February 22, 2013

Yale Gets Shot at No. 1

Bulldogs Finish Off Regular Road Slate

 

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. –  The immediate goal of the Yale men's hockey team, entering the weekend fifth in the standings with four games left, is to finish among the ECAC's top four to earn a first-round tournament bye. The first step for the Bulldogs is to complete their regular-season road schedule by facing No. 1 ranked Quinnipiac on Friday at 7:30 (NBC Sports Network, sold out) before skating at Princeton on Saturday at 7. Both games can also be heard on AM-1340 (wybcx.com).

SERIES
Y-QU: The Bobcats have an 8-5-2 lead after taking a 6-2 decision at Ingalls on Feb. 2. There have been five games decided by a goal or less in the 15 meetings. Yale's offensive high came in a 7-4 win on 12-04-09; the most goals the Blue allowed was six, four different times... Y-PU: Yale leads the series 133-102-9 heading into the 245th meeting. The Blue has taken five of the last six, including a 4-2 contest at New Haven on Feb. 1

BLUE vs.QU
Jesse Root, Stu Wilson and Trent Ruffolo are the only current Yale players with a goal against Quinnipiac, though Andrew Miller and Kenny Agostino each have three assists. Keith Allain's record against QU is 4-6-2.

IT'S BEEN 24 YEARS
Yale was the top ranked team in the country for much of the 2010-11 season, its first such honor. It's difficult to prove but very likely that the Bulldogs have not played a No. 1 ranked team since beating Harvard 3-1 at Ingalls on  Jan. 31, 1989.

BULLDOGS
Yale was flying high with a five-game unbeaten streak that had it No. 5 in the Pairwise Rankings, No. 7 in one of the national polls and in sole possession of second place after a 4-2 win over Princeton on Feb. 1, the night starting goalie Jeff Malcolm went down with an injury. Since that night, the Elis have gone 0-4 and have fallen to fifth place.
 
YALE IN ECAC
Eight points separate second from 11th place. The Blue is tied for fifth (Dartmouth) entering the weekend at 19 points. There are three spots still available among the top four teams that will earn first-round playoff byes. Yale is two points from second place, but two teams are within two points of fifth. If the playoffs began this weekend, the Blue would be hosting Colgate, Cornell or Harvard in a first-round series.

BOBCATS SPLIT WITH NORTH COUNTRY
Quinnipiac's unbeaten streak came to an end at 21 last Friday night at home against SLU (2-1) while clinching the Cleary Cup (because Yale lost), but the Bobcats bounced back with a 2-1 win over Clarkson the next night and  have retained their top-ranked status.

TIGERS SEE 3-2 TWICE
After sweeping Cornell and Colgate the weekend before on the road, Princeton dropped a pair of 3-2 games to Clarkson and SLU at Baker Rink. The Tigers are tied for seventh just two points behind Yale.


MILLER
Senior F Andrew Miller (129 gp, 36-104-140) is the 115th captain of Yale men's hockey and an All-America candidate. He has 12-13-25 overall this season after scoring two of Yale's three goals last weekend. Miller is third among ECAC players in points (20) during conference play and had a string of 11 straight games with a point end on Feb. 2. His 13 assists (12 primary) this season helped him become only the second Bulldog to get 100 career helpers. Miller, 8th on Yale's career points list, is also among a select group of college players who have more points than career games played. He has been ranked among the top 10 in Division I for assists the last three years and was voted "best passer" by his teammates the last three years. His two goals against SLU on Nov. 10 this year were a career-high. Miller, a 2010-11 first-team All-ECAC pick, had 12-33-45 that season and was fourth in the nation in assists. More impressive was that 22 of his 33 assists were primary. The 33 helpers were second best at Yale and a sophomore school record. His best offensive weekend as a collegian came in Feb. 2011 when he hit the net three times vs. Colgate/Cornell. As a freshman, Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), was 12th in the nation in points and registered the most (34) points by a Yale rookie in 25 years. The speedy forward was the 2008-09 USA Junior Player of the Year and 2007 Michigan High School Mr. Hockey.

LAGANIERE
Senior Antoine Laganiere (Ile Cadieux, Que.) is an All-America candidate who is one of three Bulldogs tied for the team lead with 12 goals this winter. He is 11th in the conference with 15 points in 18 ECAC games. He was ECAC Player of the Week after getting 2-3-5 against Harvard/Dartmouth on Jan. 18-19. One of the most improved Bulldogs last year, he had his best campaign with 19 goals and 33 points. Laganiere (107 gp, 43-36-79), featured in a recent hockeysfuture.com article, got hot when the Blue needed it most; he had nine goals over the final nine games, including his first collegiate hat trick in game three of the Princeton 2012 ECAC playoff series. He scored shorthanded, on the power play and even-strength against the Tigers. He also had Yale's best weekend with five goals over three games, which earned him his first ECAC Hockey Player of the Week honor.
 
AGOSTINO
Yale junior forward Kenny Agostino (Flanders, NJ) is an All-America candidate who leads the team with 28 points and is tied for third in the ECAC for points (20) in conference games. His four-point road weekend at SLU/Clarkson earned him ECAC Player of the Week. Agostino's biggest goal of the year beat No. 2 Denver in OT on Nov. 23. He ranks fourth in the ECAC with nine goals in 18 conference games. Agostino, featured in a recent hockeysfuture.com article, had 14 goals and 34 points in 2011-12, while he earned ECAC Player of the Week honors for his three-goal, Feb. 17-18 weekend. Agostino (89 gp, 37-50-87) has scored other significant, late goals. Last winter, he scored goals in consecutive games with under 35 seconds left in regulation (win, OT loss). Agostino beat Dartmouth at Hanover with 34.8 ticks remaining, followed by a GTG against SLU with 34.2 left at home. His season-high was 2-2-4 against both UConn and Harvard at Ingalls in 2011-12. Agostino became the first Yale newcomer in 30 years to record five points in one game on Jan. 2, 2011. He notched 3-2-5 against Holy Cross and became the school's first freshman to tally five points in 27 years. Yale's rookie of the year in 2010-11, Agostino had 11 goals and 25 points and 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.
DOGS WITH CATS
Anthony Day (Y), Mitch Witek (Y) and Alex Baron (QU) were all teammates on the Waterloo Black Hawks... Colin Dueck (Y) and Russell Goodman (QU) skated together with the Nanaimo Clippers... Cody Learned (Y), Danny Federico (QU), Matt Lemire (QU) and Zach Luczyk (QU) all played together for the Boston Junior Bruins... Jeff Malcolm (Y) played against 10 current QU players in the BCHL.

LAST MEETINGS
Feb. 2: QU 6, Yale 2 - Trent Ruffolo and Stu Wilson gave the Elis a 2-0 lead with power play goals in the first, but the Bobcats came back and got a 30-save performance from Eric Hartzell.

Feb. 1: Yale 4, Princeton 2 - Four different Bulldogs scored as Yale erased an early deficit and got a big goaltending relief performance from Nick Maricic (21 saves) after Jeff Malcolm was injured on a Princeton charging penalty in the third minute of the game.

TEAM RANKS
Yale is sixth in the ECAC in scoring with 2.72 goals per game, while the Elis rank eighth in defense at  2.83.The Bulldog power play is fourth at 21.3 percent, the penalty kill sixth (82.6).

BULLDOG BITES
Thirteen Yale players have hit the net this season, three are in double figures... Five Bulldogs have double-digit assists...The Blue finished sixth in 2011-12 with 22 points and hosted Princeton in a three-game playoff series.

ANCIENT EIGHT
Yale (6-2-0) is atop the Ivy standings, two points ahead of Dartmouth (4-3-2) with Princeton and Brown each four points back.. The Elis have two games left while the Tigers (4) and the Bears (2) are within reach.
 
SCORING CLASS
Yale has a team-high 26 goals from its senior class. The juniors, who have the most points on the team, are second with 22 tallies. The sophomores are third with 16 while the newcomers have hit the net nine times.

BLUE LINE
There are seven defensemen on the Yale roster, including one senior, one junior, two sophomores and three freshmen. The Blue blueliners have contributed eight goals and 49 points. Senior Colin Dueck (Calgary, Alb.) has the most experience (over 100 games) with junior Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.) a close second. Sophomore Tommy Fallen (Plymouth, Minn) was the team's rookie of the year in 2011-12, while classmate Matt Killian (Basking Ridge, NJ) has also been key contributor this year. Newcomers Rob O'Gara (Nesconset, NY) and Ryan Obuchowski (West Bloomfield, Mich.) have been regulars in 2012-13, classmate Mitch Witek (Downers Grove, Ill.) has also seen some action.    

MALCOLM
Senior Jeff Malcolm (career: 2.75, .905, 27-19-4), a two-time ECAC Goalie of the Week this season, started 12 straight games before suffering an injury on Feb. 1 against Princeton in the third minute of the first period. He has not dressed for a game since. His season-high is 36 saves at St. Lawrence in a 5-3 win, while his longest scoreless streak is 111:39. His best game may have been 32 saves in the 2-1 OT win at No. 2 Denver on Nov. 23. Before that, Malcolm stopped 59 of 63 shots on Nov. 9-10 and did not give up a goal on 11 penalty kills. The Yale goalie with the most minutes and saves in 2011-12 was in net for two of the more memorable events of the season: he made 27 saves in the win over Princeton in the playoff series finale and notched a shutout streak of three (Colgate, RPI, Union) games and 226:39 minutes (5 games) in November. Malcolm (Lethbridge, Alb.) earned ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Week honors after stopping all 72 shots in wins at No. 8 Union and RPI last winter. The three straight SHOs tied the school record but fell short of the Yale record (240:53 by Ryan Rondeau '11) scoreless streak. His career-high is 45 saves against Union on Nov. 12, 2011.
 
MARICIC
Senior Nick Maricic (Alta Loma, Calif.) started three of the last four games, including a 31-save effort in the 1-0 loss at Brown. He entered the Feb. 1 game vs. Princeton in the third minute after Jeff Malcolm was injured. He stopped 20 of 21 shots to earn the win that night, while making 21 saves in the first two periods the next night against Quinnipiac.He got his first start and victory in a 4-2, 25-save effort against Cornell in the fourth game of his freshman season. Since then he has compiled 917 saves and 15 wins. He had nine saves (no goals allowed) over the last 29 minutes of the 6-5 win at Colorado College on Nov. 24. He also had some big ones down the stretch last year that helped the Blue go 3-0-1 to close the regular season. He stopped 66 of 70 shots the final weekend on the road. He saved 52 of 56 shots and held Dartmouth/Harvard scoreless on 10 of 11 advantages the week before. Maricic (2.94, .897, 15-12-4) had a career-high 40 saves in the 2-2 tie at Quinnipiac on Feb. 25, 2012.  

WILSON
Sophomore Connor Wilson (Cary, NC), the first Carolinian on a Yale hockey roster, got his first collegiate start in the 4-1 loss at RPI on Feb. 16. He stopped 18 of 21 shots and four of five advantages in his sixth career appearance.

FROSH
Six freshmen have been used in a game on many occasions this season, including three on defense and three at forward. The eight new Bulldogs come from five different states and one province, and bring experience from the USHL (3), EJHL (2), BCHL, AJHL and a New England prep school. Some have already distinguished themselves since arriving in New Haven: Stu Wilson has earned conference rookie of the week honors twice and is the son of RIT head coach Wayne Wilson, while Rob O'Gara, a Boston Bruins draft pick, was featured in a bostonbruins.com video this season.

RANKING, POLLS
The Bulldogs, currently tied for No. 12 in the uscho.com Pairwise Rankings, were as high as fifth at the beginning of this month. The USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll has Yale No. 13, while the Blue is No. 14 in the uscho.com media poll.

ON TV
Yale is 3-2 playing on TV this season. The Jan. 18 Yale-Harvard (4-0 W) game and the Jan. 25 game at Cornell (3-2 W) aired live on the NBC Sports Network.The Quinnipiac (Feb. 22) contest is also on the network formerly known as Versus. The exhibition against the Red Stars (10-2 W) aired on CPTV Sports, which had live coverage of the Feb. 2 home Quinnpiac (6-2 L) contest. Yale was on Time Warner Cable at Union (4-2 L) on Feb. 15.

RANKING OPPONENTS
Yale's first loss of the year against a nationally ranked team came on Feb. 2 vs. Quinnipiac. The Elis are 6-1-2 overall this season against teams with national rankings the week of the game. Four (Harvard, Denver, Colorado College, Cornell) of the wins have come on the road. The other road game was at Boston College (tie), while the Elis had home contests against St. Lawrence (win), Union (tie) and Dartmouth (win). Yale is 2-2-3 against teams currently in the uscho.com top 20 poll.
 
ACCOMPLISHED LEADERS
The current Yale roster is comprised of leaders and scholars. Here are some examples.
21        Captained a hockey team before coming to Yale
18        Captained another sports team
20        Won a scholar-athlete award
14        Graduated in top 10% of their class
10        National Honor Society Members
 4         Class Presidents
 
SURVEY SAYS
The Yale players were surveyed about each other, and here are the results:
Strongest player (pound for pound):                              8 Josh Balch
Fastest on skates:                                                                 22 Tommy Fallen
Hardest Shot:                                                                   28 Antoine Laganiere
Best fore-checker:                                                           20 Jesse Root
Best Passer:                                                                      17 Andrew Miller
Best Singer:                                                                       21 Colin Dueck
Sense of Humor:                                                                 20 Jesse Root
Biggest Appetite:                                                             15 Clint Bourbonais
Most Soft Spoken:                                                          21Colin Dueck
Most Talkative:                                                                  20 Jesse Root
Player you would want your sister to date:                        21 Colin Dueck
Best Dressed:                                                                    17 Andrew Miller
Most Likely to be a Head Coach:                                      2 Gus Young
Most Unique Hobby:                                                      17 Andrew Miller (Fabrics)

INGALLS
Yale celebrated the re-dedication of Ingalls Rink (3,500) 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 in 2010-11, finished 10-7 last year. The Bulldogs are 6-3-1 this year, 56-20-4 over the last four-plus seasons at the Whale and 14-11-3 in home ECAC playoff games all time. ECAC CHAMPIONSHIPS
The weekend of March 22-23 marks the last time the ECAC Hockey Championship Weekend is held at Atlantic City. Next March, the conference championships are back in Lake Placid at the 1980 Rink (Brooks Arena), the site of ECAC Championships from 1993 to 2002. Yale has won a pair of conference tournament titles - 2009 at Albany and 2011 at Atlantic City.

NEXT YEAR
Yale, Brown, Dartmouth and Princeton will take part in a soon-to-be named event at the Prudential Center in Trenton, N.J., home of the New Jersey Devils. The four Ivy schools will drop the puck on their regular seasons (like with the Ivy Shootout) at this two-day event.

GEOGRAPHIC BALANCE
The Yale roster includes players from 12 different states, two provinces and Norway. New York and New Jersey are represented by four players from each state, while Alberta and Michigan contribute three players and Illinois has a pair.

BEFORE YALE
The United States Hockey League contributed nine players to the Bulldog roster. There are three from the British Columbia Hockey League, two from the Eastern Junior Hockey League and one from the Atlantic Junior Hockey League.  Eleven Yale student-athletes came directly from prep schools.

HARBOR YARD
Yale and Fairfield co-hosted three (2009, 2011, 2012) of the last four NCAA East Regional Tournaments at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. The Bulldogs competed in two (2009, 2011) of the three at the arena. The two schools have another in 2014.
 
NEWTOWN
The Bulldogs are wearing a sticker with a ribbon on the back of their helmets in memory of those lost in the Sandy Hook (Newtown) School shootings. Equipment manager Jeff Torre added them to the head gear prior to the game at Boston College.

ATTENTION MEDIA
Interviews: Yale head coach Keith Allain and select players are available on a semi-regular basis each week at Ingalls Rink. 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 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 (off Prospect Street) behind the rink.

YALE ALL ACCESS
The Yale All-Access team is entirely comprised of students. Max Valenstein '13 returns for his second season of color commentary, while Addie Adams '15 is the new voice of Yale Hockey.  Behind the scenes, Patrick Ouziel '13, Taylor Stib '15, Daniel Stern '16 and Sam Dorward '13 work on the production. Since it began broadcasting hockey in 2010, YAA has grown exponentially and now averages about 1,000 viewers per broadcast. Broadcasts can be viewed for free at the Yale Campus youtube page or at yalebulldogs.com.

WYBC
There are three ways to listen to WYBC's coverage of all home games and select away games. Fans can find the broadcasts on WYBC-AM 1340 (also WYBC.com or TuneIn.com). Plus, smartphone users can download the TuneIn app to listen to the WYBC-AM stream on their mobile device. The coverage, including an interview with Yale head coach Keith Allain, begins 15 minutes before every game only on WYBC.com, with the AM broadcast beginning just before the puck drops at the top of the hour.

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director