Season Opens Friday at Ingalls

Jimmy Martin. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Jimmy Martin. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Ivy Shootout Includes 4 Games

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The two-time defending ECAC Hockey regular-season champion Yale men's team opens the 2010-11 campaign on Friday by hosting the team that knocked the Bulldogs out of last year's conference tournament, the Brown Bears. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m., the second game of the two-day Ivy Shootout. Princeton and Dartmouth square off at 4:00 that day. The winners and losers play each other on Saturday, the Elis with the 7 p.m. games both nights. These are all REGULAR-SEASON contests that count on the overall record and against the team's RPI, but do not count in either the ECAC or Ivy League standings.

Tickets are available for both nights and all four games. Call the Yale Ticket Office at 203.432.1400 or pick up tickets on game night at the Ingalls Rink box office.

Only the two Yale games can be seen live on

Yale and Brown first played in the 1897-98 season and Yale has an 85-69-8 lead, including wins in nine of the last 11.  However, the Bears got the last laugh in 2009-10 by winning two of the three conference quarterfinal games at Ingalls Rink. The Elis hold a 99-85-12 lead against Dartmouth and a 125-99-8 advantage over Princeton.

Yale and Dartmouth scrimmaged for 60 minutes on Oct. 23. Ken Agostino (Flanders, NJ), Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.), Antoine Laganiere (Ile Cadieux, Que), Broc Little (Rindge, NH) and Chad Ziegler (Spruce Grove, Alb) hit the net for the Bulldogs. Jeff Malcolm (Lethbridge, Alb), Ryan Rondeau (Carvel, Alb) and Nick Maricic (Alta Loma, Calif.) each had a period between the pipes and combined to stop all but one shot.


"I was pleased with the scrimmage.  We had an opportunity to see all of our players in game conditions and they handled themselves quite well against a very good Dartmouth team.  We know that on Friday the tempo will will jump up a notch higher and this was a god tool in preparation for the start of our season.  We are all eager to get going for real."

Yale co-hosted the 2009 East Regional at The Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, and the Bulldogs were one of the four teams to participate. The 2011 and 2012 East Regional Tournaments will also be at The Arena co-hosted by the Elis and Fairfield. This coming NCAA tourney is March 23-24. Game times on the 23rd are 4 and 7:30 with a 7 p.m. championship contest on the 24th.

The Elis, who have appeared in two straight NCAA Tournaments, have their sights set on the 2011 Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn. The Bulldogs came within a game of making the 2010 Frozen Four but fell to eventual national champion Boston College last March in the regional final.

The consecutive ECAC and Ivy League regular-season championships and back-to-back NCAA appearances are all firsts for Yale.

Yale senior forward Broc Little (Rindge, N.H.) has been named one of the 20 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in hockey. The award honors student-athletes who excel both on and off the ice. 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 – community, classroom, character and competition. Little (95 gp, 53-46-99) led the 2009-10 Bulldogs with 27 goals, a Yale record for juniors, while leading all of Division I in goals per game (.79). He was second on the team with 41 points and garnered numerous post-season honors. Little was named RBK Second-Team All-America and first-team All-ECAC, All-Ivy and All-New England. He was also named ECAC Hockey Player of the Year by the New England Hockey Journal. Little, a political science major, has shown the same dedication in the classroom. He owns a 3.1 GPA and has been a three-time ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team pick.

Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, is 72-49-12 as a head coach, including 9-7 in the post season. Only four other Yale hockey head coaches have more wins, and none have reached the 70-win mark faster than Allain. The former Yale goalie has led the Blue to three Ivy League titles, two ECAC regular season championships and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. Allain, who played and worked for Tim Taylor at Yale, earned the 2008-09 Tim Taylor Award as the ECAC Hockey Coach of the Year by leading the Elis 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 he was selected. College Hockey News named him 2008-09 national coach of the year. This is Allain's 12th overall year at Yale; he spent four as a student-athlete goalie and three as an assistant coach in the 1980s.

He's the team leader but the team does not rely on him for offense. Captain Jimmy Martin (St. Louis, Mo.) is a defensive defenseman who got very involved at the other end last year. Martin, who has four goals and 35 career points, notched a pair of goals and 17 assists last winter.

Yale was ranked seventh in the latest USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll and fifth on the list. The Bulldogs finished No. 6 in the USA Today poll last March after reaching their best-ever ranking of No. 4 on that list on Feb. 22, 2010.

Three members of the 2009-10 Yale team are playing pro hockey this season. Sean Backman, who signed last spring with the Dallas Stars, is with the AHL Texas Stars, while Ryan Donald (Reading Royals) and Mark Arcobello (Stockton Thunder), both signed by AHL teams, were assigned to ECHL affiliates at the start of the season.

Denny Kearney (102 gp, 29-61-90) is one of the premier set-up men in college hockey. Only two other ECAC players enter this season with more career assists than the Yale senior, whose sister, Hannah Kearney, won an Olympic gold medal in mogul skiing at the 2010 Games.

Andrew Miller (5-29-34) registered the most points by a Yale rookie since Tom Walsh set the bar with 41 in 1984-85. Miller was second among conference rookies with one point per game, which also put him fourth in the country for newcomers. He  ranked eighth in Division I with .85 assists per outing.

Last winter was the first in the 116-year history of Yale hockey that three different goalies recorded at least five wins each. Four Bulldogs had decisions - the first time that's happened since 2003-04 – and three of them are back. Sophomores Nick Maricic (2.95, .888, 7-4-2) and Jeff Malcolm (3.05, .876, 5-3-0) had most of the work in 2009-10. Senior Ryan Rondeau (4.06, .880, 2-1-1) had the top save night last winter with 40 at Princeton, while registering the biggest victory, a 3-2 decision with North Dakota at the NCAA Regional.

Brian O'Neill (67 gp, 28-43-71) led the Elis last year with 29 assists and 45 points. The junior F  ranked seventh in the country with 1.32 PPG. One of his best plays of 2009-10 was a pass he put on Sean Backman's stick in OT that set up the winner at Cornell. He also had the tying goal in the OT draw at the Badger Showdown title game against Wisconsin. O'Neill's best night was 2-1-3 against Sacred Heart on Nov. 24, 2009. He made the 2008-09 CHN (national) and ECAC Hockey All-Rookie teams after going 12-14-26.

The class of 2014 includes four forwards and one defenseman. All five competed in the Northeast during 2009-10. Three of the new Elis played in the juniors (Eastern, North Atlantic) last winter while two come to Yale from New England prep schools.

Yale won its second straight Ivy League title by finishing 9-1 for the second straight year. 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.

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 scored 71 goals at home last year for a 4.4 average while going 11-4-1. The Elis led the nation in goals per game and had a power play that ranked second in Division I. Two Bulldogs (Sean Backman, Broc Little) were among the top five in the nation in goals per game, while defenseman Tom Dignard was fourth in Division I points per game for defensemen. Yale scored 44 power play goals and 131 (most since 2002-03) overall. The 1985-86 Bulldogs own the school record for both, 59 and 160 respectively.

There were nine sellouts at Ingalls last year, including seven straight. Yale students were on Spring Break during the ECAC Playoffs, so none of the three games (2,688 average) had full houses. Yale had six sellouts in 2008-09.

The Yale roster includes players from 12 different states and three provinces. Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania are represented twice each on the roster while six hail from Alberta, including a Calgary pair.

The Bulldogs outshot 2009-10 opponents in 26 of the 32 games and were 19-5-2 in those outings. The Elis averaged 40 shots and gave up 26 while having a 402 shot advantage overall.

Yale potted just four shorthanded goals last year, a year after the Elis had nine with Broc Little (5) leading the country.

The Blue was second in the nation on the power play with a 23.5 mark and was 12-0 when tallying at least two PPG.  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 Bulldogs won the conference regular season championship but did not garner any of the post-season individual honors. The last time an ECAC team won the season title and did not have a player or coach earn a post-season conference honor was Clarkson in 1999.

Brock Little and Brian O'Neill are the only Bulldogs with more career points than games played. Andrew Miller had 34 points in 34 games as a freshman last year… Yale's longest win streak last year was eight games, which came to an end in the last game of the regular season at Quinnipiac… ECAC Hockey teams have won NCAA Tournament games five of the last six years… Mark Arcobello, Sean Backman, Billy Blase, Tom Dignard and Ryan Donald have graduated after accumulating 146 career goals and 336 combined points in 528 games… A senior, junior, sophomore and two freshmen scored goals last weekend.

Fourteen former Yale players are skating professionally this winter. Here are the details on each. Sean Backman '10 (Texas Stars, AHL), Ryan Donald '10 (Reading Royals, ECHL), Mark Acrobello '10 (Stockton Thunder, ECHL), Alec Richards '09 (Rockford Icehogs, AHL), Brennan Turner '09 (Elmira Jackals, ECHL), David Meckler '09 (Manchester Monarchs, AHL), Matt Cohen '07 (Hamburg Freezers, DEL), Brad Mills '07 (Albany Devils, AHL), Chris Brooks '06 (Bakersfield Condors, ECHL), Chris Higgins '05 (Florida Panthers, NHL), Joe Callahan '05 (Rochester Americans, AHL), Stacey Bauman '03 (Tulsa Oilers, CHL), Jeff Hamilton '01 (HIFK Helsinki, FNL), Ray Giroux '98 (Chelyabinsk Traktor, KHL).

The Yale hockey program celebrated the re-dedication of Ingalls Rink on Jan. 16, 2010, 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.

The pay-per-view Yale home hockey broadcasts on are a Yale Athletic Department production that employs students to produce, shoot and broadcast the action. Sam Dorward '13 is the producer, Joel Oblizalo '12 does the camera work and the commentary this weekend will be shared by Chelsea Janes '12 and Evan Ellis '12.    

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director