Yale Has New York Road Trip
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale men's hockey team (10-9-4, 6-7-3) heads into the last three weekends of the regular season with a road trip to Ithaca and Hamilton. The Bulldogs take on No. 12/15 Cornell (15-6-2, 10-4-2) Friday at Lynah Rink (7 p.m., Ivy League Digital Network) before heading over to Colgate (6-17-5, 4-10-2) for a Saturday contest (7 p.m., Patriot League Network) at the new Class of 1965 Arena.
The Big Red have an 83-62-6 lead over the Elis, including a win at the Whale on the opening weekend of conference play this year. Six of the last nine Yale-Cornell meetings have been decided by a goal or less. The Bulldogs are dead even at 48-48-1 in the overall series with Colgate, but Yale is 6-1-1 in the last eight. Colgate won at New Haven in November.
Colgate 4, Yale 1: The Bulldogs produced plenty of quality chances, but could not break through with the offensive pressure that produced a 37-28 advantage in shots. The Raiders broke open a 1-1 Yale home conference opener with three unanswered against the No. 19 Bulldogs, which had 13 of its 37 shots on the power play.
Cornell 6, Yale 3: The Big Red had big leads, but the Blue kept fighting back before eventually falling 6-3. Yale outshot Cornell 42-27 and attempted 91 shots compared to 36 by the Big Red. Yale, which trailed by two for most of the game, kept fighting back to make it close only to have Cornell answer each time. Seventeen of Yale's 42 shots on target came over nine power-play chances. There was just one special teams goal.
Frankie DiChiara's two-goal night and a pair of one-goal leads early on were not enough to get Yale a victory on Feb. 4. No. 19 Quinnipiac erased the last deficit with four straight goals in a 5-2 win. The Bulldogs spent much of the night killing off penalties (8), which resulted in three Bobcats power-play tallies on a night full of big hits. Many of those hits were penalized, which meant that Yale goalie Patrick Spano was much busier than his 17 saves might indicate. It was also a night of few (42 combined) shots on goal. Quinnipiac got 10 of its shots with the advantage, while Yale put four on its four chances. DiChiara scored in two different periods, including Yale's first short-hander of the year, and now has nine goals this season… The night before against Princeton, Joe Snively scored both goals and Sam Tucker made a career-high 37 saves in a game Yale had an early lead.
BIG RED, RAIDERS
Cornell is coming off a road sweep of Union and RPI last weekend and then a 4-0 win over Colgate at home Tuesday. Colgate, which had consecutive wins over Dartmouth and Clarkson, followed that success with four straight losses including games at Union, RPI and Cornell.
Six games remain in the regular season and the seventh-place Bulldogs play three teams above them and another three that currently sit below Yale in the standings.
The Bulldogs are back at home next weekend with Harvard and Dartmouth coming to New Haven for alumni weekend. The annual alumni game is 1 p.m. on Feb. 18.
John Hayden's .70 goals per game are sixth in the nation and third in the ECAC, while he leads the team with 16 goals. He has points in four straight and averages 1.22 per game, which is fifth in the conference. Hayden has four multiple-goal games this year and is a semifinalist for the 65th Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England. He has had a lot of great moments in his Yale career; the latest coming Jan. 13 when he scored the GWG with 59 seconds left in the third against Clarkson. Earlier this year at RPI, he had two goals in 42 seconds to tie the game and then win it in OT. However, the essence of his impact on the Yale team was on display in one scoring sequence last season at Arizona State's Tournament. The Yale forward, who led the 2015-16 Elis with 16 goals and five game-winners (4th in nation), blasted a Sun Devils defenseman with the puck in the slot and sent him sliding back into the goalie while Hayden grabbed the puck and flicked it top shelf. Hayden had the best season of his career last winter. He was one of Yale's top scorers the year before despite missing a few games to serve as alternate captain for the U.S. National Junior Team at the IIHF World Junior Championships. Hayden gets much of his inspiration from the memory of former HoneyBaked (AAA Club) teammate, the late Ian Jenkins, a goalie whose motto was "Have a Purpose" (HAP). Hayden and others are currently organizing fundraising events to raise money for the Big "E" Have a Purpose Foundation. The Greenwich, Conn., native, a third round NHL draft pick by Chicago, has a HAP 35 logo on his stick and wore a sticker on his helmet when he was with the U.S. National Development Program. Hayden has plenty of Team USA experience, including winning a silver medal at the 2013 IIHF U-18 World Championships in Sochi, Russia.
Junior forward Ryan Hitchcock, voted by his teammates as the top passer among the Elis, showed why he got the nod. Hitchcock led the team with 16 helpers until he got injured on Jan. 14. He has not been in the lineup since that game against St. Lawrence. His top game this season was three vs. RPI on Dec. 9. He finished with 14 points in 22 games last season after helping Team USA to a bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF World Juniors in Finland. The U.S. team beat Sweden 8-3 to grab third place. Hitchcock, the third line left wing for the U.S. squad and the eighth Bulldog to play in this tournament, played in every game while becoming the first Eli to earn a medal at the world juniors.
Joe Snively (10-20-30), who leads the team in points and has already surpassed his rookie total, is third in the conference with 1.30 per game, while he is 12th in the nation for average points and assists. The sophomore has had three multiple-goal outings this year, including consecutive games against Holy Cross and RPI (2-1-3). The two against the Crusaders helped him make the all-tournament team at Notre Dame in late November. Snively was the 2015-16 ECAC Hockey and Ivy League Rookie of the Year after leading the Blue with 28 (10-18) points. Snively earned two conference rookie of the week honors and was January's ECAC Rookie of the Month. The Herndon, Va., native scored a goal against Dartmouth that was the No. 1 highlight on the NCAA Plays of the Week, while he enjoyed a career-high, three-point night. His 28 points were the most for an Eli rookie since Andrew Miller '13 had 34 in 2009-10. Snively, the former USHL (Sioux City) star, has a pair of two-goal games (UMass, Harvard). His second of the night at Boston on Nov. 6, 2015, tied the game with under a minute to play. He was 8th among Division I rookies with .96 points per game.
Senior Patrick Spano is having a solid season that has him sixth in the ECAC with a 2.54 goals against. His .909 save percentage is eighth. Spano earned co-MVP (Tim Taylor Cup) honors at Harvard on Jan. 21 and finished that Dartmouth/Harvard weekend with 55 saves on 56 shots. That helped the Bulldog earn ECAC Goalie of the Week. His first season as the top goalie has not been easy, especially with so many first-time regulars on the blueline and seven or eight rookies in the lineup each night. Spano's finest weekend as a Bulldog (7-0 at Dartmouth, 1-1 OT at No. 6 Harvard) was Jan. 20-21, but there have been other good ones. He had 71 stops on 74 shots combined against Clarkson/SLU earlier in January. He also made 33 saves on Jan. 10 vs. Providence, so he finished that week with 104 saves. Spano, a Montreal native who speaks fluent Italian and French, has a scissor hand comparable to his catching glove, and some of his teammates trust him enough to cut their hair. He has been helping teammates with haircuts since his prep school days at Westminster. Spano played for Cowichan Valley in the British Columbia Hockey League before coming to New Haven.
Sophomore goalie Sam Tucker (Wilton, Conn.) notched his first collegiate win against UConn on Jan. 7. He made just 13 saves against the Huskies, but half of them were quality stops that were huge contributions in the victory during his fourth start for Yale. His first three starts (at SLU, Union, at BU) were against nationally ranked teams. Tucker was a four-year varsity member at Choate Rosemary Hall before coming to Yale.
Nine freshmen joined the team this year, seven (4 F, 3 D) of them have been playing regularly and four have dressed for every contest. The nine rookies are the most Keith Allain has had, but there are 10 schools this year that have more. The most is Miami with 14.
Frankie DiChiara, who is third on the team with nine goals, has points in three straight… His line (Hayden, Snively) had 4-5-9 last weekend… Friday's game at Lynah marks the second straight night the Elis have faced a nationally ranked team… Yale's 3.04 scoring average is fourth in the ECAC, while its defense (2.96) ranks sixth… The Bulldog power play (20.8) is third in the conference... Kenny Agostino '14 has been recalled by the St. Louis Blues from Chicago, where has led the AHL in points this season. He scored a goal in his first regular-season game with the Blues against Philadelphia on Feb. 6 in a 2-0 win.
DID YOU KNOW
Forward Henry Hart, who has been playing forward since his youth hockey days until this season, has worked with the Herb Brooks Foundation while also having an internship on Mike McFadden's 2014 U.S. Senate campaign. His sister, Annie, was a five-time All-America skier at Dartmouth and is now a pro with SMS T2 ski team.... Mike Doherty's father, Michael Doherty, is Deputy Chief of the City of Boston Fire Department and serves on the game night staff for Boston Bruins games at the TD Bank Boston Garden… Frankie DiChiara, who broke a pane of Ingalls glass with a short backhander in practice as a junior, has a strong father; Ernie DiChiara is a former Connecticut State ADFPA Powerlifting Champion... The Yale roster doesn't have much of an international flair, but at least six languages can be spoken among the group.
The superlatives survey among Bulldogs produced the following leaders:
Strongest (pound for pound): Chris Izmirlian
Fastest on skates: Ted Hart
Hardest shot: Frankie DiChiara
Best fore-checker: John Hayden
Best passer: Ryan Hitchcock**
Best sense of humor: Patrick Spano
Best singer: Mike Doherty**
Biggest appetite: Frankie DiChiara*
Most Unique Hobby: Chandler Lindstrand (Rubix Cube)
Most soft spoken: Ted Hart
Best dresser: Ryan Hitchcock**
Most likely to become a coach: John Hayden/Tim Bonner
It is very possible that Evan and Mitchell Smith are the first twins to skate for the Yale men's hockey team. The Stouffville, Ontario, brothers, one of only two twin combinations in Division I hockey this season, have been skating on the same team since they began organized hockey and have been linemates since they were eight-years old. However, they have not been on the same line when both in the lineup every game this season. The identical twins, wearing jerseys No. 13 (Evan) and 14 (Mitchell), attended Salisbury School before playing for Dubuque in the USHL. Even teammates are challenged to tell the difference between the two, but Evan (6-0, 190), who had two goals against Brown on Jan. 28, is listed as an inch taller and five pounds heavier than Mitchell. The Timothy Dwight College members have a follicle flow going this winter and were part of a January ncaa.com video feature on hockey hair.
The Yale roster includes players from 11 different states and two provinces. There are four players from both Massachusetts and Minnesota while Michigan and Ontario each have three. Connecticut, New York and New Jersey also have a pair. All-time Yale hockey rosters have included players from 30 different states. There are 23 Americans and four Canadians.
CAN'T TEACH BIG
This winter the Bulldogs average 6-feet in height and 188 pounds. Yale is the eighth smallest in Division I for weight. The heaviest team in the country is Western Michigan (198.6), the tallest is Maine (6-1.5).
The United States Hockey League contributed 15 players to the Bulldog roster, the most by any league. Here is a breakdown of the 2016-17 roster: USHL – 15… Prep/High School – 4… EJHL – 2… BCHL – 2…USNDT – 2… NAHL – 2.
Yale has been to the national tournament seven times, including six under current head coach Keith Allain. Over the last five season, which included Yale's 2013 national title, the only ECAC Hockey school with more NCAA appearances than the Elis (3) is Quinnipiac (4). There are only seven (BC, Denver, North Dakota, Minnesota, UML, St. Cloud State) schools in the country with four or five in that span.
The Bulldogs have six seniors, including four forwards, a defenseman and a goalie. There are five juniors, seven sophomores, and nine newcomers. The seniors have hit the net 28 times this season; they are followed by the sophomores (20), juniors (7) and freshmen (7).
The current team includes 23 players who captained their teams prior to Yale, eight who captained other sports, 20 who were scholar-athlete award winners, 14 who graduated in the top 10 percent of their class, six National Honor Society members and three who were class presidents.
YALE ON AIR
All home regular season games at Ingalls Rink are broadcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network. A selection of those are simulcast on ESPN3. Go to http://www.ivyleaguedigitalnetwork.com to sign up for a game or a season subscription.
David S. Ingalls Rink, named after the World War I U.S. Navy Flying Ace, opened in 1958, was dedicated in 1959 and had major renovations in 2010. It's the eighth oldest active college hockey venue and the fifth oldest in ECAC Hockey. The best place to park on game night at Ingalls (a.k.a. The Whale) is the garage accessed by Prospect Street. There are press boxes on both sides of the building; broadcasters and visiting teams/media are on the Prospect side.
BULLDOGS IN THE PROS
Eighteen former Bulldogs have played professionally this season.
Jean-Francois Boucher '08 - Cologne Sharks- DEL
Mark Arcobello '10 - Bern SC, Swiss-A Switzerland
Sean Backman '10 - Ontario Reign, AHL
Broc Little '11 - Linkopings HC, SweHL Sweden
Denny Kearney '11 - Bolzano HC- Austria
Brian O'Neill '12 - Jokerit Helsinki, KHL Finland
Andrew Miller '13 - Charlotte Checkers, AHL
Antoine Laganiere '13 - San Diego Gulls, AHL
Kenny Agostino '14 - St. Louis Blues, NHL/Chicago Wolves, AHL
Gus Young '14 - Missouri Mavericks, ECHL
Jeff Malcolm '14 - Greenville Swamp Rabbits, ECHL
Jesse Root '14 - Bolzano HC- Austria
Ryan Obuchowski '16 - Missouri Mavericks, ECHL
Carson Cooper '16 – Strasbourg - France
Mitch Witek '16 - Strasbourg- France
Matthew Beattie '16 - Strasbourg- France
Rob O'Gara '16 – Boston Bruins, NHL/Providence, AHL
Alex Lyon 17 - Philadelphia Flyers, NHL/Lehigh Valley, AHL
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director - email@example.com