ANOTHER QUARTERFINAL FOR BULLDOGS, BEARS
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The Yale men’s hockey team (19-7-3, 15-5-2), the No. 1 seed which had a bye last weekend during the first round of the ECAC Hockey Playoffs, is back in action this weekend. The Brown Bears (10-18-4) come to Ingalls Rink to determine one of the four slots for the conference championship next weekend in Albany. The Bulldogs-Bears, best-of-three quarterfinal series is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if necessary). All face-off times are 7 p.m. with live video from B2TV.com and audio from WYBC Radio (AM-1340, wybc.com).
Quarterfinals tickets are available online at yalebulldogs.com or by calling 203.432.1400. Yale students will be admitted free when presenting valid Yale student identification at Ingalls Rink on game nights.
WATCHING THE SERIES
All ECAC Hockey playoff games can be seen live on B2TV.com, a pay-per-view stream that uses the home school’s radio team to provide audio.
The series began in 1897-98 and Yale has an 84-67-8 lead, including wins in the last eight. 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.
The team that wins two games advances to the semi-finals at Albany’s Times Union Center. There are no ties; all games even after regulation include 20-minute overtime periods until there is a winner. There are no media/TV timeouts, but video review for officials will be in effect.
Here are the per game averages for each team and where it ranks in Division I and in ECAC Hockey.
Offense 4.19 (1,1) 2.91 (34,9)
Defense 3.00 (33,6) 3.84 (56,12)
PIM 12.5 (42,9) 16.4 (11,1)
Power Play 24.1 (2,1) 14.5 (50,12)
Penalty Kill 81.0 (31,4) 77.9 (49,8)
Brown erased a three-goal Yale lead in the third period and sent the first meeting of this season to OT before Broc Little won it, 6-5, at Meehan Auditorium. Six different Bulldogs hit the net against two (Mike Clemente, Anthony Borelli) Brown goalies as the Blue had the edge in shots, 42-22. Ryan Rondeau (14 saves) started in net for the Blue, while Billy Blase stopped all three shots he saw in late relief to earn the win. The Bears came to New Haven on Ingalls re-dedication night and Yale won another high-scoring affair, 8-5. Little, the only Eli to score in both games, hit the net twice and six other teammates followed suit. Jeff Malcolm (23) got the win in goal for Yale, which outshot Brown 53-28 and notched five power-play goals. Clemente made 45 saves for the Bears.
YALE IN ECAC PLAYOFFS
The Blue has played 63 ECAC Playoff contests since the first in 1967 and are 17-41-5 overall. Yale, winners of four straight in conference playoffs, swept its 2008-09 quarterfinal series before winning two at Albany on championship weekend, the Elis’ first ECAC tournament title. The four-game ECAC playoff win streak is the longest ever for a Yale team.
The Bulldogs finished off the regular campaign by splitting a tough weekend set. Yale erased a three-goal deficit with six straight tallies in a 7-4 win at Princeton before falling 4-3 at Quinnipiac. Senior forward Sean Backman and junior Denny Kearney led the Blue offensively on Feb. 26-27 with two goals and three points each. Freshman forward Antoine Laganiere had two goals against Princeton, his first multiple-goal outing, and Mark Arcobello added a goal and three points on the weekend. Nick Maricic (2.95, .888), who stopped 23 of 27 shots in both games, played every minute of the two-game weekend in the Yale net. Yale, which earned its second straight ECAC regular season title, outshot Princeton/Quinnipiac 71-54 and was a combined 3-for-8 on the power play last weekend. The Elis, outshooting teams 40-26 on average, scored seven times on just 33 shots at Baker Rink.
Brown, for the second season in a row, went on the road in the first round of the conference playoffs and pulled off the upset. The Bears did it in two straight at Harvard in 2009 but needed three as the No. 11 seed to eliminate No. 6 RPI last week. The boys from Providence won 3-1, lost 4-1 and then held on for a 3-2 victory on Sunday night at Houston Field House. Senior Aaron Volpatti leads the team with 14 goals, but junior Harry Zolnierczyk and sophomore Jack Maclellan each have a dozen. Mike Clemente (3.45, .897) has all the Brown victories in goal this year. Volpatti and Clemente earned ECAC Player and Goalie of the Week honors, respectively.
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, idle last week, fell to No. 9 with a slight RPI edge over No. 10 Cornell and New Hampshire.
Yale’s back-to-back ECAC and Ivy titles are the first consecutive championships of any kind for a Bulldog hockey team. Yale is the first ECAC Hockey squad to win consecutive regular-season championships since Cornell in 2001-02 and 2002-03; the Big Red were the last ones to take two straight (2003-04, 2004-05) Ivy crowns as well.
Keith Allain ‘80, Yale’s Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, won his 70th game in four seasons as leader of the Bulldogs on Feb. 26 at Princeton. ECAC Hockey announced Monday that he is one of four finalists for the 2009-10 Men’s Tim Taylor Coach of the Year Award, which is voted on by the coaches. The former Yale goalie has led the Blue to three Ivy League titles, two ECAC regular season championships and a 2009 NCAA Tournament appearance. Allain, who played and worked for Taylor at Yale, had an eye on Vancouver whenever possible during the Olympics because of his connection to the U.S. players. He worked with 13 of the 22 on the Olympic roster, either in the National Hockey League or at the 2006 Winter Games, including Chris Drury, Zach Parise and Brian Rafalski. In 2008-09 Allain earned the Taylor Award by leading 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 were a few reasons why the coached picked him. College Hockey News named him 2008-09 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.
Senior F Mark Arcobello (11-17-28), who has been over 20 points in each of his four seasons, is the Yale career games played leader with 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 108 career points including 45 goals. He is currently on a five-game point streak. 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.
F Sean Backman (21-14-35) is a first-team All-ECAC pick and the Ivy League Player of the Year. He is alone at No. 7 on the school’s career points list with 126. His 77 career goals are fourth best at Yale and put him one behind Bob Kudelski for third. His 126 points in 122 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, who was named to the College Hockey News (CHN) 2009-10 Pre-Season All-America squad, lived up to the billing. He has a point in 20 of 29 outings this winter and is fourth in Division I with .72 goals per game. He was second-team All-ECAC last year after leading his team with 20 goals. Backman, a four-time, first-team All-Ivy selection, 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 126 2006-Pres.
Bob Logan 122 1982-86
Jack Morrison 119 1964-67
Senior D Tom Dignard (5-17-22) earned second-team All-ECAC honors for the second straight year. He was first-team All-Ivy this winter and ranks fifth 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 tied for fourth among Yale blueliners in career points (71) with Jack Duffy ‘93. 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 18-53-71 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 has surpassed that mark in points with nine. The defensive-blueliner (5-19-24 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 (8-22-30) is one of the premier set-up men in college hockey. He ended the regular season with a 2-1-3 weekend that included two goals at Quinnipiac (he has 4 against the Bobcats this year). He has a point in 22 of 29 games. Kearney has 25 career goals and 83 points in 97 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 (25-13-38), a first-team All-ECAC and Ivy League selection, was named the Player of the Month (Feb.) by the Hockey Commissioner’s Association. He leads Division I players with .89 goals per game and seven game-winning goals. His 25 goals (29 games) are second only to RPI’s Chace Polacek (26 in 39 games). His season total is 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 51 goals and 96 points in 90 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 post-season experience and a collegiate shutout. Blase started two of the three games in the 2008 ECAC Quarterfinals at Princeton and earned a win (4-3) and a loss (4-0) while making a total of 60 saves. Freshmen Nick Maricic (2.95, .888, 7-4-2), who leads the team in wins, 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 but has not played since Nov. 21 at Brown.
Sophomore F Brian O’Neill (12-24-36) is second to Little in points on the team. He has points in 21 of 29 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 1.24 points per game are 16th 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 24-37-61 in 62 games.
Juniors Broc Little and Denny Kearney, senior Sean Backman and sophomore Brian O’Neill have all hit the 30-point mark. It was the third time for Backman (21-14-35), the second for Little (25-13-38) and the first for Kearney (8-22-30) and O’Neill (12-24-36). Two 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 before beating Princeton on Feb. 26 to finish 9-1 for the second straight year. Second-place Cornell had 12 points. 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 (25), Brendan Mason (9) and Chad Ziegler (3). Seven players have had their best point output: Brian O’Neill (36), Tom Dignard (22), Jimmy Martin (16), Kevin Peel (14), Mason (14), Jeff Anderson (11) and Ziegler (5).
PROSPECT’S RED LIGHT DISTRICT
Yale averages 5.4 goals playing at the corner of Prospect and Sachem this season and have a 10-2-1 record. The Elis lead the nation in goals per game and have a power play that ranks second in Division I. Two Bulldogs (Sean Backman, Broc Little) are among the top five in the nation in goals per game, while defenseman Tom Dignard is fifth in Division I points per game for defensemen. Yale has scored 41 power play goals and 123 (most since 2002-03) overall. The 1985-86 Bulldogs own the school record for both, 59 and 160 respectively.
CLASS OF ‘10
This weekend is the last home games for five Yale seniors: Mark Arcobello, Sean Backman, Billy Blase, Tom Dignard and captain Ryan Donald. They have accumulated 145 career goals and 331 combined points in 616 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. The last 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.
The crowd of 3,500 for the Feb. 20 Clarkson game 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 22 of the 29 games and are 16-4-2 in those outings. The Elis average 40 shots and give up 26 while having a 402 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 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 24.1 mark. However, the Elis went one for 19 over three games during the middle of the campaign. The Blue, 12-0 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 81 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 all seen action this winter with 13 goals and 47 points. Antoine Laganiere leads the newcomers with five goals, while Andrew Miller has 26 points and is ranked seventh among Division I rookies and third among ECAC newcomers with .90 points per game. The two goalies, Nick Maricic and Jeff Malcolm, who have contributed a combined four assists to the offense, own 20 of the 29 decisions and 12 of the 19 wins.
The Yale junior class has 112 career goals and 301 points… 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 12 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 against the Knights reminded some of the comeback at Colgate in 2008-09 (down 4-0 with 11 minutes left, 5-4 OT win)… Yale is five wins from the total (24) from 2009-10… The Elis had the same (15) conference win total as last year... The junior class has contributed 49 goals this season, the seniors have 39. The sophomores are third with 22 while the newcomers have 13 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 broke the school record for games played with his 126th at Quinnipiac. Teammates F Sean Backman (122) and D Ryan Donald (118) recently followed Arcobello to the century mark. The old record was shared by Jeff Hamilton ‘01 and Jeff Hristovski ‘06.
IN THE POLLS
Yale has been No. 6 in both major polls the last two weeks after earning its best-ever ranking of No. 4 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll on Feb. 22. The Bulldogs are 3-0-1 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.
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 950 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. Mike Dunn and Chris Hudson call the action this weekend on WYBC.
Report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director
Image by Jack Warhola