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Holiday Hockey at The Whale

Holiday Hockey at The Whale

Red Stars, Crusaders Come to New Haven

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The 20-day break from contests is over when the Bulldogs return for a pair of interesting matchups to finish off 2013. Yale hosts a touring team from Russia called the Red Stars in an exhibition on Friday at 7 p.m. before the Holy Cross Crusaders come to the Whale for a regular-season, non-league tilt on Sunday afternoon at 4. Tickets are available for both contests.

This is the fourth straight year the Red Stars are at Ingalls. Yale, winners of the first three, has had two close ones followed by a blowout. The Elis won the 2010 game, 5-3, and then outscored the Stars 6-4 in 2011 before a 10-2 decision last December. The Bulldogs are 5-1 against Holy Cross in a series played between 1947 and 2012. Yale won the first five and then dropped a 5-4 contest last winter.

Yale defeated the Red Stars 10-2 last December. Antoine Laganiere had three goals, Kenny Agostino notched two and three assists and Nicholas Weberg chipped in two scores and three points as the Bulldogs thrilled a packed house by outshooting the visitors 58-23 and converting three of six advantages.

Three power-play goals and a shorthanded tally helped Holy Cross produce a 5-4 win over No. 14/15 Yale before 1,406 at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass. The Bulldogs outshot the Crusaders 36-31 and converted three of six advantages but gave up four special-teams goals and could not recover from the second of three-goal deficits. Nicholas Weberg led the Blue with two goals, while Jeff Malcolm stopped 26 shots.

Yale's last contest was a come-from-behind, 2-2 OT decision with Harvard at the Whale on Dec. 7. The Blue put 54 shots on target and allowed just 27 but still found themselves down 2-0 in the third period. Matt Killian and Kenny Agostino found the net in the final frame and Alex Lyon kept the Crimson off the board the rest of the way to grab the conference point. The Bulldogs were without the services of captain Jesse Root and junior Anthony Day, forwards who combined for nine goals this season, the last two weekends before the break. The Blue fore-check and tempo was outstanding over the Dec. 6-7 weekend, resulting in a 95-54 disparity in shots.

The Stars came to the states on Dec. 20 and played an Eastern League All-Star Team on Dec. 23. After playing Yale, the Stars play Harvard, Colgate, Merrimack and Cornell. The Red Stars are an all-star team of 25 players, ages 17 to 21, from the 64-team "junior hockey league" called the MHL.  The league is the younger brother of the KHL, the "professional hockey league" in Russia. The MHL, with more than 2,000 players, is in its fifth year of existence and is the first junior hockey league that unites Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Hungary and Slovakia.

Holy Cross entered the break with a three-game unbeaten streak that included a 5-4 win at Boston College and then a pair of ties with league foe Air Force at Worcester that put the Crusaders at 4-9-2 overall. The night before coming to New Haven, Holy Cross plays Bentley at Frozen Fenway. Castan Sommer and Mike Barrett led the team with four goals each heading into this weekend. Matt Ginn (2.91, .911) played every minute in the net.

Yale has outscored opponents in middle frames 17-9. The Elis are -1 in the first and even in the third…Five different Bulldogs have three goals this season… Jesse Root has a team-high six goals, while classmate Kenny Agostino has the most assists (7) and points (10)… Yale's average of 7.8 penalty minutes per game is the lowest in the ECAC… Mike Doherty is seventh among conference freshmen in points with nine.

Teams have played between eight and 10 conference games at this point, and the Elis (8 gp) are tied with RPI for sixth with nine points. Quinnipiac (10) and Union (8) are tied for the top spot with 14 points.

The Bulldogs, who rolled around the middle of the pack since the start of the season, are ranked No. 11 in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll and the poll.

The Elis hit the road for a Jan. 4 contest in Hockey East against Vermont. Yale beat the Catamounts 3-0 in December of 2010 in the last meeting. The Bulldogs and Cats have skated against each other in Connecticut at the Whale, the New Haven Coliseum, the Hartford Civic Center and Webster Bank Arena.

The Yale roster includes players from 12 different states, two provinces and Norway. Five players represent New Jersey, Minnesota has three players while Massachusetts, Florida, and Michigan each contribute a pair.
The United States Hockey League contributed nine players to the Bulldog roster. There are three from the British Columbia Hockey League, four from the Eastern Junior Hockey League and one from the Atlantic Junior Hockey League.  Eight Yale student-athletes came directly from prep schools and one came from the US National Team.

The Bulldogs have just three seniors, including two forwards and a defenseman. There are seven juniors, eight sophomores and eight newcomers. The scoring by class has been very balanced: sophomores have 11 goals, seniors have 10, juniors have nine and newcomers notched eight.

Yale's Class of 2017, which has been averaging four forwards in the lineup over 12 games, has contributed eight goals (2 game-winners) and 20 points while grabbing every minute of playing time between the pipes.  

For the first time in modern history, Yale and Harvard will skate against each other in a non-conference, regular season game at the site of their first-ever meeting. This happens on Jan. 11 at Madison Square Garden in what is called the Rivalry on Ice. Tickets for the 8 p.m. game are available on In addition to the main event, former players from both schools take part in an alumni game on the morning of the 11th along the Hudson River at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

"Ice hockey has never had as provocative a setting as Yale's new $1.4 million David S. Ingalls Rink." That's how Sports Illustrated described the famous building also known as the Yale Whale in a 1959 article. And it's just as exciting today. Ingalls (3,500 capacity), re-dedicated on Jan. 16, 2010, was modernized and expanded during a multi-phase project. The original (1958) look remains, but .13,000 square feet of operational space was added along with numerous amenities.

Yale and Fairfield are co-hosting the 2014 NCAA East Regional at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on March 28-29. The Friday semifinal game times are 2 and 5:30 p.m. with coverage by ESPNU. The Saturday championship game is set for 3 p.m. on ESPN2. Tickets for 3-game packages are available now on, or through the Webster Bank Ticket Office. This is the fourth year Yale and Fairfield have co-hosted this regional at Harbor Yard. This is the fourth time Webster Bank will host the regional. There have been four college hockey programs (Yale, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota-Duluth) with NCAA titles that have played in Bridgeport's NCAA event. Miami, Vermont, Union, Air Force and UMass-Lowell are the other schools to compete in the arena.

Bulldog Best: Two goals in four different games... Scored both game-winning goals at 2013 NCAA West Regional.
2013-14: Leads team with six goals... Missed Merrimack game with injury… Scored two goals against SHU on Nov. 16 in his 99th collegiate game… Had 1-1-2 in 3-3 OT tie with St. Lawrence on 11/1... Hit net twice in 5-2 win at Colgate on Nov. 22.
2012-13: Played in 34 games, centering the line with Andrew Miller and Kenny Agostino... Scored GWG nine seconds into OT against Minnesota in West Regional semifinal... Scored GWG in third period of finale against North Dakota to send Bulldogs to his hometown for the Frozen Four... NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team... Scored two goals at Harvard in November win... Fourth on team with 12 goals and 23 points.
2011-12: Fifth on team with 24 points... Seven goals were second among sophomores... Nine multiple-point nights... Goal and three points in home win over Dartmouth... Led team with two shorthanded goals.
2010-11: Second among the Yale newcomers with two goals and eight points... 25 games... Points in consecutive games twice... Academic All-ECAC.
At Taft School:  Played four seasons and was one of three captains for 2008-09 season… Led team with 36 points in 27 games playing center… Founders League All-Star… Team made 2009 New England Quarterfinal playoffs…  Named No. 2 long-stick midfielder in New England lacrosse… Western NE All-Division I lacrosse team… Taft Honor Roll for three years… National AP Scholar… In EJHL: Tallied 44 points in 41 games and led Jr. Bruins with seven game-winning goals… Played on playoff semifinalist…

Drafted in the fifth round (140th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft by Pittsburgh; Traded to Calgary (for Jarome Iginla) in 2013
Bulldog Best: 3-2-5 vs. Holy Cross freshman season.
2013-14: Had two of Yale's three goals on Dec. 6-7… Scored 1st goal of year against SHU on Nov. 16.
2012-13: Second-team All-ECAC Hockey... NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team (2-1-3)... 17 goals and 41 points... Tied for team lead in points, second in goals... ECAC Player of Week after road trip to Clarkson and SLU... OT goal at No. 2 Denver in November. 2011-12: Third on team in points (34) and goals (14) in 33 games... Three GWG... ECAC Hockey Player of the Week for three-goal Feb. 17-18 weekend... Came within a step of making the U.S. National Junior Team in December... Scored goals in conseutive games with under 35 seconds left in regulation, one for a win and another to send it to overtime: Beat Dartmouth at Hanover with 34.8 ticks remaining; GTG against SLU with 34.2 left at home. Top game was 2-2-4 against both UConn and Harvard at Ingalls... Honorable mention All-Ivy. 2010-11: Began with a goal and four points through first dozen games and then had a historic January (8-4-12, 9 games)... Named Hockey Commissioner's Association Rookie of the Month... ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week on 1/23/11 after netting three goals in games against Clarkson and St. Lawrence... Led all newcomers with 10 goals and 25 points... His five (3 goals) points against Holy Cross were the most by a Yale rookie since 1980... Academic All-ECAC.
At Delbarton School: School's all-time leading scorer with 261 points over three seasons… Two-time New Jersey Player of the Year… Three-time first-team all-state selection… Played on three state championship teams… 2009-10 team was ranked No. 2 nationally… Had 23-11-34 for the New Jersey Colonials in the Atlantic Youth Hockey League in the fall of 2009…

Bulldog Best: 1-1-2 at Princeton on 2/24/12.
2013-14: Scored goal against Merrimack on Nov. 30.
2012-13: Frozen Four All-Tournament... West Regional All-Tournament... Scored a goal against Minnesota in the NCAA West Regional semifinal and had an assist in the Frozen Four Championship Game against Quinnipiac... Played in all 37 games and had two goals with nine points.
2011-12: Probably most consistent defenseman on team... Played in every game and had three goals with 12 points... Notched two points in series clinching win over Princeton in playoffs.
2010-11: Played in five games... Assist vs. Sacred Heart... Academic All-ECAC.
At Noble and Greenough School: Two-time captain and four-year letterman…  Had 12 goals and 38 points in 28 games in 2009-10… Led all prep school defensemen in scoring as a senior… Team won ISL and was New England Prep School semi-finalists… Went 5-29-34 (29 GP) in 2008-09… Drafted by the Colorado Avalanche (184th) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft… All-ISL junior and senior seasons… 2009-10 All-New England… Honorable mention All-ISL sophomore year… All-ISL lacrosse player who captained team senior year and earned four letters…
Junior Tommy Fallen (Plymouth, Minn.) was a 2012-13 All-Ivy honorable mention pick. He has skated in 84 games and has 50 points, 11th on the school's career list for defensemen... Sophomore Ryan Obuchowski (West Bloomfield, Mich.) was a 2012-13 ECAC All-Rookie Team selection... Rob O'Gara, a second-year man from Nesconset, N.Y., is a Boston Bruins draft pick. He and Gus Young are the two blueliners picked by pro teams.

Newcomer Alex Lyon (Baudette, Minn.) has started the last seven games and is 3-2-2 in that span. Lyon had a season-high 48 saves (most since Nick Maricic at Harvard in 2012 ECAC playoffs, 2 OT) on Nov. 9 at Quinnipiac. He has a team-high 2.44 GAA and a .912 SP. Freshman Patrick Spano (Montreal, Que) was in net for three of the five Yale wins and has a 1.93 GAA and a .924 SP. Sophomore Connor Wilson (Cary, NC) is the other goalie in the mix.

There are five current Yale players drafted by NHL teams: Gus Young (Colorado), Kenny Agostino (Pittsburgh, Calgary), Rob O'Gara (Boston), Matthew Beattie (Vancouver) and John Hayden (Chicago). Fifteen former Yale players are skating professionally this season including Vancouver Canucks forward Chris Higgins '05 and Mark Arcobello '10 with the Edmonton Oilers this season. Arcobello help make club history when he assisted on Taylor Hall's two goals, eight seconds apart in October. It was the fastest consecutive goals by an Oiler since Wayne Gretzky had a nine-second outburst during the team's dynasty years. After the first 10 games, the Milford, Conn., native had accumulated a league-high 10 assists, which also made him the league's rookie points leader at the time. Only two rookies – Sydney Crosby and Patrick Kane - have had 10 assists in their first 10 games in the last 20 years. The Bulldogs have seven skating in the AHL, four outside North America and two in the ECHL.

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director


Boola image by Alexandra Schmeling