Senior Weekend Marks End of Regular Season
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – There is one weekend left in the regular season and the Yale men's hockey team (22-5, 16-4 ECAC) trails first-place Union by one point in the ECAC Hockey standings. The Bulldogs, coming off three straight road victories, are home for Senior Weekend to host Colgate (7-23-2, 4-14-2) and Cornell (13-11-3, 11-7-2) before a pair of full houses at the Whale.
A limited number of GA and SRO tickets are available for Friday's game. Call 203.432.1400 to purchase those now. There are no tickets available for Saturday's game.
Union (33 points) has a one-point lead over Yale (32) with four points on the table this weekend. The Dutchmen (14-1 at home) host Quinnipiac and Princeton at Schenectady, a few weeks after sweeping through Hamden and Princeton.
The Raiders hold a 45-38-4 advantage in a series with Yale that began in 1916-17. The Elis are 5-1-1 in the last seven games..Yale beat Colgate 6-4 at Starr Rink on Nov. 20. Antoine Laganiere had a goal and three points while Kenny Agostino, Andrew Miller and Jesse Root each had a goal and one assist. The Elis had a slight (34-33) advantage in shots, but got 29 saves and some big plays from senior Ryan Rondeau. He needed 14 of those stops in the final period to keep the Raiders from making a comeback. Colgate, which dominated on the dots with a 46-28 advantage on faceoffs, got 28 saves from Eric Mihalik, making his second start of the year.
The Big Red and Elis have played since the turn of the 20th century and Cornell has a 75-56-5 lead. Yale, however, has taken the last six straight. Yale erased a 2-1 deficit midway through the contest with three straight goals to take a 4-2 win over the Big Red before a packed house at Lynah Rink on Nov. 19. After being outshot in the opening period, the Blue finished with a 30-17 overall advantage while getting goals from Jesse Root, Broc Little, Chad Ziegler and Brendan Mason. Mike Garman, who had 26 saves for Cornell, stopped five of six Yale advantages while keeping the home team in the contest despite the shot differential. At the other end, Ryan Rondeau needed 15 saves to earn the win.
Yale, which had five first-period goals, outscored opponents 11-5 while having just a 74-71 advantage in shots. The Bulldog power play converted three of 10 attempts while the Eli penalty-kill was successful on eight of 10.
BULLDOGS EDGE TIGERS
Yale erased a 3-0 deficit and Chris Cahill hit the net with 1:53 left in the third period on the way to a 5-4 win over Princeton before a Hobey Baker Rink sellout crowd on Feb. 20. Andrew Miller had a goal and three assists and Brian O'Neill hit the net with one helper as Yale won despite being outshot 40-32. Yale got two power-play tallies and two more on the penalty-kill to ignite the comeback. Ryan Rondeau, who had a season-high 36 saves, didn't have his best game in the Yale net today, but he made enough quality stops to deserve equal credit for the victory. He prevented scores on four of five advantages as the Elis were outshot for just the third time this winter. Charles Brockett and Kenny Agostino were the other goal scorers for the visitors.
YALE BEATS QUINNIPIAC
Five different players hit the net and Ryan Rondeau stopped 30 of 31 shots as Yale beat Quinnipiac 6-1 before 3,957 at the TD Bank Sports Center on Feb. 18. Denny Kearney had two goals while Chad Ziegler, Kevin Limbert, Jimmy Martin and Brian O'Neill tallied goals as the Elis outshot the Bobcats 42-31. Kenny Agostino had two assists on a night when his team scored two shorthanders. Neither team was very successful with the man-advantage. Yale went 1-for-6 while the Cats scored once on five attempts. Rondeau, and an excellent defensive effort in the visitor's end, kept Quinnipiac (13-13-5, 6-9-4) off the board when things got scary.
Coming off a home sweep of Dartmouth and Harvard, Colgate has won four of its last five games. The Raiders, in 11th place, a point ahead of Harvard and three behind St. Lawrence, will be on the road for the first round of the ECAC playoffs next weekend. Senior F Francois Brisbois leads Colgate with 12 goals and 27 points, while freshman G Erik Mihalik (2.95, .892) leads the team with four wins.
Cornell, tied for third in the ECAC with Dartmouth, is coming off a split against the Crimson and Big Green. Four of the last five Big Red games have been one-goal decisions. Senior F Joe Devin leads the Red with 13 goals and 23 points. Freshman G Andy Iles (2.29, .919) has a team-high eight wins.
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 31 points followed by North Dakota (29) and Boston College (28).
The Elis have clinched a home ECAC Hockey quarterfinal playoff series on March 11-13. The top four seeds have a bye for the first round and host quarterfinal series. The fifth through 12-place teams play March 4-6. With two games left in the regular season, Yale can finish as high as first and as low as second.
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 won its third straight Ivy title by winning eight of its first nine games (16 points) with one to play. Dartmouth, which finished its schedule last week against Cornell, has 13 points.
Sophomore F Andrew Miller (61 gp, 13-56-69), voted "best passer" by his teammates, is No. 3 in the nation with 1.0 assists per game (tops in ECAC). More impressive is that 17 of his 27 assists are primary ones. He is also hitting the net when it counts this season; four of his eight goals have been winners, which ranks 10th in Division I. Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), who is 13th in the nation with 1.30 points per contest, registered the most (34 last year) 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 home games.
Yale's Best At Ingalls
1984-85 8-3-1 Ahab
Yale's Best At Home Before Ingalls
ENGINE NO. 9
Junior F Brian O'Neill (94gp, 45-61-106), who has points in 11 of the last 12 games, leads the Blue with 17 goals and 35 points. That includes a career-high three goals at Clarkson on Feb. 12. He ranks 10th nationally with .63 goals per game and is 13th with 1.30 points (3rd in ECAC in both categories). O'Neill began 2010-11 with a 3-2-5 weekend in the two wins including 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. 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.
A year after four goalies shared the Yale net, Ryan Rondeau (Carvel, AB) has started 25 of the 27 games and has been named ECAC Hockey MLX Skates Goalie of the Week three times this year. He has three shutouts this season (and career): vs. Harvard (season-high 34 saves), Union and Vermont. Rondeau had a 141:29 scoreless streak and consecutive shutouts (first time for a Yalie since 1998) in December. His 21 wins this year are a school record. He ranks seventh in GAA (2.06) and eighth in SP (.925) in Division I (3rd in both among ECAC goalies). Rondeau's career-high is 40 saves at Princeton in 2009. The senior, who owns a 27-8-1 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.
Denny Kearney (Hanover, NH) is third on the team with 13 goals and fourth with 29 points. His assist total (16) includes 12 that were primary helpers. Kearney notched eight 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 most prolific weekend of his collegiate career. In addition, all four assists were primary ones. Kearney (129 gp, 42-77-119), who was voted by his teammates as the "best dresser" and "most talkative" among the Bulldogs, is Yale's active career assist leader (5th best at Yale) and is 10th in points and third in career games played. However, 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.) is second on the team with 14 goals and 31 points. Little, sixth on Yale's career goals list, had his third career hat trick (3-1-4) against Holy Cross on Jan. 2. Ten of his 17 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 (121 gp, 67-63-130), who has nine 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.
WALTER BROWN AWARD
Chris Cahill, Broc Little and Denny Kearney are all among the 15 semifinalists for the 59th annual Walter Brown Award given to the top American born Division I player in New England by the Gridiron Club of Boston each March. A Yale player has never won the award.
Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, is 93-54-12 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, three straight 20-win campaigns 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.
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.
HITTING THE NET
The Bulldogs have 119 goals and are No. 1 in the nation with a 4.42 average after 27 games. Yale hit the 100-goal mark after 23 games. The Blue scored 10 against the Crusaders and had seven goals twice, six three times and five on eight occasions this year. Yale led the nation in scoring in 2009-10 and hit the 100 mark in game No. 25.
Captain Jimmy Martin (St. Louis, Mo.) is a defensive defenseman who has turned himself into a player with offensive potential. He has points in six of his last seven games. His five goals this year are a career-high. He now has nine goals and 51 career points which rank ninth at Yale. 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.
Three seniors, two juniors and a sophomore comprise the typical Yale defensive lineup this season. These six players, who have 11 goals between them in 2010-11, have a combined 515 career games played. Two seniors with 30 points combined, Jimmy Martin and Mike Matczak (Sewell, N.J.), have produced seven goals this season. Martin and Ken Trentowski (Ronkonkoma, NY) scored goals at Quinnipiac.
Chris Cahill (North Andover, Mass.) entered the season with 16 goals in three collegiate seasons. He already has 12 this winter, including four different two-goal games and a trio of three-point outings. None of his goals were bigger than the one he scored to win the Feb. 20 game at Princeton with less than two minutes left. Cahill 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 and has career numbers of 27 goals and 68 points in 116 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 has nine goals over his last 16 games. The former Delbarton School star had a goal and three assists before the holiday break, and has nine goals and eight assists since. The leading scorer (10-11-21) among Yale freshmen, he ranks seventh nationally among rookies with .95 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 three 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 Dec. 29 win over the Russian Red Stars. Agostino tied a school rookie record with five (3-2) points against Holy Cross.
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 24 of 27 opponents (by 250 combined) this year after having the advantage in 26 of the 34 games last year. Vermont (32-30), Union (34-30) and Princeton (40-32) 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.
Yale's streak of 57 straight ECAC games without consecutive losses came to an end during the Union/RPI trip in late January.
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 83 victories, surpassing the total (72) 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 54 goals. The juniors (6) have hit the net 37 times. Yale sophomores (4) have tallied 14 goals, while the freshmen (4) have added 14. Bulldog defensemen have hit the net 12 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 gone 15 games without another. Chris Cahill hit the net down a man against Clarkson at home. The Elis tripled their season output on the Quinnipiac-Princeton road trip with shortys by Kevin Limbert, Denny Kearney, Andrew Miller and Charles Brockett. Notre Dame leads the nation with 12 SHG.
Brian O'Neill's first career hat trick (at Clarkson) was Yale's first three-goal outing since Jan. 2 when both Broc Little and Kenny Agostino each did it against Holy Cross. It was the first road hat trick for a Bulldog since Sean Backman '10 at Quinnipiac on Feb. 2, 2007 and the first Bulldog hat trick at Clarkson since Francis Lloyd '59 in 1957… O'Neill has 4 goals over his last 2 games... Broc Little (5) is Yale's active leading scorer against Princeton.
The Blue has a bye next week during the first round of the conference playoffs and will host an ECAC school for a March 11-13 Quarterfinal series at the Whale.
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 again on Feb. 13 and Higgins had a goal that night against the Sharks. In other alumni news, Mark Arcobello '10 was named MVP of January's ECHL All-Star Game after netting three goals. Fourteen former Yale players are skating professionally this winter: Sean Backman '10 (Texas Stars, AHL, 46 GP, 6-10-16 ), Ryan Donald '10 (Reading Royals, ECHL), Mark Arcobello '10 (Oklahoma City Barons, AHL), Thomas Dignard '10 (Tulsa Oilers, CHL), Alec Richards '09 (Rockford Icehogs, AHL, 78 GA, 2 SO, 2.63, 11-18-1, .906), Brennan Turner '09 (Binghamton Senators, AHL), 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, 45 GP, 10-11-21), 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 was 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 remained at No. 3 in both of the polls after sweeping a road weekend. The Elis, who have been among the top five all year, got 15 first-place votes in one poll and nine in another. North Dakota jumped over Boston College to take the top spot. The Eagles are second in both.
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director