 32 and Minnesota-Duluth had the other. The Eagles had 47 of 50 votes from uscho.com; Yale, UMD and New Hampshire had one each.
Yale, winners of the last two conference regular season titles, has a one-point lead over second-place Union and a five-point advantage over third-place RPI.
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director