No. 3 Yale Home For Holiday
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's hockey team (7-1-0, 4-0 ECAC), coming off four straight road games, is back at Ingalls Rink for an out-of-league contest against nearby Sacred Heart (1-7-3, 1-4-3 Atlantic Hockey). The 7 p.m. game can be seen live on yalebulldogs.com (All Access) with Ron Vaccaro '04 (NBC Sports, WELI) handling the call. Tickets are available for the game and can be purchased at the rink ticket office after 5:30 pm.
Yale, which swept a pair of conference games at Cornell and Colgate, scored 10 goals and gave up six combined. The Elis overcame deficits both nights with big offensive outbursts that moved Yale into a first-place tie with Princeton.
Yale won the only meeting of the schools from New Haven and Fairfield Counties last year at the Whale. Brian O'Neill had two goals and one assist and six other teammates hit the net as Yale beat the Pioneers 8-2. Sean Backman '10 had three assists while Jeff Malcolm stopped 13 of 15 shots to earn his first collegiate win in net. Yale had a season-high three man-advantage goals on seven attempts and outshot SHU 42-15.
The Pioneers coming to the Whale means the return of former Yale assistant coach C.J. Marottolo, who is in his second year as head coach at SHU. Marottolo was associate head coach under Allain for three years, having worked for long-time Yale mentor Tim Taylor for nine other seasons.
BLUE BEATS RED
Yale erased a 2-1 deficit midway through the contest with three straight goals to take its sixth straight game in the series, a 4-2 win over the Big Red before a packed house at Lynah Rink. After being outshot in the opening period, the Blue finished with a 30-17 overall advantage while getting goals from Jesse Root, Broc Little, Chad Ziegler and Brendan Mason. Junior goalie Mike Garman, who had 26 saves, stopped five of six Yale advantages while keeping the home team in the contest despite the shot differential. Yale senior Ryan Rondeau needed 15 saves to earn his fifth win of the year. He allowed the Big Red a pair of power-play goals on six attempts.
YALE AT GATE
Antoine Laganiere had a goal and three points while Kenny Agostino, Andrew Miller and Jesse Root each had a goal and one assist as the Bulldogs beat Colgate 6-4 on Nov. 20 at Starr Rink. The Elis had a slight (34-33) advantage in shots, but got 29 saves and some big plays from senior Ryan Rondeau, who has all but one of Yale's wins this season. He needed 14 of those stops in the final period to keep the Raiders from getting their first conference victory. Colgate, which dominated on the dots with a 46-28 advantage on faceoffs, got 28 saves from Eric Mihalik.
The Pioneers, looking for their first win since Nov. 6, are coming off a 4-4 tie at Army. Senior David Berube leads the team with three goals and nine points. Reid MacLeod, Patrick Knowlton and Evan Mladenoff also have hit the net three times. Sophomore Steven Legatto (4.56, .889, 1-6-3) has most of the work in net this season.
Senior goalie Ryan Rondeau (Carvel, AB) stopped 44 of 50 shots combined last weekend to earn both wins in goal. Four of the six goals allowed came with an extra man. Rondeau (2.34, .913, 6-0) has been in net for four wins (two in 2008-09) over ranked teams including a 3-2 decision with North Dakota at the 2010 NCAA Northeast Regional semifinal. He currently ranks 23rd in GAA and 34th in SP in Division I.
Denny Kearney (Hanover, NH) is second on the team with six goals and 14 points. Among Division I players, he currently ranks fourth in points per game, eighth in goals and ninth in assists. He notched eight his points over the first two games (Brown, Dartmouth) and was ECAC Hockey's Player of the Week. That included his first collegiate hat trick (natural) and a game-winner during the best weekend of his collegiate career. In addition, all four assists were primary ones. Kearney (110 gp, 35-69-104) is Yale's active career assist leader but may not be the best athlete in his family. His sister, Hannah Kearney, won an Olympic gold medal in mogul skiing at the 2010 Games and is the top ranked American in that event.
LOTS OF LITTLE
Yale senior forward Broc Little (Rindge, N.H.) leads the team with seven goals and 15 points. He is the only Bulldog with three (PP, SH, GW) different types of goals this season. Little was named one of the 20 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in hockey, which 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 (103 gp, 60-54-114), who has 11 more points than games played, 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 79-50-12 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.
Keith Allain will serve as head coach of the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team, which will not have any Yale players. The U.S. takes part in the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship this winter from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Buffalo, N.Y. The U.S. is aiming for its second consecutive title, having won the gold medal last year at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Regina and Saskatoon, Sask. Allain owns a 9-3-2 overall record as a head coach in the event, giving him the top winning percentage (.714) of any U.S. head coach to have served on multiple teams. Former Yale mentor Tim Taylor, who coached Allain in New Haven and brought him back as an assistant coach, will join his protégé as Team USA's director of player personnel. Allain and Taylor were featured in a documentary that aired on CBS College Sports TV during the Nov. 19 Yale-Cornell game.
ALLAIN AFTER COLGATE GAME
"It was a good road win. We faced a little adversity in getting behind early but fought through it and got the win. I was really impressed with the line of Laganiere, Root and Agostino. I thought they had a good game last (Nov. 19) night and an even better one tonight."
Captain Jimmy Martin (St. Louis, Mo.) is a defensive defenseman who has turned himself into a player with offensive potential. He notched his first goal of 2010-11 at Air Force with a nasty shot from the point that went off the crossbar. He now has five goals and 37 career points, including a career-best two goals and 17 assists last winter. Martin is a political science major who was a member of the Des Moines Buccaneers' 2007 USHL final four squad.
Sophomore F Andrew Miller (42 gp, 7-37-44) picked up where he left off his rookie campaign by dishing out eight assists in the first eight games. Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) registered the most (34) points by a Yale rookie since Tom Walsh set the bar with 41 in 1984-85. The speedy forward was the 2008-09 USA Junior Player of the Year and 2007 Michigan High School Mr. Hockey. Last winter, he 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 last year with .85 assists per outing.
A pair of experienced sophomores joins Rondeau in the net mix. Jeff Malcolm (12 gp, 4.02, .837, 6-4-0) made 16 saves in the 7-4 win over Brown on Oct. 29 before stopping 25 shots in a 4-3 loss at Air Force. Six of the eight goals he has allowed came on the power play, two with a 5-on-3 advantage. Nick Maricic (14 gp, 2.95, .888, 7-4-2), who has not seen action this season, is the other returnee between the pipes.
Junior F Brian O'Neill (75 gp, 34-48-82) is second on the team with six goals. He began 2010-11 with 3-2-5 weekend in the two wins including a career-best 2-1-3 and the GWG against Dartmouth on Oct. 30. Last winter he led the Elis with 29 assists and 45 points while ranking 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 made the 2008-09 CHN (national) and ECAC Hockey All-Rookie teams after going 12-14-26 in 2008-09.
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 came to Yale from New England prep schools. F Clinton Bourbonais (Colchester, Conn.), F Kenny Agostino (Flanders, N.J.) and F Jesse Root (Pittsburgh, Pa.) have all found the net. D Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.) has played in one game, while F Brad Peltz (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) is looking for his first action.
RED LIGHT DISTRICT
The Bulldogs have 42 goals and are No. 1 in the nation with a 5.25 average after finishing first last winter with just over four. They have scored seven goals twice, six once and five on three occasions this year.
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 while six hail from Alberta, including a Calgary pair.
The Bulldogs outshot all four opponents (combined 299-210) this year after having the advantage in 26 of the 34 games last year.
Yale's first goal of 2010-11 was shorthanded by Broc Little, the school's career leader with six. The Elis had four SHG last winter.
The Bulldogs have outscored opponents 42-32, including 15-5 in the second… Yale is averaging 2,986 over four home games at Ingalls Rink (3,500)… The Bulldogs have an exhibition game against a Russian national team on Dec. 29 at Ingalls. The Russian roster has yet to be determined… Former Yale skater Jeff Dwyer '04 is the director of education and recruitment for College Hockey, Inc., which was formed by the commissioners of the six Division I men's leagues to raise college hockey's profile... Three Bulldogs are tied for ninth in the country with 1.0 assists per game.
Sixteen different Elis have scored goals, nineteen different Bulldogs have a point. Broc Little is the only Yale player with a point in every game.
The Elis are off this weekend and don't play until RPI comes in on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. Yale hosts Union at 3 p.m. on Dec. 5.
BULLDOGS IN THE PROS
Fourteen former Yale players are skating professionally this winter, including Brad Mills '07 (in photo), who recently joined the New Jersey Devils. 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 (New Jersey Devils, NHL), 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).
YALE HOCKEY BROADCASTS
The pay-per-view Yale home hockey broadcasts on yalebulldogs.com are a Yale Athletic Department production that employs students to produce, shoot and broadcast the action. Sam Dorward '13 is the producer and Joel Oblizalo '12 does the camera work. Evan Ellis '11 handles most of the play-by-play for the Elis.
The Yale hockey program celebrated the re-dedication of Ingalls Rink (3,500 capacity) on Jan. 16, 2010, with ceremonies on and off the ice. The rink built in 1958 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 for the building nicknamed the Yale Whale because of its humpback-shaped roof.
NCAAS BACK AT HARBOR YARD
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 25-26. Game times on the 25th are 4 and 7:30 with a 7 p.m. championship contest on the 26th.
IN THE POLLS
Yale, No. 5 in both uscho.com Division I poll and the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll last week, moved up two spots to No. 3. The Elis were No. 3/4 two weeks ago, the best ranking ever for a Yale hockey team.
image of Broc Little at Colorado College (Casey B. Gibson)
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director