BULLDOGS CLOSE REGULAR SEASON ON ROAD
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Yale men's hockey team (18-6-3, 14-4-2) is on the road this weekend to finish off the 2009-10 regular season. The No. 4/5 ranked Bulldogs, who have won six straight games and are in first place by two points heading into the weekend, get a tough final test with games at Princeton (11-13-3, 7-11-2) and Quinnipiac (15-15-2, 9-11-0). Friday's game at Baker Rink starts at 7 p.m., while the puck drops at 7:30 Saturday at TD Bank Sports Center. Both games can be heard live on WYBC (AM 1340, wybc.com). Saturday night's contest is a live TV broadcast on NESN.
Yale owns a two-point lead over Cornell and Union with two games left for everyone this weekend. All three teams could finish anywhere from first to third and have clinched ECAC first-round byes. The Elis, the only team that controls its own destiny among the three, need two points to clinch the top spot. Quinnipiac could end up as high as fifth and as low as 11th after the dust settles on the weekend. The Bobcats need three points to clinch home ice for the first round of playoffs. The Tigers are going to finish somewhere between seventh and 11th.
LAST WEEKEND AT THE WHALE
Yale outshot opponents 110-47 last weekend while having a 12-9 scoring advantage with a conference sweep of St. Lawrence (7-5) and Clarkson (5-4 OT). The Elis had to erase deficits in both games to earn victories, but Saturday afternoon's game required three goals in 51 seconds of the third when the Blue trailed 4-1. Broc Little, who had a seven-point weekend, notched the tying tally and the winner in OT on Senior Day and Youth Day at Ingalls Rink. On the weekend, the Elis were 3-of-13 on the power play while allowing four goals on 11 opposition chances.
Here are the per game averages for each team and where it ranks in Division I and in ECAC Hockey.
YALE PRINCETON QUINNIPIAC
Offense 4.19 (1,1) 2.89 (35,10) 3.06 (24,5)
Defense 2.93 (31, 5) 3.19 (41, 7) 2.88 (28,4)
PIM 12.9 (41,8) 11.1 (54,11) 14.0 (32,6)
Power Play 23.6 (3,1) 19.2 (23,6) 21.0 (9,2)
Penalty Kill 80.9 (31,4) 77.2 (52,10) 86.1 (11,2)
Yale owns a 123-99-8 lead on Princeton in a series that dates to 1899, but the Tigers have taken six of the last nine. The Bulldogs won the two meetings earlier this season, one conference game and one non-ECAC contest. In the season opener for both, five different Elis hit the net and Ryan Rondeau made 32 saves in a 5-2 win at Baker Rink. Yale took a 4-1 decision at Ingalls in December behind Nick Maricic's 33 saves and goals by four Bulldogs. Broc Little is the only Yalie with goals in both games.
Quinnipiac leads Yale 5-3-1 in a New Haven County rivalry that began in 2005-06. The Elis won 7-4 at Ingalls in December when Sean Backman and Denny Kearney each had two goals. Jeff Malcolm made 18 saves in the Yale net.
Princeton is coming off a split in the Capitol District last weekend including a 7-0 win over Rensselaer on Saturday. Travel partner Quinnipiac fell at Union and RPI last week.
The PairWise sytem is a ranking established by uscho.com that tries to imitate the NCAA Selection Committee's ordering of teams for the tournament. Yale, which entered last weekend No. 8, moved to sixth after the win over SLU and remained there after getting the win the next day.
Senior F Mark Arcobello (10-15-25), who has been over 20 points in each of his four seasons, can top the Yale career games played record this weekend. Two more would put him at 126, a game more than Jeff Hamilton '01 and Jeff Hristovski '06. Arcobello hit the career, 100-point mark on Feb. 6 against Harvard with two assists and has 2-3-5 in the last three games. His top game of 2009-10 was a two-goal performance at Dartmouth. He scored his first collegiate SHG before tallying the winner. Arcobello added his second SHG against Dartmouth at home this winter. He was a 2008-09 second-team All-American after recording 17-18-35. He has 44 goals in 124 career games.
F Sean Backman (19-13-32), coming off a 1-1-2 weekend, is alone at No. 7 on the school's career points list with 123. His 75 career goals are fourth best at Yale and put him three behind Bob Kudelski for third. His 123 points in 120 games puts him in a select class of current Division I players who have over 100 games and as many points as games played. Backman was named to the College Hockey News (CHN) 2009-10 Pre-Season All-America squad. Backman has a point in 19 of 27 outings this winter and is fifth in Division I with .70 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 2008-09 in a 5-0 win over Cornell that gave the Blue the ECAC Hockey Tournament Title and made him tournament MVP.
Yale Career Goals Yale Career Points
Ding Palmer 87 1927-30 Jeff Hamilton 173 1996-01
Jeff Hamilton 80 1996-01 Mark Kaufmann 160 1989-93
Bob Kudelski 78 1984-87 Bob Kudelski 158 1983-87
Sean Backman 75 2006-Pres. Bob Brooke 155 1979-83
Randy Wood 141 1982-86
Dan Poliziani 131 1978-82
Sean Backman 123 2006-Pres.
Bob Logan 122 1982-86
Jack Morrison 119 1964-67
Senior D Tom Dignard (5-16-21) ranks fourth among Division I blueliners and No. 1 in the ECAC with .95 points per game. He has 18 career goals, which is fourth on the school charts and 11 shy of the record set by Dave Baseggio ‘89 (29-79-108). Dignard needs four goals to catch Darcy Ryan and Ray Giroux (22) and tie for second. He is fifth among Yale blueliners in career points with 70. Dignard, who has a 3.71 GPA in economics and math, is Yale's candidate for ECAC Hockey's Student of the Year Award.
Yale Defensemen Career Points
Dave Baseggio 29-79-108 1985-89
D'Arcy Ryan 22-62-84 1971-72, 73-75
Ray Giroux 22-62-84 1994-98
Jack Duffy 16-55-71 1989-93
Tom Dignard 18-52-70 2006-Pres.
Jeff Dwyer 14-55-69 2000-04
Ryan Donald (St. Albert, ALB), a class of 2010 defenseman, is the captain of the 2009-10 Bulldogs. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound skater has already tied his career-high for goals (2) in a season and is one shy of that mark in points with eight. The defensive-blueliner (5-18-23 career) is a political science major who was recognized as a conference all-tournament selection as well as a member of the ECAC All-Academic team in 2009. Last summer he skated in the Vancouver Canucks' free-agent camp.
Junior F Denny Kearney (6-21-27) is one of the premier set-up men in college hockey. He has a point in 20 of 27 games including two goals against Quinnipiac. Kearney has 23 career goals and 80 points in 95 games, but may be equally famous for having an Olympic gold medal winning sister, Hannah Kearney, who won the 2010 mogul competition two hours after the Bulldogs beat Cornell on Feb. 13. He and many of his teammates were glued to a computer monitor watching the live coverage on the bus ride back from Ithaca. Hannah, during a Feb. 14 Bob Costas interview on NBC, mentioned being a hockey fan because her brother plays for Yale.
Junior F Broc Little (24-11-35) is coming off a four-goal, seven-point weekend. He had a goal and two helpers in the win over St. Lawrence before notching 3-1-4 against Clarkson in the late comeback victory. Little got the tying goal and game-winner in OT against the Knights and now leads Division I players with .89 goals per game while his six GWG are second. His 24 goals are second only to Sacred Heart's Nick Johnson and the most by a Bulldog since Jeff Hamilton '01 had 27 in 1997-98. He has one SHG this year after leading Division I with five in 2008-09. Little's nine- game point streak to start 2009-10 is a team best. He has 50 goals and 93 points in 88 career games.
Freshman F Andrew Miller (4-21-25), the Feb. 15 ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week, is third among conference rookies with .93 points per game, which also put him seventh in the country for newcomers. He is ranked 18th in Division I with .78 assists per outing. The most points by a Yale rookie are 41 by Tom Walsh in 1984-85.
This is the first time in the 115-year history of Yale hockey that three different Yale goalies have at least five wins each. Four Bulldog netminders have a decision this winter, the first time that's happened since 2003-04. The goalie with the best (6-0) overall record, is not the player with the most saves or minutes played on the team. Senior Billy Blase (2.37, .895), who has four starts, seven appearances and just 17 percent of the goalie time, does not qualify for any of the conference or national rankings. He is the only current Eli netminder with a collegiate shutout. Freshmen Nick Maricic (2.76, .894, 6-3-2) and Jeff Malcolm (2.89, .882, 5-2-0) have most of the work in goal this year. Junior Ryan Rondeau (3.84, .880, 1-1-1) has the top save night with 40 at Princeton.
Sophomore F Brian O'Neill (11-23-34) is second to Little in points on the team. He has points in 20 of 27 games, but his most memorable plays of 2009-10 are easy to recall. He put the puck on Sean Backman's stick before the OT game-winner at Cornell on Feb. 13, and he had the tying goal in the OT draw in the Badger Showdown title game against Wisconsin on Jan. 3. O'Neill had 2-1-3 in the win over Sacred Heart on Nov. 24 and 1-2-3 vs. Ferris State. O'Neill's 1.26 points per game are 15th in Division I. He made the CHN (national) and ECAC Hockey All-Rookie teams after going 12-14-26 last winter. His career numbers are 23-37-60 in 60 games.
Junior Broc Little, senior Sean Backman and sophomore Brian O'Neill have all hit the 30-point mark. It was the third time for Backman (19-13-32), the second for Little and the first for O'Neill (11-23-34). Three other Bulldogs are within five points of that mark. The Elis had four players over the 30-point mark last winter.
Yale has seven players who have reached 20 points this season. Last year, during the Elis' best winter on ice, there were just five skaters over that mark. The last time the Blue had that many 20-point guys was 1991-92 with Mark Kaufmann, John Sather, James Lavish, Jack Duffy, Martin Leroux, Craig Ferguson and Jeff Blaeser.
Yale clinched (16 points) its second straight Ivy League title by winning at Ithaca on Feb. 13 and improving to 8-1 with one game left at Princeton this week. Second-place Cornell has 12 points and no games remaining. The Elis now have nine (12 if you count titles before the league officially formed in 1956) Ancient Eight crowns including three in the four seasons under Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey.
Hockey Ivy League Titles (since 1930)
1. Harvard: 25
2. Cornell: 18
3. Dartmouth: 14
4. Yale: 12
5. Brown: 7
6. Princeton: 4
Yale has not blanked an opponent this season. Last year, Alec Richards had a school-record four SHO and finished with six, a Yale career record. The Bulldogs have had at least one SHO in seven of the last 10 seasons.
Three (non freshmen) Bulldogs have career-highs for goals this season: Broc Little (24), Brendan Mason (8) and Chad Ziegler (3). Seven players have had their best point output: Brian O'Neill (34), Tom Dignard (21), Jimmy Martin (15), Kevin Peel (14), Mason (13), Jeff Anderson (10) and Ziegler (5).
PROSPECT'S RED LIGHT DISTRICT
Yale averages 5.4 goals playing at the corner of Prospect and Sachem this season after netting 12 combined last weekend in wins that raised the home record to 10-2-1. The Elis lead the nation with 4.19 goals per game and have a power play that ranks third in Division I at 23.6. Two Bulldogs (Sean Backman, Broc Little) are among the top five in the nation in goals per game, while defenseman Tom Dignard is fourth in Division I points per game for defensemen. Yale has scored 38 power play goals and 113 (most since 2002-03) overall. The 1985-86 Bulldogs own the school record for both, 59 and 160 respectively.
CLASS OF ‘10
Last weekend marked the last home regular season games for five Yale seniors: Mark Arcobello, Sean Backman, Billy Blase, Tom Dignard and captain Ryan Donald. They have accumulated 142 career goals and 323 combined points in 608 games. A few other classes have produced more offense -- all with at least two more skaters -- including 1993 (Mark Kaufmann, James Lavish, Yannick Chiasson, Jack Duffy, Peter Allen, Dean Malish) which had 170 goals and 431 combined points.
The current Elis are a true mix of experience. Last Saturday's lineup included six juniors, five sophomores, four seniors and five freshmen, including two goalies. No class has been common for any one Bulldog line or defensive pairing.
Last Saturday's crowd of 3,500 marked the ninth sellout at Ingalls this year and the seventh straight. Yale had six sellouts in 2008-09.
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 20 of the 27 games and are 15-3-2 in those outings. The Elis average 40 shots and give up 26 while having a 385 shot advantage overall. Yale outshot Clarkson 56-26, a margin that has not been seen since the Blue had a 50-15 game against Harvard last February.
Yale potted a pair of shorthanded goals on Feb. 5/6 and now has four this year. Mark Arcobello has two this winter, Sean Backman and Broc Little have the others. Little led the country with five last year while the Elis had nine overall.
It's been an up-and-down special teams season; the power play has been up - most of the time - and the penalty kill has been good - some of the time. Yale is third in the nation on the power play with a 23.6 mark after converting three last week. However, the Elis went one for 19 over three games during the middle of the campaign. The Blue, 11-0 when tallying at least two PPG, was just over 11 percent after the first six games but went on a tear. The best night was 5-for-8 against Brown on Jan. 16, the most productive PP day since Nov. 13, 1992, when the Blue went 5-for-7 in a 10-6 win over Colgate at Hamilton. The penalty-kill unit is at 80.9 percent, which is fourth in the ECAC.
All seven members of the class of 2013 have been in the lineup at times this year. The seven frosh have combined for 97 games played with 11 goals and 43 points. Antoine Laganiere leads the newcomers with five goals, while Andrew Miller has 25 points and is ranked seventh among Division I rookies and third among ECAC newcomers with .96 points per game. The two goalies, Nick Maricic and Jeff Malcolm, who have contributed a combined four assists to the offense, own 18 of the 27 decisions and 11 of the 18 wins.
The Yale junior class has 108 career goals and 292 points... The combined 12 goals on Friday were the most in a Bulldogs' game since Dartmouth beat Yale 9-4 at Hanover in 2005. It was the most at Ingalls since the Elis lost to SLU eight days earlier, 7-5... Yale goalie Billy Blase has 40 career games played; the other three goalies average 11 career outings... The Bulldogs have four double-digit goal scorers this year and 11 who have 10 or more points... Yale's third-period comeback against Clarkson was just the second time this season the Elis have erased a deficit to win in the final frame; Yale is now 2-6-3 when trailing after 40 minutes... Three goals in 51 seconds reminded some of the Yale players and coaches of the comeback at Colgate in 2008-09 (down 4-0 with 11 minutes left, 5-4 OT win)... Yale is six wins from the total (24) from 2009-10. It is one win (15) and four points (32) off last year's conference total... The junior class has contributed 45 goals this season, the seniors have 36. The sophomores are third with 21 while the newcomers have 11 goals.
On one hand, the Bulldogs lose three of their top five point producers to graduation after the 2009-10 season. On the other hand, Yale returns seven of its top 10 point scorers and three of the four goalies next season.
Senior F Mark Arcobello has 124 career games played. Most Eli seniors don't get a glimpse of triple digits until late in their final campaigns. Teammates F Sean Backman (120) and D Ryan Donald (116) recently followed Arcobello to the century mark. All three could break the record of 125 games shared by Jeff Hamilton ‘01 and Jeff Hristovski ‘06. The Elis have a minimum of four games left.
IN THE POLLS
Yale moved up one spot to No. 4 on the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national chart while* staying at No. 5 on the USCHO.com list this week. The No. 4 mark is the best ranking ever for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are 4-0-2 against top 15 teams in the current USA Today rankings and 4-1-2 vs. the USCHO's top 20. Yale is 6-2-1 against teams that were ranked on game night.
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 four 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 back 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 goalie and three as an assistant coach in the 1980s.
Ed Maturo, in his 33rd year as Yale's Director of Equipment Services, will be retiring at the end of the 2009-10 season. Maturo, who began working with Yale hockey teams in 1977-78 and was nicknamed "Fox" because of his silver-colored hair many years ago, missed the 1993-94 and 2005-06 seasons to work for U.S. Teams at the winter Olympic games. He has worked 941 Yale men's varsity hockey games.
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 (Calgary Flames, 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). Higgins has played 61 games between the New York Rangers and the Flames and has six goals and 14 points. Hamilton has 22 goals and 45 points in 44 games for HC Lugano this winter.
The Yale hockey program celebrated the re-dedication of Ingalls Rink on Jan. 16 with ceremonies on and off the ice. 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 (including skating treadmill), 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. Both games this weekend air live on WYBC. Here's the talent lineup on WYBC this weekend: Friday - Mike Dunn and Steve Conn... Saturday - Mike Dunn and Rich Scudellari.
Release filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
NESN TV Broadcast Information
BULLDOGS CLOSE REGULAR SEASON ON ROAD