Bulldogs Look For Early Momentum
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The No. 9 Bulldogs (2-1-2, 1-1-1 ECAC), coming off a three-point conference weekend at home, host Hockey East squad No. 11 UMass (7-2-0, 4-2-0) on Thursday before heading to ECAC Hockey travel partner Brown (0-5-1, 0-3-1) for a Saturday night game.
Yale and UMass have split the six meetings since the first in 1971-72. The Minutemen have won the last three. The Elis are 83-67-8 against Brown and have won eight straight. The Bears' last win was a 3-2 OT game at Providence on 10/9/06.
Last Meeting With UMass
It was Jan. 14, 1997, in Amherst when the Minutemen erased 1-0 and 3-1 Bulldog leads to hand Yale a 7-4 defeat. UMass scored six of the last seven goals while Francois Magnant, Sani Silvennoinen, Matt Cumming and Josh Rabjohns tallied for Yale. Dan Choquette made 30 saves in net for the Blue.
Last Brown Meeting
The Elis swept Brown last March at home in the conference playoffs, 4-2 and 2-0. Six different Bulldogs scored goals over the two games and Alec Richards made 46 saves for the two wins.
UMass traded wins with New Hampshire last weekend. David Boehm's OT goal gave the Minutemen to a 4-3 victory at the Mullins Center on Friday. Casey Wellman netted the game- tying goal with 11 seconds left in regulation. Goalie Paul Dainton (2.51, .923) made a career-high 42 saves. New Hampshire took the next game 4-2. Will Ortiz and Martin Nolet scored goals for the Minutemen, who are led offensively by James Marcou (3-11-14) and Casey Wellman (5-7-12).
The Bears, under first-year head coach Brendan Whittet, the former Dartmouth assistant, are looking for their first win of the year. Jordan Pietrus leads the team with four goals while sophomore Mike Clemente (.893, 3.35) has most of the work in net. Brown is coming off a 4-3 loss to Providence on Nov. 17.
Blue Comes Back for 3-3 Tie with Colgate
Tom Dignard's third-period goal gave Yale a 3-3 overtime decision against Colgate before 2,715 at Ingalls Rink last Saturday. Sophomore Brian O'Neill had a goal and an assist as the Blue outshot the Raiders 44-22 and came back from a two-goal deficit. Freshman goalie Nick Maricic made 19 saves and allowed one extra-man tally. The Bulldogs went 1-for-4 with the man-advantage while Charles Long stopped 41 shots, including 16 in the middle frame. Sean Backman had the other Yale goal.
Yale Stuns No. 3 Cornell
Brendan Mason's slapshot from the top of the right circle with 4:25 left in the third period broke a 2-2 tie and sent Yale to a 4-2 win over No. 3/4 Cornell before a sellout crowd at Ingalls. The Bulldogs (2-1-1, 1-1-1 ECAC), on the regular-season home opening night, erased a pair of one-goal deficits in the first period to win for the fourth straight time against the Big Red. Yale freshman goalie Nick Maricic made 25 saves including 11 in a wild final period. Brian O'Neill had a goal and two assists for the Blue.
Yale's last game against a team from Hockey East was the 2009 NCAA East Regional contest (4-1 L) with Vermont. The last regular season meeting was was 11/25/06 at Boston U (2-1 L, OT). Yale's last win over a HEA squad was 10/28/06, a 4-3 OT win at New Hampshire... The Elis have been outscored in each of the first two periods overall but have a 9-2 advantage in final frames this season... Five different players covering all four classes have scored for Yale this season... Yale, averaging 38 shots per game, has outshot opponents by 36 overall... The Blue is 3-for-26 (11.5%) on the power play this year and has a 76.2 percent success rate on the penalty kill... C.J. Marottolo, the new SHU head coach, was Yale's top assistant for the last 13 years and helped the Blue to a pair of conference titles.
Backman Close to Century Scoring Mark
F Sean Backman has 95 career points in 98 games, including 60 goals. Yale's active career goals leader was named to the College Hockey News (CHN) 2008-09 Pre-Season All-America squad. He was second-team All-ECAC last year after leading his team with 20 goals. Backman tallied the team's lone hat trick in a 5-0 win over Cornell that gave the Blue the ECAC Hockey Tournament Title and made him tournament MVP.
Senior F Mark Arcobello has 102 career games played. Most Eli seniors don't get a glimpse of triple digits until late in their final campaigns. Two of his teammates, F Sean Backman (98) and D Ryan Donald (94), should follow Arcobello. All three could break the record of 125 games shared by Jeff Hamilton ‘01 and Jeff Hristovski ‘06.
Captain Ryan Donald
Ryan Donald (St. Albert, ALB), a class of 2010 defenseman, is the captain of the 2009-10 Bulldogs. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Bulldog skater is one of 20 NCAA hockey candidates for the 2009-10 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, character, community and competition. Donald has compiled a 2.93 grade point average as a political science major at one of the nation's top universities. He was recognized as a member of the ECAC All-Academic team in 2009.
On the Bench
Keith Allain ‘80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, has helped establish the Bulldogs on the national scene since he joined the program three years ago. In 2008-09 he led Yale to the best season in the program's history. A school-record 24 wins, Yale's first ECAC Tournament Championship and a school-best No. 5 national ranking in late March backs up that statement. The Elis' second ECAC regular-season title, a third NCAA Tournament appearance and an Ivy League crown confirm the status of the 2008-09 squad. He was honored by ECAC coaches as conference coach of the year (Tim Taylor Award) and College Hockey News named him national coach of the year.
Dedication night for the renovated Ingalls Rink is Jan. 16 when the Yale men host Brown after the women play RPI. That is also alumni day for both squads. The underground addition, which includes approximately 13,000 square feet of varsity operational space, is located on the Mansfield Street side of the rink. It includes locker rooms for both varsity teams. There is also a strength and conditioning center, student-athlete study area, training room, officials room, video room, coaches' offices, equipment room and more. The rest of Ingalls has also received a major upgrade, with a new Schley Room reception area on the other side of the rink. A Yale Hockey Heritage area, highlighting more than 120 years of Yale hockey history, will be located right outside the Schley Room. There will also be a new concessions stand and bathrooms in the area where the visiting varsity team locker room used to be; the visitors will now use the locker room that the Yale women's team used to use.