February 24, 2012

Yale Travels to Princeton, Quinnipiac

ROAD TRIP ENDS REGULAR SEASON

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's hockey team looks to gain momentum from a four-point home weekend as it closes out the regular season with a road trip to New Jersey and Hamden, Conn. The Elis are competing for home ice in the playoffs and leverage heading into the ECAC Hockey Tournament, which begins next weekend. The Bulldogs, coming off wins over Dartmouth and Harvard, travel to Hobey Baker Rink at Princeton (8-13-6, 6-11-3 ECAC) on Friday at 7 before battling New Haven County rival Quinnipiac (16-11-5, 8-8-4) at 7 on Saturday at High Point Solutions Arena. Saturday night's contest airs live on SNY TV.

ECAC
Yale can finish as high as fourth and as low as ninth. Fourth, which would require some help from other teams, is the last first-round bye position. Teams finishing fifth through eighth host a best-of-three series next weekend.  The Bulldogs have earned the bye the last three seasons. They clinch a home series for next week with one win.  There will likely be plenty of ties in the standings after Saturday, so here's the tie-breaking procedure to determine 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

LAST WEEKEND
The Blue outscored Dartmouth and Harvard by a combined 12-4 while outshooting the Ivy rivals 65-56 during a pair of overflow crowds at the Whale. The Elis scored six times on 18 advantages while killing off 10 of 11 penalties.

YALE BEATS HARVARD
Kenny Agostino had two goals and four points, Kevin Limbert hit the net twice and Brian O'Neill added three assists as the Bulldogs outshot the Crimson 37-26 on the way to a 7-1 win at home last Saturday before a packed Whale. There were 23 penalties resulting in 65 minutes of box time in one of the hardest hitting games of the year.  The Elis converted three of their 11 advantages, while Harvard went 1-for-4, and Yale's Nick Maricic stopped 25 of 26 shots.

BLUE OVER GREEN
Five Yale players scored as the Bulldogs beat Dartmouth before a sold out Ingalls Rink on Feb. 17. Brian O'Neill had a goal and two assists, Kevin Peel had a goal and an assist and Andrew Miller chipped in a pair of helpers for the Elis, who were outshot 30-28. Nick Maricic made 27 saves and killed off all seven Big Green advantages while the Blue went 3-for-7 on the power play.

VS PRINCETON
The Elis won both meetings last winter and is 1-0-1 against the Tigers this year. The teams skated to a 2-2 tie on opening night this season in a non-league game before the Blue won 6-2 at New Haven last month. Yale now leads the series 129-101-9 heading into the 250th contest. In October's Ivy Shootout at Thompson Arena, the Bulldogs, who outshot the Tigers 30-28, erased a 1-0 deficit and built a 2-1 lead. Five different Yale players notched points while Jeff Malcolm made 26 saves.  He needed 23 saves to get the win at home last month and got goals from six different teammates.

TIGERS
Princeton split last weekend's trip through the Capitol District, beating RPI and falling to Union. Sophomore F Andrew Calof, who had the winner at Troy, leads the Tigers with 11 goals and 23 points. Mike Condon made 24 saves to earn the win in goal.

VS. QUINNIPIAC
Quinnipiac leads (7-5-1) the series that began with Yale in 2005-06. The Bulldogs swept last year, but the Bobcats won at the Whale last month. Brian O'Neill had the lone Yale goal in a 2-1 loss on Jan. 6. Jeff Malcolm made 23 saves as both teams put 25 shots on target and went 1-for-3 with the advantage.

BOBCATS
Quinnipiac, which received eight votes in this week's uscho.com national poll, earned a split in New York by beating RPI and then losing to Union. Eric Hartzell, who had the win over Yale last month, stopped 24 shots to beat the Engineers 3-1. Junior F Jeremy Langlois leads the Cats with 16 goals, but sophomore F Connor Jones has a team-high 31 points

BULLDOG BITES
Yale's eight penalties against the Crimson were a season-high, while Harvard's 15 were a high for a Yale opponent this winter (Harvard was called for just one penalty in the January game)…  Saturday was the largest margin of victory over Harvard since a 7-1 game in 1998… Kevin Peel now ranks sixth among Yale defensemen in career goals (15) and his is 10th in points (48)… Freshman F Anthony Day notched his first collegiate point with an assist on Friday's first goal and then added his first career goal on Saturday… Yale has yet to notch a shorthanded goal this year... Kevin Limbert's two goals against Harvard on Feb. 18 were a career-high.

ALUMNI WEEKEND A HIT
More than 50 former Yale hockey players returned last weekend to take part in the annual alumni weekend activities that included the games against Dartmouth and Harvard, meals and receptions in the Schley Room and a reunion game for which 35 former Bulldogs suited up.  John Sather '92 took game MVP honors as his white team won 14-10. The oldest player on the ice was James Trowbridge '60, the youngest was Jeff Dwyer '04.

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 126 (34-30 average) this season while having 13 more goals. The Elis had the edge in shots in seven straight games before Dartmouth snapped the streak on Feb. 17.  Yale's most shots on goal (53) in a game this year came in a 7-6 loss to Sacred Heart.

ADVANTAGE
Yale is 6-1 when getting two or more power-play goals, so last weekend's six-man advantage tallies were big in the wins. The Yale power play (6th in Division I, 23.8) 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 had just four PPGs over eight outings heading into last week.

NATIONAL RANKS
Yale ranks seventh in scoring offense (3.4) and 38th in defense (2.8) in Division I. The Bulldog penalty-kill is fourth (87.0), while the Elis are 34th in penalty minutes (13.0). The Yale power-play unit is sixth (23.8).

MILLER TIME
Junior F Andrew Miller (96 gp, 23-86-109) ranks sixth in Division I with .92 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 24 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 (129 gp, 66-87-153) has five goals over his last five games (10 points). 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 18 goals and 36 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, fourth in assists and seventh in goals on the school's career list. O'Neill ranks sixth in the nation and second in the ECAC (.67) in goals per game, he is 11th (1.33) 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) was the hottest Bulldog last weekend with three goals and five points. His three tallies were all pretty plays with shots that found small openings. Agostino, 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 13-15-28 after going 3-3-6 over the last two weekends. His best game this year was 2-2-4 vs. UConn and at home against Harvard. 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.

MARICIC
Junior Nick Maricic (Alta Loma, Calif.) earned his second and third wins of the year by stopping 52 of 56 shots and holding opponents scoreless on 10 of 11 advantages. Maricic, who has wins over Dartmouth (twice) and Harvard, had a career-high 33 saves against Union on Jan. 20 (same total vs. Princeton in 2009).  

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.

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.

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 4-14-18, while his .67 points per game rank 26th among Division I defensemen (he is 29th among rookies). Senior Kevin Peel (Onoway, Alb.) returned from injury to notch three points last weekend and has 4-7-11, while classmate Nick Jaskowiak (Bloomington, Minn.) is third with 2-8-10. 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.   

LOOKING AHEAD
Yale could play in the first round of the ECAC Hockey Tournament or earn a bye and play the following weekend in a best-of-three series.

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).

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 (8-6 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 48-15-3 over the last three-plus seasons at the Whale and 12-10-3 in home ECAC playoff games all time.

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 11-18-29 in 48 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.

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

image of Kevin Limbert by Chad Lyons