Yale Opens with Tigers Friday

Kevin Limbert. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kevin Limbert. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Blue In Ivy Shootout Hosted by Dartmouth

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's hockey team opens the 2011-12 regular season by playing Princeton Friday afternoon in the Ivy Shootout at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H. Yale takes on the Tigers at 4 p.m. and then plays tournament host Dartmouth at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The other games in the shootout include Brown playing Dartmouth (Friday, 7) and Princeton (Saturday, 4). Only the games Dartmouth plays will be video streamed.

The Elis won both meetings last winter and now lead the series 128-101-8 heading into the 148th contest.

The Bulldogs and Big Green are heading into the 198th meeting with Yale leading 101-84-12.

The Bulldogs had the advantage in shots, 42-32, but came up a goal shy in a 2-1 exhibition decision at Ingalls Rink against Waterloo. The Warriors, winners of five of their six games this season, got a pair of goals from forward Chris Ray to take the first of a two-game swing through ECAC Hockey. Ray tallied at 13:30 of the first to even things at 1-1 and then slipped a low wrister past Connor Wilson (7 saves) at 7:32 of the third for the game winner.  Waterloo did not allow a shot on net after the Elis pulled their goalie for the last 74 seconds. The Bulldogs had a 1-0 lead in the first period when junior forward Antoine Laganiere converted a feed from sophomore Clinton Bourbonais. Laganiere, with a man-advantage, held the puck for a moment before firing a low wrister stick side on Keaton Hartigan (41 saves).  Junior Jeff Malcolm got the start in net for Yale and stopped seven of eight shots in the first frame. Classmate Nick Maricic had the most action by stopping all 16 shots in the second period before Wilson, the newcomer, took over in the third. The three Bulldog netminders combined to blank the Warriors on five power plays.

The Blue scored five goals in both wins. In the first game on Nov. 5, Yale won 5-3 with two Chris Cahill goals. Andrew Miller's four points on Feb. 20 helped Yale win 5-4 at Princeton. Brian O'Neill netted four points against Old Nassau, while Miller had a goal and four assists. Yale's power play went 4 for 12 over the two games.   

Yale won both meetings in 2010-11 by a combined score of 6-3. Ryan Rondeau '11 stopped 57 shots over the two games while Dartmouth netminder James Mello made 73 saves. No Bulldog had multiple goals.

The class of 2015 includes four forwards, three defensemen and a goalie. Here are some quick facts on each newcomer: D Bennett Carroccio was an EJHL All-Star for the Boston Jr. Bruins… F Anthony Day scored 30 goals St. Francis High School... D Tommy Fallen played on the U.S. Team that captured gold at the 2010 World Junior A Challenge... D Matt Killian notched 30 career goals at Delbarton School... F Trent Ruffolo scored 129 points over 89 games for the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs… F Alex Ward was a three-sport star at Deerfield Academy… F Nicholas Weberg played high school hockey in Minnesota while skating for Team Norway U20s at the 2011 World Junior Championships… G Connor Wilson, a goalie for Chicago in the USHL, was a three-sport standout at the Berkshire School.

For the first time in the history of Yale hockey, an Eli roster includes a Floridian (F Trent Ruffolo), a North Carolinian (G Connor Wilson) and a skater from Norway (F Nicholas Weberg).

When Yale and Dartmouth play it's a matchup of former goalies, who played for three seasons against each other, now coaching their alma maters. Keith Allain played at Yale from 1976-80 while Bob Gaudet was between the Big Green pipes from 1977 to 1981. Dartmouth went 3-2-1 vs. Yale during the six games they were on opposite sides as players.
"I think we learned a lot tonight," said Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. "This sends a good message to our guys. You need a certain intensity level to compete in our league, and it's hard to simulate that in practice."

Yale's 28 wins last year were a school record, four better than the 2008-09 Elis. Yale's 17 ECAC wins equaled the record reached by the 1997-98 team with an identical 17-4-1 mark. Yale's 35 ECAC points tie the school record established by the 1997-98 Bulldogs.

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 (4th in 5 years) Ivy title by going 9-1 last winter and having 18 points. Dartmouth was second with 13 points.
A 2010-11 first-team All-ECAC pick, junior F Andrew Miller (70 gp, 17-62-79) had another outstanding season last year. Miller, voted "best passer" by his teammates, had 12-33-45. He was No. 4 in the nation with .97 assists per game (tops in ECAC). More impressive is that 22 of his 33 assists were primary ones. His team-high 33 helpers (2nd best at Yale and five behind Mark Kaufmann '93) were a sophomore school record while 45 points were second on the team. He probably had his best offensive weekend as a collegian on Feb. 25-26 when he hit the net three times against Colgate/Cornell combined. Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), was 12th in the nation with 1.29 points per contest and registered the most (34 as a freshman) 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. In 2009-10 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 that year with .85 assists per outing.

The Whale (Ingalls Rink) has been a tough place for visitors in recent years. Yale, which enjoyed its first undefeated (15-0-1, only Division I team to do that) regular season at Ingalls last winter, finished 17-1-1 at home. That is the most wins ever in New Haven for a Yale team (The Blue went unbeaten at New Haven in 1928-29). The Bulldogs are 40-10-3 over the last three seasons at the Whale and 12-10-3 in home ECAC playoff games all time.

Ingalls Rink was sold out for the last 12 games of the 2010-11 regular season. The Nov. 26 Boston College game is already sold out, while only G.A. and S.R.O. tickets remain for contests with Cornell, Harvard and Dartmouth.

2010-11 first-team All-ECAC selection Brian O'Neill (103gp, 48-69-117) was named captain of the Bulldogs last April. He has led the team in scoring the last two seasons. That includes a career-high three goals at Clarkson on Feb. 12, which helped him rank 15th nationally with 1.29 points per game. He 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. The year before, 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.

There are two returning goalies and both are juniors. Combined they have 29 games played and 23 starts. Alta Loma, Calif., native Nick Maricic (2.29, .890) has five more games played than Jeff Malcolm (2.75, .868), from Lethbridge, Alb. Ryan Rondeau '11 owns some season and career records after a 2010-11 campaign where he took almost all of the work. Both returnees have seen quality and pressure-filled ice time. Maricic saw some time in the NCAA Regional final last March.

There are seven defensemen on the Yale roster: two seniors, a junior, a sophomore and three freshmen. Three of the seven have a depth of experience. Seniors Kevin Peel (Onoway, Alb.) and Nick Jaskowiak (Bloomington, Minn.) have been regulars since arriving in New Haven. Junior Colin Dueck (Calgary, Alb.) became a mainstay last winter and sophomore Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.) got in a few key games as a rookie.  

Yale sophomore forward Kenny Agostino was Yale's rookie of the year last winter after scoring 11 goals and 25 points. Agostino, the HCA National Rookie of the Month for January (8-4-12), was the first Bulldog 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 in 2010-11. The former Delbarton School star

had a goal and three assists before the holiday break, and 10 goals and 11 assists after. He ranked 11th nationally among rookies with .86 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 Yale roster includes players from 13 different states and three provinces. New York and Minnesota are represented by three players from each state while Alberta brings in four players.

Derrick Pallis of Princeton and Yale's Gus Young were teammates at Noble and Greenough School… The Blue had a win streak of 10 games last year… Yale's streak of 57 straight ECAC games without consecutive losses came to an end during the Union/RPI trip in January 2011… The Class of 2011 became the winningest at Yale with 89 victories.
There is one new face on the Yale bench this season, Dennis "Red" Gendron, who replaced Kyle Wallack as the Bulldogs' associate head coach. Dennis "Red" Gendron, an assistant at the University of Massachusetts the last six seasons and a former University of Maine coach from 1990 to 1993. He helped the Black Bears win a 1993 NCAA Championship before working in the New Jersey Devils organization.

The Yale men have left a mark on Division I over the last three seasons under Keith Allain '80, the Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. The combined statistics from 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 make the last three years the best in the history of the sport in New Haven and among the best in the nation over that span.

The Numbers From 2008-11

Overall Record:    73-25-6 (.729)    
ECAC Record:    47-14-5 (.749)    
Scoring:              405 goals, 104 games (3.89)
All-Americans:     4
All-ECAC:            8
All-Ivy League:   10

    Top Winning Percentage in Division I
    Two-time Division I Scoring Leader (2009-10, 2010-11)
    Led nation in scoring defense 2010-11
    2 ECAC Hockey Tournament Championships (2009, 2011)
    2 ECAC Hockey Regular Season Titles (2008-09, 2009-10)
    3 Ivy League Titles
    3 NCAA Tournament Appearances
    2 NCAA Regional Final Appearances (2010, 2011)
    School-record 28 wins (2010-11)
    10 All-Ivy League Selections
    8 All-ECAC Hockey Selections
    4 All-America Selections
    2 Hockey Commissioners Association Players of the Month

There are 22 former Yale hockey players skating professionally, including eight from the class of 2011. Here are the Bulldog pros, youngest to oldest. Chris Cahill '11(AHL, Milwaukee Admirals), Denny Kearney '11(ECHL, Trenton Titans), Broc Little '11 (HockeyAllsvenskan in Sweden, VIK Västerås HK), Jimmy Martin '11(ECHL, Bakersfield Condors), Brendon Mason'11 (Division 1-series in Sweden, Nybro Vikings), Mike Matczak '11 (ECHL, Kalamazoo Wings), Ryan Rondeau '11 (CHL, Laredo Buck), Ken Trentowski '11 (SPHL, Augusta Riverhawks), Sean Backman '10 (AHL, Bridgeport Sound Tigers), Ryan Donald '10 (Charlotte Checkers, AHL), Mark Acrobello '10 (Oklahoma City Barons, AHL), Alec Richards '09 (Rockford Icehogs, AHL), Brennan Turner '09 (Dundee Stars, EIHL), David Meckler '09 (Manchester Monarchs, AHL), Matt Cohen '07 (Fife Flyers, EIHL), Brad Mills '07 (New Jersey Devils, NHL), Chris Brooks '06 (Bakersfield Condors, ECHL), Chris Higgins '05 (Vancouver Canucks, NHL), Joe Callahan '05 (Hamilton Bulldogs, AHL), Stacey Bauman '03 (Tulsa Oilers, CHL),  Jeff Hamilton '01 (HIFK Helsinki, FNL), Ray Giroux '98 (Chelyabinsk Traktor, KHL).

Three players on the current Yale roster have been drafted by NHL teams: Gus Young (Colorado, 7th, 184, 2009); Kenny Agostino (Pittsburgh, 5th, 140, 2010); Brad Peltz (Ottawa, 7th, 190, 2009).

Pay-per-view broadcasts of Yale hockey regular season home games are available on yalebulldogs.com. The Yale Athletic Department production is almost entirely student run: Sam Dorward '13 is the producer; Tom Stokes  '12 and Patrick Ouziel '13 are the cameramen; Evan Ellis '12, the Voice of Yale Hockey, and Max Valenstein '13 are the broadcasters.

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.

Yale and Fairfield hosted the 2009 and 2011 NCAA East Regional Tournaments in Bridgeport at Webster Bank's Arena at Harbor Yard, and the Bulldogs participated in both. The 2012 East Regional is also slated for the Yard, which has also hosted numerous NCAA post-season events.

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director