BULLDOGS, BEARS AT INGALLS 7:30 SATURDAY
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The No. 5 Yale men's hockey team (9-4-3, 5-2-2 ECAC) looks to bounce back from a Tuesday night road conference loss that finished off a four-game road stand when Brown (5-10-1, 3-5-1) comes to New Haven Saturday at 7:30 on Ingalls Rink Dedication Day.
DOGS VS. BEARS
The series began in 1897-98 and Yale has an 83-67-8 lead, including wins in the last seven. Five of those meetings were last winter; the Blue and Brown skated in a non-conference season-opener at Providence before the two ECAC contests and a pair of quarterfinal tournament games. The Bears' last win was a 3-2 OT game in December of 2006 at Meehan Auditorium.
LAST YEAR AGAINST BROWN
Sean Backman had five goals and Alec Richards ‘09 had all five wins as the Eis outscored Brown 19-8 combined. The Blue took the conference playoff series at Ingalls 4-2 and 2-0.
TUESDAY AT BOSTON
Yale's five-game unbeaten streak came to an end when Louis Leblanc had two goals and Ryan Carroll stopped 35 shots in Harvard's 3-2 win at Bright Hockey Center. The Elis outshot the Crimson 37-22 but had trouble finishing on the junior goalie who earned his first win of the year. Carroll stopped 12 of 13 shots in the third period and got help from the cross bar on another attempt. Eli Freshman Jeff Malcolm made 19 saves - and not more than eight in any period - but nearly half of them were quality stops. Sean Backman and Broc Little scored goals for the Blue while Tom Dignard handed out two assists.
Mark Arcobello scored twice while freshman goalie Jeff Malcolm made 29 saves in a 4-2 Bulldogs win before 2,954 at Thompson Arena on Sunday. A 1-0 Yale lead after two periods turned into a wild, five-goal third period with 21 shots on target, four Dartmouth man-advantages and 11 Malcolm saves. A 3-0 lead by the visitors with nine minutes left suddenly became a one-goal contest with players shuffling in and out of the penalty boxes. Arcobello had the game's first goal and the eventual game-winner in the third. Jeff Anderson and Brendan Mason, who had two points, had the other two tallies.
It's been a season of streaks for Brown, which began 0-7-1 before reeling off five straight wins, including games with Harvard, Princeton and Quinnipiac. Since beating AIC on Dec. 8, the Bears have dropped three straight and are coming off a 9-4 loss at Dartmouth last weekend. Jordan Pietrus, Jack Maclellan and Harry Zolnierczyk each have six goals for a team with balanced scoring. Sophomore Mike Clemente (.902, 3.23, 5-7-1) has been in net for 85 percent of the Brown opportunities.
RED LIGHT DISTRICT
The Elis, 7-2-1 since Thanksgiving Day week, have 46 goals in those 10 games. Yale has scored six goals or more in five games this winter compared to four last year. Fifteen different Bulldogs have lit the lamp to give Yale a 66-43 goal advantage.
Arcobello has 3 in 2
Senior F Mark Arcobello (5-9-14) has three points in his last two games including his first mutiple-goal outing of 2008-09 Sunday at Dartmouth in a 4-2 win. He scored his first collegiate shorthander to give the Blue a 1-0 lead in the second period before tallying the winner in the third. He was a 2008-09 second-team All-America pick after recording 17-18-35. He has 39 goals and 94 points in three-plus seasons. He is second to Backman among active career leaders in goals and assists (55).
The current Elis are a true mix of experience. Tuesday's Yale lineup included seven juniors, six sophomores, four seniors and two freshmen. No class is common for any one Bulldog line or defensive pairing.
Yale has had 24 skaters suit up for games this year and all four goalies... Senior G Billy Blase is president of Sigma Nu (fraternity) and the founder and president of Yale's Undergraduate Student Entertainment Society... Freshman F Antoine Laganiere, whose brother is in his fourth year at the Yale Medical School, is an accomplished piano player who also plays guitar... Freshman G Nick Maricic started playing hockey on rollerblades in Alta Loma, Calif... Freshman F Andrew Miller worked as a lacrosse coach at Cranbrook Kingswood School in Michigan.
The Yale roster includes players from 12 different states and three provinces. The most from a state is two (California, Connecticut, Illinois and New Hampshire) while six hail from Alberta, including a Calgary pair.
The Bulldogs have outshot opponents in 11 of the 16 games and are 8-2-1 in those outings. The Elis average 37 shots and give up just over 27. In the third period alone, the Blue has a 77-shot advantage.
The Blue managed four PPG over the first six games and were operating at just over 11 percent efficiency. The Elis (20.7% for season) are 15-for-59 (25.4) in the last 10 games. Yale's best day on special teams was (4-for-8) at Holy Cross on Nov. 28.
Lots of Little
Junior F Broc Little (15-20-35 last year) leads the Elis with 12 goals. He has a point in all but three games and six multiple-point outings this season. Little's .75 goals per game average is third in Division I, while he has the second best GWG (3) total and is 41st in points per game with 1.12. He led the nation in SHG with five last winter.
O'NEILL ON TOP
Sophomore F Brian O'Neill, who has points in 11 of 16 games and had the tying goal in the OT draw in the Badger Showdown title game, leads the team with 20 points. He had 2-1-3 in the win over Sacred Heart on Nov. 24 and 1-2-3 vs. Ferris State. O'Neill's 1.25 points per game are 20th in Division I. He made the CHN (national) and ECAC Hockey All-Rookie teams after going 12-14-26 last winter.
Junior F Denny Kearney (6-8-14), who has a point in 11 of 16 games, had two goals in the win over Quinnipiac. He is second to Mark Arcobello (55) in active career assists with 44. Kearney (Hanover, NH), who played in his hometown last Sunday at Dartmouth, was in Colorado over the break to watch his sister, Hannah, 2005 world champion, qualifiy for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver as a mogul skier.
Four different Bulldogs have earned a win in net this season. The Elis have two freshmen, a junior and senior battling for the top job. Newcomers Nick Maricic (2.41, .909, 3-1-2) and Jeff Malcolm (2.18, .918, 4-2-0), junior Ryan Rondeau (3.84, .880, 1-1-1) and senior Billy Blase (3 saves, 1-0-0) have been in net. Rondeau has the top save night with 40 at Princeton, while Malcolm, ranked 15th in Division I in GAA, gave up the fewest (1) goals in a 1-0 loss at UVM. Maricic has the most (373) minutes played, Blase, the only Eli with a collegiate shutout, has the fewest (12).
Backman MOVING UP
F Sean Backman (11-7-18) has 109 points in 109 career games and is fifth at Yale with 67 career goals. Backman, who trails Mark Kaufmann (69) by two for the No. 4 spot, was named to the College Hockey News (CHN) 2009-10 Pre-Season All-America squad. Ding Palmer's 87 career goals between 1927-30 are a long way off. Backman has a point in 11 of 16 outings this winter and is 11th in Division I with .69 goals per game. He was second-team All-ECAC last year after leading his team with 20 goals. Backman tallied the team's lone hat trick of the year in a 5-0 win over Cornell that gave the Blue the ECAC Hockey Tournament Title and made him tournament MVP.
Senior defenseman Tom Dignard (4-13-17) has 17 career goals, which is fourth on the school charts and a dozen shy of the record set by Dave Baseggio (29-79-108) between 1985-89. Dignard needs five goals to catch Darcy Ryan and Ray Giroux (22) and tie for second. He is seventh among Yale blueliners in career points with 64, three behind Bill Nichols (67). The current Bulldog ranks No. 2 in the nation among blueliners with 1.31 points per game.
Senior F Mark Arcobello has 113 career games played. Most Eli seniors don't get a glimpse of triple digits until late in their final campaigns. Teammates F Sean Backman (109) and D Ryan Donald (105) recently followed 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.
CARE TO COMPARE
The 2008-09 Bulldogs enjoyed the best season in the history of Yale hockey after going 11-5 overall with 53 goals. The current Bulldogs have two fewer victories in their first 16 but have hit the net 64 times. The Elis were 2-1 against nationally ranked teams in the first 16 last year, they are 4-2-1 this season.
In the Polls
Yale moved from up one place from No. 6 on both the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine & USCHO.com lists this week. Yale's No. 6 ranking in the USCHO poll the first week of November had been the "highest" it had been listed this season. The Elis' best ranking ever was No. 5 in both polls late March of 2009. The Bulldogs are 2-0-2 against top 15 teams in the current USA Today rankings and 3-2-2 vs. top 20 teams in the USCHO poll. Yale is 4-2-1 against ranked teams this season.
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. This is Allain's 11th overall year at Yale; he spent four as a student-athlete and goalie and three as an assistant coach in the 1980s.
"We are excited to be back in our own rink this weekend and to be part of the dedication day activities. It seems like a long time since we played a home game. We hope to use the energy from the Ingalls crowd to play a great game against Brown."
The junior class has contributed 23 goals this season, two more than the seniors. The sophomores are third with 13 while the newcomers have eight goals and 26 points.
BULLDOGS IN THE PROS
Fourteen former Yale players are skating professionally this winter. Here are the details on each. Alec Richards '09 (Rockford Icehogs, AHL), Brennan Turner '09 (Elmira Jackals, ECHL), David Meckler '09 (Manchester Monarchs, AHL), Blair Yaworski '08 (Wheeling Nailers, ECHL), Matt Cohen '07 (Trenton Devils, ECHL), Brad Mills '07 (Lowell Devils, AHL), Chris Brooks ‘06 (Bakersfield Condors, ECHL), Joe Zappala ‘06 (Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, CHL), Chris Higgins '05 (New York Rangers, NHL), Joe Callahan '05 (Worchester Sharks, AHL), Stacey Bauman '03 (Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, CHL), Jeff Hamilton '01 (Lugano, Swiss-A), Ray Giroux '98 (St. Petersburg SKA, KHL) Alex Westlund '98 (Linz EHC, Austria)
Saturday is Ingalls Rink dedication day and includes alumni day (and an alumni game at 9:45 AM). The official dedication (invitation only) is 2:30, while Yale and Brown drop the puck at 7:30. The dedication will also be recognized Saturday night at the game. The rink has been modernized in many ways while adding 13,000 square feet of varsity operational space. The additions include locker rooms and space for strength & conditioning, student-athlete study area, medical & training, officials, video, coaches, equipment, reception (Schley Room) and more. There are new historical displays and concession stands and bathrooms.
BULLDOGS ON THE AIR
All Yale home games include live video and audio streaming. All games from Ingalls can be seen live through Yale's All Access on yalebulldogs.com. The audio is provided by WYBC radio, and the broadcast can also be heard on either AM 1340 or on wybc.com.
SKATE WITH THE BULLDOGS
The YUAD invites Yale hockey fans to an Ingalls Rink open skate with the men's and women's teams from 2:15 to 3:30 on Sunday, Feb. 7. Facility tours will also be available.
Release filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
Image of Charles Brockett against Brown by Sam Rubin '95