February 17, 2012

Elis Host Final Regular Season Home Games

RIVALS CLASH ON ALUMNI/SENIOR WEEKEND

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – With four games left in the conference regular season, the Yale men's hockey team looks to get back on track at home when a pair of ECAC Hockey and old Ivy League rivals comes to the Whale on Friday and Saturday. There have been 430 games played between Yale and these two Ancient Eight foes. The Bulldogs and Dartmouth (9-12-4, 6-9-3 ECAC), tied with each other for eighth in the conference standings, drop the puck at 7:35 p.m. on Feb. 17 in a live NBC Sports Network (Ron Vaccaro '04 with Pierre McGuire) broadcast. The Blue entertains Harvard (8-7-10, 6-4-8) at 7 on Feb. 18 in the alumni/senior weekend nightcap. Tickets are available for Friday, but Saturday's game is sold out.

YALE-DARTMOUTH
Dartmouth won the first encounter on Jan. 16, 1907. The Bulldogs and Big Green are heading into the 200th meeting with Yale leading 103-84-12. The Elis have taken the last seven including a 5-4 thriller at Thompson Arena on Jan. 28. Dartmouth led 4-1 after one period but Yale scored the last four goals, including Kenny Agostino's tally with 34.8 seconds left, to grab the improbable victory. Yale had a 36-33 edge in shots on a night where there were only five penalties called. Nick Maricic (29 saves) got the win in net over James Mello (31).

YALE-HARVARD
There have been 231 meetings, including games in Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Philadelphia, New York City, Brooklyn, Lake Placid and New Haven. The first meeting was Feb. 26, 1900, in New York, a 5-4 Yale victory. Harvard looks to avenge a Yale sweep last year by getting all four points this winter after winning 4-3 at the Bright Hockey Center on Jan. 27.  Yale has taken four of the last six, but Harvard leads the overall series, 136-77-18. There were just five penalties called last month when the two met at Boston. The Blue had a 39-35 edge in shots and got goals from Nick Jaskowiak, Brian O'Neill and Gus Young.

LAST WEEKEND
Yale outshot Colgate and Cornell on the road by a combined 69-53 (30-8 in third periods) but was outscored 8-4 while going 2-for-13 on the power play.  

ELI RALLY FALLS SHORT AT ITHACA
 A very late rally was too little and too late as Yale, which trailed by four with under five minutes left, fell to No. 13 Cornell 4-2 at Lynah Rink on Feb. 10. The Bulldogs had the edge in shots, 34-25, but hit the net just once on seven man-advantage chances. Four Big Red shots got past two different Yale netminders, Jeff Malcolm (14 saves) and Connor Wilson (7). Andy Iles, the Ithaca native who came within five minutes of a perfect night, stopped all 19 shots through two and ended up with 32 for the game. The Yale goals came from Nick Jaskowiak and Brian O'Neill. Sean Collins had two goals and an assist for the home team.

YALE DROPS 4-2 GAME AT COLGATE
The Bulldogs put enough sustained pressure on the Raiders' net to score a bunch of goals but came away with a 4-2 loss at Colgate at Starr Rink on Feb. 10. The Elis, who had the 35-28 advantage in shots, clearly had most of the grade-A scoring chances. Missing a lot of those opportunities and going 1-for-5 on the power play was the difference in this contest. It also wasn't the best night for Yale junior goalie Jeff Malcolm, who gave up a pair of goals from long range and finished with 24 saves. John Lidgett had two goals and an assist to lead the Raiders.

ALLAIN SAYS
 After Cornell: "I'm real proud of the way we hung in there tonight. We battled back against some adversity on road. The bottom line is we had to work way too hard for goals, while theirs came much too easily."
After Colgate: "We worked very hard tonight and created a lot of chances.  "We were close, but still not running on all cylinders."

BIG GREEN
Dartmouth, coming off losses at Union and RPI last week, is on a 0-4-2 skid. Sophomore F Eric Robinson (10-7-17) is the team's top scorer, while three different goalies have shared the action; seniors James Mello (3.15, .893) and Jody O'Neill (2.57, .917) have most of the decisions.

CRIMSON
Harvard, which enters the weekend in fourth, is coming off a 3-2 win over Northeastern in the Beanpot's consolation game. The Crimson, 4-1-2 over its last seven games, had their 10th tie of the season, a 2-2 game with RPI at Boston last weekend. Senior F Alex Killorn, one of eight NHL draft picks on the roster, leads the team with 16-15-31. Steve Michalek (3.03, .899), who was in net against Yale last month and had 24 saves in the win over the Huskies on Monday, has all but four decisions this winter.

PLAYOFF PICTURE
Yale is tied for eighth with Dartmouth (15 points), two points shy of seventh place St. Lawrence, which has won four straight. The Bulldogs haven't had a home conference weekend sweep this season, but four points could catapult them as high as fifth. The top four earn first-round byes and home ice. The next four host first-round ECAC Hockey series. Listed below are the tie-breakers for tournament championship seeding.

1.    Head to Head
2.    Wins
3.    Comparison of results against the top four teams
4.    Comparison of results against top eight teams
5.    Goal differential in head to head competition
6.    Goal differential in games against the top four teams
7.    Goal differential in games against the top eight teams

BULLDOG BITES
The lineup stayed the same both nights in upstate New York last week but there was plenty line juggling… Senior F Brian O'Neill and junior F Andrew Miller are among 21 semi-finalists for the 2012 Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England… These are the final home regular season games for seven members of Yale's class of 2012… The annual alumni game is slated for 9 am on Saturday.
 
ONE-GOAL GAMES
The Elis have played nine one-goal games this season and have just two victories in those contests. Two of the losses were in overtime (both on power-play goals, at Clarkson/vs. SLU) where the Blue is 0-2-2 this year.

SHOTS
Yale has outshot opponents by 117 this season while having seven more goals. The Elis have the edge in shots in seven straight games heading to this weekend. Yale's most shots on goal (53) in a game this year came in a 7-6 loss to Sacred Heart.

ADVANTAGE
The Yale power play was ranked among the top three in Division I for most of the first half of the season. The Elis hit the net with the advantage in each of the first eight games, got stopped against Boston College and then reeled off another eight-game streak. However, the Blue has just four PPGs over the last eight outings, including a scoreless string of three consecutive, and rank ninth in the nation at 22.3 percent.

NATIONAL RANKS
Yale ranks 11th in scoring offense (3.2) and 42nd in defense (3.0) in Division I. The Bulldog penalty-kill is fourth (86.5), while the Elis are 42nd in penalty minutes (12.3). The Yale power-play unit is ninth (22.3).

MILLER TIME
Junior F Andrew Miller (94 gp, 22-84-106) ranks seventh in Division I with .92 assists per game and is 27th in points (1.12). He is one of college hockey's premier  offensive catalysts. Miller, not known for his goal scoring, leads the team with 22 helpers and is fifth 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 (127 gp, 65-82-147) has four goals in his last rhree games. He was named ECAC Hockey Player of the Month for January after netting eight goals and 14 points in nine games. O'Neill, who leads the squad with 17 goals and 30 points, continues to climb over some old Bulldogs and former NHL players on the school's career stats list. Yale's Hobey Baker Candidate is now fifth in points, sixth in assists and eighth in goals on the school's career list. O'Neill ranks eighth in the nation and second in the ECAC (.68) in goals per game, he is 17th (1.20) 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.

AGOSTINO
Yale sophomore forward Kenny Agostino (Flanders, NJ), who came within a step of making the U.S. National Junior Team this winter,
has a rare accomplishment this season: He scored goals in conseutive games with under 35 seconds left in regulation, one for a win and another to send it to overtime. Agostino beat Dartmouth at Hanover with 34.8 ticks remaining, followed by a GTG against SLU with 34.2 left at home. He is the top scoring Eli sophomore with 10-13-23 after going 2-3-5 over the last two weekends. 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.

WILSON MAKES DEBUT
Freshman Connor Wilson (Cary, NC) made his collegiate regular reason debut by playing the last 34 minutes of the Feb. 11 Cornell game. Wilson made seven saves and allowed one goal at Ithaca. He stopped 11 of 12 shots in one period of work against the exhibition against the Russian Red Stars on Dec. 28.

MALCOLM'S STREAK
Junior Jeff Malcolm, who has started all but three games this season in the Yale net, 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 15-13-2 with a 2.81 GAA and three shutouts.

MARICIC
Junior Nick Maricic (Alta Loma, Calif.) has started three games with one win, a 5-4 game at Dartmouth 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 3.02 career GAA and an .887 SP.

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 4-13-17, while his .68 points per game rank 29th among Division I defensemen. Senior Nick Jaskowiak (Bloomington, Minn.) is second with 2-7-9, while classmate Kevin Peel (Onoway, Alb.), who has been out of the lineup with an injury, has 3-4-7. Junior Colin Dueck (Calgary, Alb.) and sophomore Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.) are the other regulars, while rookies Matt Killian (Basking Ridge, NJ) and Bennett Carroccio (Armonk, NY) have also made contributions.   

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.

LOOKING AHEAD
Yale finishes off the regular season by playing at Princeton and Quinnipiac next weekend in a pair of 7 p.m. games. Saturday's game at Hamden airs live on SNY TV.

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.

POLITICAL BULLDOGS
Of the 18 Yale players who have decided on majors, 12 of them will earn degrees in political science. There are a pair of economics majors. Four Elis don't have any teammates sharing majors: Clinton Bourbonais (biomechanical engineering), Kevin Limbert (mechanical engineering), Nick Maricic (philosophy) and Colin Dueck (psychology).

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 45 gp for Vancouver, while Brad Mills has played 27 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).

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 (6-6 this year). That was the most wins ever in New Haven for a Yale team (The Blue went unbeaten at New Haven in 1928-29). The Bulldogs are 46-15-3 over the last three-plus seasons at the Whale and 12-10-3 in home ECAC playoff games all time.

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