February 3, 2012

Bulldogs Host Crucial Conference Weekend

NORTH COUNTRY DUO TREKS TO NEW HAVEN

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale men's hockey team, coming off a two-point road weekend, is home this weekend to host the North Country set at Ingalls Rink. The Bulldogs drop the puck with St. Lawrence (8-15-3, 4-9-1 ECAC) on Friday and Clarkson (12-11-5, 6-5-3) on Saturday in a pair of 7 p.m. games that can be seen live on yalebulldogs.com. Tickets are available for both nights.

VS. ST. LAWRENCE
Yale and St. Lawrence split the last two regular-season series and are 3-3-2 over the last eight. Overall, the Blue has a 5-4-2 lead in the last two-plus years including a three-game playoff series at New Haven last March. The Saints have a 55-28-9 overall lead and a 7-6-2 advantage on Yale in ECAC playoff games, though the Elis are 5-3-2 in quarterfinal series.

YALE TIES SLU
The Bulldogs erased a 3-1 deficit to earn a 3-3 OT tie at Canton last month. Yale had a 36-30 edge in shots and got goals from Andrew Miller (2 points), Clinton Bourbonais and Kevin Peel. Jeff Malcolm made 26 saves in the Blue net.

VS CLARKSON
The Elis have played Clarkson 105 times since 1929-30 and the Knights own a 69-32-4 lead. Yale has taken four of the last five meetings, but Clarkson won at home last month.

KNIGHTS TAKE OT GAME
Sam Labrecque's shot from the point on a power play in overtime sailed through traffic and found the net at 3:59 to give Clarkson a 5-4 win over Yale last month at Cheel Arena. The Golden Knights scored three times on five power plays against Malcolm (23 saves), but the Elis went 1-for-6 despite having the advantage in shots (42-28). Tommy Fallen, Antoine Laganiere, Bourbonais and Brian O'Neill scored for Yale.

COMEBACK WIN
Kenny Agostino's second goal of the game with 34.8 seconds left in the third period capped a wild, come-from-behind, 5-4, Yale men's ECAC Hockey victory over Dartmouth. The Bulldogs, who trailed by three in the first period, scored the game's last four goals to stun the Big Green before a packed house at Thompson Arena. The Big Green had a 4-1 lead after a period, but the Blue scored four straight over the last 40 minutes. Kevin Limbert, Fallen and Jesse Root had the other goals, while Nick Maricic stopped 29 saves. Agostino's game-winner was set up by a 30-foot high, blueline to blueline pass from defenseman Colin Dueck.

CLOSE TO GETTING 2 LAST WEEK
The Bulldogs fell 4-3 at Harvard last Friday when the Crimson scored with 1:19 left in regulation. The visitors erased a 1-0 deficit with two straight tallies before the first intermission but never had another lead. Brian O'Neill and a pair off blueliners, Nick Jaskowiak and Gus Young, found the net for Yale while Jeff Malcolm had 31 saves.

LAST WEEKEND
Yale, which scored eight times and allowed as many, outshot its opponents 75-68 despite scoring once on three advantages. The Elis killed off six of seven penalties while using two different goalies. Saturday's win at Hanover was just the second time this year Yale has come from behind in the third period to take the contest.

SAINTS
Since the tie with Yale last month, the Saints have lost four straight, including road games at RPI and Union last week. Junior F Kyle Flanagan (10-16-26) leads SLU on the scoreboard, Matt Weninger (3.18, .896, 7-12-3) has most of the work in goal.

KNIGHTS
Clarkson has won three of its last four including a split last weekend on the road with Union (5-2 L) and RPI (3-2 W). Senior F and Boston Bruins' draft pick Nick Tremblay leads the team with 13 goals, while Louke Oakley (12) had four points against Yale last month. Goalie Paul Karpowich (2.21, .928, 12-9-5) is ninth in the nation and second in the ECAC in save percentage.

BULLDOG BITES
Yale gave up the game's first goal both times last weekend and has done so in 13 games (4-7-2) this year… The Elis have outscored opponents in first and third periods while outshooting them in every frame… The last time Yale erased a three-goal deficit to win was last February at Princeton, a 5-4 decision. The last time the Elis came back from two or more down in the third period to win was a 5-4 game (4-1 in third) with Clarkson in February 2010 at home.

RANKS
Yale ranks 10th in scoring offense (3.33) and 41st in defense (2.95) in division I. The Bulldog penalty-kill is fifth (87.4) in the country, and the Elis are the seventh least penalized team. The Elis' power play unit is sixth (23.9).

MILLER TIME
Junior F Andrew Miller (90 gp, 21-81-102) ranks sixth in Division I with .95 assists per game and is 25th in points (1.15). He is one of college hockey's premier  offensive catalysts. Miller, not known for his goal scoring, leads the team with 19 helpers and is 5th on the school's career list. He is best at creating space, setting up teammates and winning draws. Miller, a 2010-11 first-team All-ECAC pick, was voted "best passer" by his teammates the last two seasons while he had 12-33-45 in 2010-11. 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.

CAPTAIN O'NEILL
Yale's captain, Brian O'Neill (124 gp, 61-81-142), leads the squad with 13 goals and 25 points. He is 10th on Yale's career goals chart and fifth in points. O'Neill ranks 12th in the nation and fourth in the ECAC (.62) in goals per game, he is 20th (1.19) in points in the nation this year. He was a 2010-11 first-team All-ECAC selection and has led the team in scoring the last two seasons. O'Neill had a career-high four goals (most by a Bulldog since 2003) this year against Bentley. His four tallies against the Falcons on Jan. 1, 2012, were on consecutive scores. That eclipsed his hat trick at Clarkson on Feb. 12, 2011. He ranked 15th nationally with 1.29 points per game last year. 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.) made the 2008-09 CHN and ECAC Hockey All-Rookie teams after going 12-14-26.

MALCOLM IN MIDDLE
Junior Jeff Malcolm has started all but two games this season in the Yale net. He had a shutout streak of three (Colgate, RPI, Union) games and 226:39 minutes (parts of 5 games) in November and was named ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Week after stopping all 72 shots in wins at No. 8 Union and RPI on Nov. 11-12. The three straight SHOs tied the school record set by Ryan Rondeau '11 last winter. His scoreless streak fell short of the 240:53 by Rondeau. His career record is 14-13-2 with a 2.87 GAA and three shutouts.

MARICIC WEATHERS GREEN STORM
Junior Nick Maricic (Alta Loma, Calif.) made 16 saves and saw 20 shots in the first period at Dartmouth on Jan. 27, but he blanked the Big Green the rest of the way to earn the win in a 5-4 contest with 29 saves. He got his first start of the year on Jan. 20 against Union and stopped 33 shots in the 3-1 loss. Maricic, who has played in three games this year, owns a 2.970 career GAA and an .888 SP. Freshman Connor Wilson (Cary, NC) is looking for his first opportunity. He stopped 11 of 12 shots in one period of work against the exhibition against the Russian Red Stars on Dec. 28.

BLUE LINE
There are seven defensemen on the Yale roster: two seniors, a junior, a sophomore and three freshmen. Newcomer Tommy Fallen ( Plymouth, Minn.) leads the Yale blueliners with 4-11-15 (.71 points, 23rd among Division I defensemen). Senior Kevin Peel (Onoway, Alb.) is second with three goals and seven points, followed by Matt Killian (Basking Ridge, NJ) with 1-4-5. Senior Nick Jaskowiak (Bloomington, Minn.), junior Colin Dueck (Calgary, Alb.) and sophomore Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.) are the other regulars on defense.   

AGOSTINO
Yale sophomore forward Kenny Agostino (Flanders, NJ), who came within a step of making the U.S. National Junior Team this winter, is the top scoring Eli sophomore with 8-10-18 after netting two goals at Dartmouth. His best game this year was 2-2-4 vs. UConn. Agostino became the first Yale newcomer in 30 years to record five points in one game on Jan. 2, 2011. 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. Yale's rookie of the year last winter after scoring 11 goals and 25 points, Agostino was the HCA National Rookie of the Month for January (8-4-12), the first Bulldog to receive that award. He was ECAC Hockey 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.

ROLLER COASTER CAREER
Senior forward Dan Otto battled injuries for three years that prevented from playing in a regular season game, until this season. He finally cracked the lineup on opening night and played in the first 12 games. Otto lifted his team's spirits to new heights when he scored two goals in a November win at Union. However, on Dec. 8 at UMass, Otto suffered season-ending concussion that has likely ended his career. The Lake Zurich, Ill., native has been around the rink to support his teammates and hopes to finish school next December.

ROLLER COASTER SEASON
Yale's highs in 2011-12 included four straight wins, three straight shutouts and multiple weeks as a top 10 ranked team. Some of the lows have not been experienced in a number of years. The Jan. 20-21 weekend was the first time Yale had been swept at home in the ECAC since January 2008. The four-game skid (Clarkson, Union, RPI, Harvard) was the most since that season, while the two goals scored by the Elis combined against Union/RPI were the fewest by a Bulldog team for an ECAC set since February of 2005.
 
BEHIND THE BENCH
Assistant coach Dan Muse is in his third season season under Keith Allain. He joined the Bulldog staff when C.J. Marottolo left to take the top job at Sacred Heart. Former University of New Hampshire star Eric Lind has been with Allain every season at Yale. There is one new face on the Yale bench this season, Dennis "Red" Gendron, who replaced Kyle Wallack as the Bulldogs' associate head coach. Gendron, an assistant at the University of Massachusetts the last six seasons and a former University of Maine coach from 1990 to 1993, helped the Black Bears win a 1993 NCAA Championship.

LOOKING AHEAD
The Bulldogs head to Cornell and Colgate next weekend for a pair of 7 p.m. games. They return home the following weekend for their last regular season games at the Whale against Dartmouth and Harvard on Alumni Weekend.

ACCOMPLISHED LEADERS
The current Yale roster is comprised of leaders and scholars. Here are some examples.

22  were captains of hockey teams before coming to New Haven
13 captained another sports team
17 won a scholar-athlete award
14 graduated in top 10 percent of their senior class

SURVEY SAYS
The Yale players were surveyed about each other, and here are the results:

Best Passer:              Andrew Miller (Jr, F)
Fastest on Skates:         Brian O'Neill (Sr, F)
Hardest Shot:             Antoine Laganiere (Jr, F)
Best Forechecker:         Chad Ziegler (Sr, F)
Strongest:             Josh Balch (Jr, F)
Most Likely to become a coach:     Josh Balch  
Best Singer:             Colin Dueck (Jr, D)
Most Unique Hobby:         Brian O'Neill (model airplanes)
Best Sense of Humor:         Charles Brockett (Sr, F)
Biggest Appetite:         Charles Brockett
Best Dresser:             Andrew Miller
Want your sister to date:         Anthony Day (Fr, F)

GEOGRAPHIC BALANCE
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.

FROM WHENCE THEY CAME
The United States Hockey League contributed 10 players to the Bulldog roster. There are four from the British Columbia Hockey League, one from the Atlantic Junior Hockey League and another from the Eastern Junior Hockey League. Ten Yale student-athletes came directly from prep schools.

BULLDOGS IN THE PROS
There are 23 former Yale hockey players skating professionally, including eight from the class of 2011. Broc Little has 23-24-47 in 39 games in Sweden. Chris Higgins has 10-16-26 in 44 gp for Vancouver, while Brad Mills has played 24 games for the NJ Devils. Here are the Bulldog pros, youngest to oldest:

Chris Cahill '11 (Cincinnati Cyclones, ECHL)
Denny Kearney '11 (Trenton Titans, ECHL)
Broc Little '11 (HockeyAllsvenskan, VIK Västerås HK, Sweden)
Jimmy Martin '11 (Florida Everblades, ECHL)
Brendon Mason '11 (Nybro Vikings, Sweden)
Mike Matczak '11 (Kalamazoo Wings, ECHL)
Ryan Rondeau '11 (Laredo Buck, CHL)
Ken Trentowski '11 (Brooklyn Aviators, FHL)
Sean Backman '10 (Bridgeport Sound Tigers, AHL)
Ryan Donald '10 (Florida Everblades, ECHL)
Mark Arcobello '10 (Oklahoma City Barons, AHL)
Billy Blase '10 (Neuilly-sur-Marne, France)
Tom Dignard (Belfast Giants, EIHL)
Alec Richards '09 (Rockford Icehogs, AHL)
Brennan Turner '09 (Dundee Stars, EIHL)
David Meckler '09 (Manchester Monarchs, AHL)
Blair Yaworski '08 (Utah Grizzlies, ECHL)
Jean-Francois Boucher (Saint-George COOL-FM, LNAH)
Matt Cohen '07 (Fife Flyers, EIHL)
Brad Mills '07 (New Jersey Devils, NHL)
Chris Higgins '05 (Vancouver Canucks, NHL)
Joe Callahan '05 (Hamilton Bulldogs, AHL)
Ray Giroux '98 (ChelyabinskTraktor, KL)

CURRENT NHL CONNECTIONS
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).

9 GRADS
It's not fair to compare recent Yale teams to the 2011-12 Bulldogs, who lost nine standout class of 2011 players. Eight of the graduates are skating professionally. The current squad isn't lacking talent, but nobody re-loads with equal force after losing nine seniors from a championship team. There are six seniors seeing regular duty. Four of the five sophomores and five of the six juniors have been in almost every game while five freshmen have been needed to fill the largest void.

YALE HOCKEY BROADCASTS
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.

HARBOR YARD
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 slated for the Yard, which has hosted numerous NCAA events.
 
INGALLS
Yale hockey celebrated the re-dedication of Ingalls Rink (3,500 capacity) on Jan. 16, 2010. The rink built in 1958 has been modernized  while adding 13,000 square feet of 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 and more. There are new historical displays, concession stands and bathrooms for the building nicknamed the "Whale" because of its humpback-shaped roof.

WHALE OF A TIME
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 (5-5 this year). 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 45-14-3 over the last three-plus seasons at the Whale and 12-10-3 in home ECAC playoff games all time.

SOLD OUT
Ingalls Rink was sold out for the last 12 games of the 2010-11 regular season and six (Cornell, Colgate, BC, QU, PU, Union) times this year. There are tickets available this weekend, but only G.A. and S.R.O. tickets remain for contests with Harvard and Dartmouth.

ATTENTION MEDIA
Here are some important things to know if you are covering the Bulldogs or just working a game at Ingalls. Interviews: Yale head coach Keith Allain and select players are available on a semi-regular basis each week at Ingalls Rink, typically Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. If you would like to attend these informal media sessions, please contact Sports Publicity Director Steve Conn. Post-game:interviews with Yale personnel are conducted in one of the youth locker rooms at ice level on the home side of the building. Let Steve Conn know who you would like to speak with immediately after the game. Media Gate List: Attendants stationed at the front and back of the rink have a media gate list to check off your name. Parking: The same list is used for PARKING in the garage (entrance off Prospect Street) behind the rink.

 

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director

 

Clinton Bourbonais image by Don Clark

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