Bulldogs Open Home Slate
After grabbing a pair of hard-fought conference road points last weekend, Yale returns home to take on two ECAC Hockey and Ivy League foes. The Bulldogs open their home slate against Harvard on Friday before finishing off the weekend with Dartmouth. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. puck drops and air live on ESPN+ as well as Stretch Internet (international). Friday's game night also includes a tribute to former Yale head coach Tim Taylor.
WHITE OUT FRIDAY
Friday night is a White Out at the Whale. White Yale Hockey Rally Towels will be handed out to fans, who are encouraged to wear white clothing.
There have been 258 Yale-Harvard meetings in eight different cities. The first took place on Feb. 26, 1900 in New York, with Yale prevailing 5-4. The Crimson lead the all-time series 145-92-21, but Yale swept the season series last season by an aggregate score of 7-3. Against Dartmouth, the Bulldogs lead the series 113-94-14 and are 17-7-2 in the last 26 meetings.
In the first matchup, Yale took a 5-2 victory at Boston before finishing off the season sweep with a 2-1 decision at home. The Bulldogs dropped both games in 2017-18 to the Big Green. Yale lost 3-1 at Thompson Arena and 6-4 at The Whale.
Yale earned a tough weekend split against No. 18 Cornell and Colgate to follow up their season-opening victory against Brown. Against the Big Red, the Elis fell behind 3-0 early in the second period as Cornell boasted a 9-2 advantage in shots in the first period. The Bulldogs did well to recover with consecutive power play goals from forwards Joe Snively and Dante Palecco, but an empty-net goal by Cornell in the final minute gave the hosts a 4–2 victory. Yale turned things around against Colgate with the help of first year Curtis Hall. The rookie's two goals in the first period, the first two scores of his collegiate career, brought the Eli lead to 3-0. Mitchell Smith scored the opening goal. Goaltender Sam Tucker saw his first taste of action against the Raiders after Corbin Kaczperski manned the crease for the season's first two games. The senior posted 27 saves in a 4-2 win. Snively leads Yale in scoring with 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists), followed by Kevin O'Neil (5 points) and Hall (3 points).
The Crimson entered the season receiving votes in both national polls but dropped a 7-6 affair to Dartmouth to open the season. This past weekend, Harvard faced two nationally ranked opponents in No. 12/15 Quinnipiac and No. 19 Princeton and battled to a 5–3 loss to the Bobcats before earning a 4-4 tie against the Tigers. Junior defenseman Adam Fox leads the way in scoring for the Crimson with 8 points on 7 assists, however Harvard's younger players have shown some real promise. Nine of 13 goals (and 24 of 39 points) in its first three games have been scored by first years or sophomores. Senior Michael Lackey has most of the minutes in net for the Crimson.
Dartmouth topped Harvard in a 7-6 shootout behind three third-period goals and a game-winner just 18 seconds into overtime to move to 1-0. The Big Green also played Princeton (7-1 L) and Quinnipiac (5-1 W) last weekend. The Big Green are led in scoring by junior forward Will Graber who has five points. Behind Graber, a stable of six skaters have tallied at least three points through three games. Adrian Clark has started in goal in both of Dartmouth's victories and comes to the Whale boasting a .899 save percentage.
Following this weekend, Yale will have two weeks to recover before departing for Belfast, Ireland, where the Bulldogs will compete in the Friendship Four against Boston University, UConn, and Union over Thanksgiving weekend.
Senior forward Joe Snively justified his pre-season All-ECAC status by scoring twice at Brown and having a 5-point weekend at Cornell/Colgate. Here's what he has done since coming to Yale: Career Best: 4 points (3G, 1A vs. Princeton, 2/10/18)… 2017-18: First Team All-Ivy Selection... Second Team All-ECAC... Lead team in points, goals, and assists (19-17-36) and finished 15th in the nation in points per game (1.16)... Registered multiple-goal games seven times including a hat trick against Princeton on Feb. 10... Yale posted a 14-5-1 record when Snively scored a point... Academic All-ECAC Hockey… 2016-17: Honorable mention All-Ivy League... Handed out seven assists over the first seven games... Recorded 12 game point streak between Nov. 5 and Jan. 7... Had two goals against Holy Cross at Notre Dame Tournament (made all-tourney team) and notched two at home against Princeton… 2015-16: Ivy League Rookie of the Year... Honorable Mention All-Ivy League... ECAC Rookie of the Week (Nov. 1, Feb. 22)... Tim Taylor Cup - Y/H MVP (Nov. 6)... ECAC Rookie of the Month (Jan.)... Led all skaters with 28 points.
Corbin Kaczperski is a junior goalie who got his first varsity action in 2017-18, including some starts. Here's what he has done as a collegian: Career Best: 36 saves (at Cornell 02/17/18)...2018-19: Pre-season Richter Award Watch List… 2017-18: Posted a .933 save percentage, good for fifth in the entire nation, in 12 games played... Stopped 34 shots in his first-career start against RPI on Dec. 01... Earned his first-career victory with a 31-save performance against New Hampshire on Dec. 30... Stopped 30 or more shots five times throughout the season… Academic All-ECAC Hockey… 2016-17: Served as a backup but did not see any regular season action... Played one frame of exhibition game against Ottawa and stopped five of six shots in third period.
Sam Tucker, a senior goalie, has been a starter the last two seasons. Here's what he has done for the Elis:
Career Best: 44 Saves vs. Dartmouth in 2017 ECAC Hockey first-round playoff series OT Yale victory… 2017-18: Stymied No. 3 ranked Harvard with a 32-save performance at Boston on Nov. 3... Recorded a 33-save effort in a tie against No. 4 Cornell on Jan. 12... Registered a total of 8 victories... Stopped 30 or more shots in 7 contests... Academic All-ECAC Hockey… 2016-17: Stopped 68 of 71 shots, including eight in OT, in ECAC Playoff sweep of Dartmouth at Ingalls and was conference goalie of the week... Notched first collegiate win against UConn (13 saves) on Jan. 7 and first shutout against Dartmouth (26) on Feb. 18... Made collegiate debut in third period of Cornell home game and stopped all five shots he faced... Made first career start at St. Lawrence on 11/18/16... Earned first victory in 4-2 game at UConn on 1/7/17... Got starts in all four post-season games… 2015-16: Dressed in 17 games.
Evan and Mitchell Smith are the first twins to skate for the Yale men's hockey team. The Stouffville, Ontario, brothers have been skating on the same team and line for most of their days in organized hockey. 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) is listed as an inch taller and five pounds heavier than Mitchell. Evan became the first Eli since Brian O'Neill in 2012 to score four goals in a game when he helped his team beat Princeton on Feb. 10. Smith did that on just five shots on goal.
Yale has played in Alaska and Canada but never outside of North America during the regular season. That changes this season in Belfast, Ireland. Yale, Union, Boston University and UConn play in the 2018 Northern Irish Connections Friendship Four Tournament (Nov. 23-24). Yale plays Union on the 23rd and BU plays UConn in the second game at The SSE Arena, home of the Belfast Giants, a team in the Elite Ice Hockey League. The arena has hosted this tournament since 2015.
ALLAIN ON FRIENDSHIP FOUR
"We are all really excited to be competing in Belfast. In addition to the great hockey, we are looking forward to visiting Northern Ireland, meeting new people, and experiencing the culture of your beautiful country. I have spoken with several people who have competed in the Friendship Four and everyone speaks highly of the total experience for their student athletes. I'm sure the trip will bring us closer together as a team and create lifelong memories for our young men."
CT HOCKEY BENEFIT JAN. 12
Yale and Sacred Heart square off on Jan. 12 in a contest to benefit the Connecticut Hockey Foundation, which honors the memory of state hockey icon Jason Pagni, a 1990 graduate of The Avon Old Farms School who dedicated his life to helping parents and players on all levels of the sport. Pagni suddenly passed away in 2014 at the age of 43.
The blue line, which produced 10 goals last season, returns all but one of Yale's contributors from the 2017-18 season. The Elis have an experienced group of returnees with captain Anthony Walsh, Billy Sweezey, Charlie Curti, Matt Foley, Chandler Lindstrand and Phil Kemp.
Head coach Keith Allain has added five first years (3 F, 2 D) to his team for the 2018-19 campaign. Four of the rookies hail from the United States, with three having competed in the United States Hockey League and the final having competed in the United States Premier Hockey League. The lone Canadian player in the Class of 2022 joins the Bulldogs with junior hockey experience in the British Columbia Hockey League.
The Bulldogs have seven seniors (92 career goals), including four forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender. There are nine juniors (41 goals), seven sophomores (19 goals), and five newcomers.
The current Yale roster includes 28 Bulldogs who average 5-11 in height and 189 pounds in weight. There are 20 players from the USHL, 3 from the BCJHL, 1 from the USPHL, 1 from the NAHL and 3 from New England Prep Schools. There are 17 different states and 2 provinces represented, including 5 Massachusetts natives, 6 skaters from Canada and 2 skaters apiece from Connecticut, Illinois and Minnesota.
Yale went four seasons without a hat trick before tallying four in 2017-18. Sophomore forward Dante Palecco had his first three career goals on Nov. 10 at home against St. Lawrence, while senior forward Ted Hart notched his first three-goal college game on the road against Union on Dec. 2. Both Bulldogs led the Elis to victory with their performances. The latest to have hat tricks are Evan Smith and Snively, who combined for all 7 goals on Feb. 10 against Princeton.
DID YOU KNOW
Junior forward Will D'Orsi's father, Scott, played forward for the Bulldogs from 1986-90 and registered 70 points… Sophomore defenseman Phil Kemp comes from a family of athletes. Both his grandfather and great uncle played football for the Elis, while his brother played lacrosse at Brown and his sister rows at Harvard.
BULLDOGS IN THE PROS
Yale has four players (Luke Stevens, Carolina; Phil Kemp, Edmonton; Curtis Hall, Boston; Jack St. Ivany, Philadelphia) on the current roster who have been drafted by NHL teams. Eighteen former Bulldogs are playing professionally this season.
Jean-Francois Boucher '08 – Kolner Haie, DEL – Germany
Mark Arcobello '10 - Bern SC, NL – Switzerland (2018 Olympics)
Sean Backman '10 – Eisbaren Berlin, DEL – Germany
Broc Little '11 – Linkopings HC, SHL – Switzerland (2018 Olympics)
Denny Kearney '11 – Grenoble, LM – France
Brian O'Neill '12 - Jokerit Helsinki, KHL – Finland (2018 Olympics)
Andrew Miller '13 – Fribourg-Gotteron HC, NL – Switzerland
Antoine Laganiere '13 – Straubing Tigers, DEL, Germany
Kenny Agostino '14 – Laval Rocket, AHL
Gus Young '14 – San Jose Barracuda, AHL
Ryan Obuchowski '16 – Toledo Walleye, ECHL
Rob O'Gara '16 – Hartford Wolf Pack, AHL
Alex Lyon '17 - Lehigh Valley Phantoms, AHL
John Hayden '17 – Chicago Blackhawks, NHL
Mike Doherty '17 – Manchester Monarchs, ECHL
Frank DiChiara '17 – Reading Royals, ECHL
Chris Izmirlian '17 – Greenville Swamp Rabbits, ECHL
Ryan Hitchcock '18 – Bridgeport Sound Tigers, AHL