May 1, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Ryan Donald (St. Albert, ALB), a class of 2010 defenseman who helped the Yale men's hockey team reach unprecedented heights this past winter, was elected captain of the 2009-10 Bulldogs.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Bulldog skater had eight assists in 2008-09, but that's not the telling story for the new captain. Donald's steady play on defense led the Blue to a school-record 24 wins and three championships. While spearheading a corps of blueliners who helped Yale rank 10th nationally in scoring defense (2.24 goals per game), he and his teammates carried Ivy League, ECAC regular season and ECAC Tournament trophies off the ice last winter.
"Ryan will be a great captain for us. He has all the qualities we are looking for in our leaders: selflessness, mental toughness discipline and passion," said Keith Allain '80 Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. "Ryan also has the benefit of being a member of a terrific senior class, and each of them is an outstanding leader. Together they are working diligently toward building upon last season's success."
Donald, like most defensive-minded defensemen, has not been measured by his collegiate point totals, which are three goals and 13 assists. He played in 33 of 34 games this past season and now has 89 over his three-year collegiate career. He had a goal and two assists in 25 games as a rookie in 2006-07 before netting two goals and five points over 31 games in 2007-08.
"It is an honor to be a part of such a longstanding tradition. To be elected by your peers makes it mean so much more simply because you know you have earned the respect and trust of your teammates, said Donald, a resident of Ezra Stiles College.
Yale's new team leader made the 2009 ECAC Hockey All-Tournament team after keeping Cornell off the scoreboard in a 5-0 win in the tournament title game at Albany, N.Y. Donald also earned a spot on the ECAC All-Academic Team.
He has also been paying close attention to his predecessors over the last two seasons and feels they deserve a lot of credit for this year's success. "I have learned a lot from captains before me. I thought that Will (Engasser) and Nelly (Matt Nelson) helped immensely in turning around the culture of Yale hockey the past two seasons. I hope to continue the work they have done," said Donald, who honed his skills in the Alberta Junior League.
The Bulldogs lose four seniors from the 2008-09 squad and have plenty of young and experienced players back.
"It should be a great year and everyone is already looking forward to getting back in the fall," Donald. "There is work left to do and goals left to accomplish. My classmates and I are sure that we can continue to take this group in the right direction. I am lucky to be a part of a class that brings a variety of leadership qualities to the team. We hope to be able to take this team to even greater heights."
Release filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director