Yale Heading to North Country

Yale Heading to North Country


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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Bulldogs are back in school and back in conference play with a road trip to the North Country. No. 8 Yale (8-3-4, 3-2-3 ECAC), which ran its unbeaten string to four games with a win over Harvard at Madison Square Garden last weekend, takes on No. 14 Clarkson (13-7-2, 6-2-0) on Friday before facing St. Lawrence (8-10-2, 2-4-2) on Saturday. Both puck drops are 7 p.m. and can be seen on the home school's website.

The Elis split with Clarkson last winter and won the first meeting this year. Yale now trails the overall series 70-35-4. Yale took all four games with SLU last season but the two teams tied earlier this year. The Saints have a 56-32-10 overall lead.

Yale opened its home regular season schedule by hosting SLU and Clarkson on the first weekend of November. The night Yale raised the national championship banner, the Saints and Bulldogs skated to a 3-3 OT tie. Jesse Root had a goal and two points while teammates Rob O'Gara and Anthony Day also scored. Alex Lyon made 29 saves against SLU. Day had two goals, Tommy Fallen had a pair of assists and Patrick Spano made 25 saves in the win over the Knights. Frankie DiChiara, Root, Chris Izmirlian and Matthew Beattie had the other Eli goals.

Yale is coming off a 5-1 win in Rivalry on Ice last Saturday at MSG. The Elis got a pair of goals from Cody Learned, while Mike Doherty, Gus Young and Kenny Agostino also hit the net. Alex Lyon stopped 23 of 24 shots to earn the win in net. The Blue ranks second in the nation in fewest penalty minutes (7.5) and is 14th in both offense (3.33) and defense (2.33).

Clarkson split with Merrimack last weekend at Potsdam. The Knights, who went into the holiday break as one of the hottest teams in the country with six wins in seven games, is 1-4-1 since. St. Lawrence was off last weekend after falling to Vermont in the middle of the week at home. The Saints, who have impressive non-league wins over Northeastern and North Dakota, have lost five straight.

Yale's six goals vs. Clarkson on Nov. 2 are season-high… The 54 SOG vs. Harvard on Dec. 7 are a team-high… Friday's game is the third of five straight away from Ingalls Rink for the Elis… The Bulldogs scored 12 goals in the last three games… Yale is 5-0-1 with a lead after one period and 7-0-2 with a two-period advantage… The Blue is 6-1-1 when scoring first and 2-2-3 when allowing the first tally… Yale averages 35 shots and has given up 27… Kenny Agostino has goals in five straight games.

Yale is currently tied for sixth with RPI at nine points. The Engineers have played 11 games compared to eight for the Elis. First-place Quinnipiac has 19 points in 13 games. Clarkson is third and St. Lawrence is 10th.

The Bulldogs moved from No. 10 to No. 8 in both the uscho.com and USA Today/American Hockey Magazine polls after last weekend. Yale has finished among the top 10 four of the last five seasons, including No. 1 in 2012-13. The Elis were 5th in 2008-09, 8th in 2009-10 and 6th in 2010-11.

Yale, 2013 Frozen Four Champions, has earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament four of the last five years, and played in a pair of regional finals.

The Blue has a weekend set with its travel partner, Brown. Yale is at Providence on Friday and then home on Saturday. Both puck drops are 7 p.m.

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 and seniors have 15 goals each, juniors and freshmen have 10.

Yale's Class of 2017, which has been averaging four forwards in the lineup, has contributed 10 goals (2 game-winners) and 25 points while grabbing every minute of playing time between the pipes. Mike Doherty is 19th among Division I frosh with .79 points per game.  

"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.

Junior Tommy Fallen (Plymouth, Minn.) was a 2012-13 All-Ivy honorable mention pick. He has skated in 87 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 (Colorado) are the two blueliners picked by pro teams.
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 www.NCAA.com/frozenfour, 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: Six goals is second on the team... 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… 16th in career points at Yale with 114.
Bulldog Best: 3-2-5 vs. Holy Cross freshman season.
2013-14: 2-0-2 at Vermont on Jan. 4… 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… Hit net vs. Harvard at MSG.
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…
Yale is the only team in the ECAC with freshmen logging all the minutes in net. Alex Lyon (Baudette, Minn.) has started the last 10 games and is 5-2-3 in that span. Lyon, who averages 24 saves per appearance, had a season-high 48 saves (most since Nick Maricic at Harvard in 2012 ECAC playoffs, 2 OT) on Nov. 9 at Quinnipiac. His 2.23 GAA is fifth (23rd overall) in the nation for rookie netminders, while his .918 SP is third (31st). 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


image by Henry Ehrenberg for Yale Daily News