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Bulldogs at Dartmouth, Harvard This Weekend

Kevin Limbert and Denny Kearney. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kevin Limbert and Denny Kearney. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)


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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's hockey team (12-1-0, 6-0 ECAC), ranked No. 1 in the country by both polls for the fifth straight week, returned from break with an exhibition victory over the Russian Red Stars before blasting Holy Cross 10-3 on Jan. 2. The ECAC stretch run begins this weekend when the Bulldogs, a point behind first-place Princeton and a point ahead of Dartmouth, go to Hanover to face the Big Green (7-4-2, 5-2-1), before taking on Harvard (3-8, 2-7) Saturday night in Boston with the nation's longest (7) active win streak on the line. Both games are 7:00.

Yale and Dartmouth have met 195 times since 1907 with Yale having a 100-84-12 lead. The Bulldogs swept the series last year and have taken the last four straight. The Elis and Cantabs split last year with the home team taking each contest. Harvard leads 135-75-18 and has dominated (36-4-3) at the Bright Center.

Broc Little and Kevin Limbert (Fruitvale, BC) each had two goals as the Blue beat the Big Green 7-3 in a non-conference game at Ingalls the second game this season. Ryan Rondeau made 23 saves and stopped five of six Dartmouth man-advantages… Six different players scored goals - including three on the power play -- and Billy Blase '10 stopped 20 shots as the Elis raced past Harvard 6-3 last February at New Haven. Sean Backman had a goal and two assists and helped the Bulldogs outshot the Crimson 47-23.

The 25-day layoff for exams and the holidays did nothing to slow down the Bulldogs' offensive output. Yale, led by Broc Little and Kenny Agostino hat tricks, pumped out a season-high for goals in a 10-3 non-league win over Holy Cross before a packed house at Ingalls Rink on Jan. 2. Agostino (Flanders, N.J.) a freshman forward, entered the game with a goal and three assists and produced three goals and five points against the Crusaders. Denny Kearney and Josh Balch (Wilmette, Ill.) each had a goal and two assists while Brian O'Neill and Mike Matczak (Sewell, N.J.) also lit the lamp in Yale's last non-league game of the year. Senior Yale goalie Ryan Rondeau played the first two periods and stopped 14 of 16 shots to earn his 11th victory of the year. Sophomore Nick Maricic (5 saves) played the final period, his first action of the season. The Blue outshot the Crusaders 40-22 and converted two of four power plays while blanking the visitors on three man-advantages.

Dartmouth is 4-1-1 over its last six outings and is giving up under three goals per game with junior James Mello (1.93) getting most of the action in net. Junior Nick Walsh has a team-best seven goals. The Crimson are coming off a win over Army and a loss to Vermont at the Catamount Cup. Junior Alex Killorn, a Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick, leads the squad with six goals while senior Kyle Richter (2.49) has had most of the work between the pipes.

Yale's 2010-11 start is unique. This is the first time the Elis have won their first six conference games, while this is the best (12-1) start of the season since Yale was perfect in 1929-30 on the way to 16 straight wins and a 17-1-1 mark. The Elis' best ECAC start was 8-1 in 1997-98.

FROSH FEAT                                                                                                                         Kenny Agostino tied a team record and became the first Yale newcomer in 30 years to record five points in one game. He notched three goals and two assists against Holy Cross and became the school's first freshman to tally five points since former Olympian and NHL star Bob Brooke '83 established the mark against Dartmouth in 1980.

Sophomore F Andrew Miller (47 gp, 9-46-55), voted "best passer" by his teammates, is No. 1 in the nation with 1.23 assists per game. What's more impressive is that 12 of his 17 assists are primary ones. He is also hitting the net when it counts this season; three of his four goals have been winners, which ranks third in Division I. Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), who is fifth in the nation with 1.62 points per contest, 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.
Goalie Ryan Rondeau (Carvel, AB), who played two periods against Holy Cross and stopped 14 of 16 shots, had his scoreless streak end at 141 minutes and 29 seconds early in the first period. The senior was coming off consecutive shutouts (Union, Vermont), the first Bulldog netminder to do that since Alex Westlund blanked Cornell (11-0) and Colgate (2-0) at the Whale on Feb. 6-7, 1998. Rondeau was ECAC Goalie of the Week on Dec. 6 (30 saves, Union; 15, RPI) and now owns all but two of Yale's decisions this season. He currently ranks third in GAA (1.78) and fourth in SP (.932) in Division I. Eight of the 19 goals he has allowed this year came on the man-advantage. The senior, who owns a 17-4-1 career record, has been in net for six wins over ranked teams including a 3-2 decision with North Dakota at the 2010 NCAA Northeast Regional semifinal.
Denny Kearney (Hanover, NH) is second on the team with eight goals and 21 points. The most significant aspect of his assist total (13) is that 11 of them were primary helpers, while he ranks fourth in the country with a 1.0 average. Kearney is fifth in Division I with 1.62 points per game. He notched eight of those over the first two games (Brown, Dartmouth on Oct. 29-30) 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 (115 gp, 37-74-111), who was voted by his teammates as the "best dresser" and "most talkative" among the Bulldogs, 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.
Yale senior forward Broc Little (Rindge, N.H.) leads the team with 12 goals and 23 points. He leads the nation with .92 goals per game and is third with 1.77 points. Little, the only Bulldog with three (PP, SH, GW) different types of goals this season, had his third career hat trick (3-1-4) against Holy Cross. Six of his 11 assists have been primary ones. He 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. Little (108 gp, 65-57-122), who has 14 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. 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 84-50-12 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 80-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. Allain, a former NHL (17 years) and Olympics (1992, 2006) assistant, was named the 11th head coach of the Yale men's ice hockey program on April 15, 2006. Allain is the second Yale graduate to take the position and the first since Holcomb York '17 led the Bulldogs from 1930 to 1938 (Lawrence M. Noble '27 coached the Elis from 1928 to 1930). The starting goalie on four Bulldog squads, Allain recorded the second-most (31) wins for a Yale netminder and ranks third at the school with 2,337 career saves. He owns four of the top 10 Yale single-game save totals, including 55 stops in a 7-3 loss at Minnesota on Dec. 28, 1978.
Keith Allain is serving as head coach of the 2010-11 U.S. Junior National Team at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. The U.S., 3-1 under Allain, lost to Canada in the semifinals on Jan. 3 and takes on Sweden in a Jan. 5 bronze medal contest.  Allain owns a 12-4-2 overall record as a head coach in the event, giving him the top winning percentage (.722) 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, joins 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 broadcast.
Kyle Wallack, in his first year as Yale's associate head coach, is working his fifth campaign with the Bulldogs. He served as Yale's head coach for the games against the Red Stars and Crusaders while Keith Allain was out of town with the U.S. Junior National Team.
Captain Jimmy Martin (St. Louis, Mo.) is a defensive defenseman who has turned himself into a player with offensive potential. He has three assists over his last two games. He now has six goals and 42 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.  
A pair of experienced sophomores joins Ryan 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. The Lethbridge, AB, native has allowed eight goals, including six on the power play and two with a 5-on-3 advantage. Alta Loma, Calif., resident Nick Maricic (15 gp, 2.96, .887, 7-4-2) played the last period against Holy Cross (5 saves) but has not had a start this winter.
Junior F Brian O'Neill (80gp, 36-55-91) is third on the team with eight goals and ranks seventh nationally in points per game (1.54). He began 2010-11 with a 3-2-5 weekend in the two wins including a career-best 2-1-3 and the GWG against Dartmouth on Oct. 30. O'Neill is 14th in the nation with .92 assists and 17th with .62 goals. 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 (Yardley, Pa.), who was voted "most humorous" by his teammates, made the 2008-09 CHN (national) and ECAC Hockey All-Rookie teams after going 12-14-26 in 2008-09.

Chris Cahill (North Andover, Mass.) entered the season with 16 goals in three collegiate seasons. He already has half (8) that total this winter, including three different two-goal games and a pair of three-point outings. Cahill, 17th in Division I with .62 goals per game and 20th with 1.31 points, was named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week on Dec. 6 after leading (3-1-4) Yale to a pair of wins over nationally ranked teams with three goals and four points. The senior forward is second on the team in goals with career numbers of 24 goals and 58 points.
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 this season. D Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.) has an assist in two games played, while F Brad Peltz (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) is looking for his first action. Agostino (2), Root and Peltz combined for four of Yale's five goals in the win over the Red Stars. Agostino had the best night for a Bulldog rookie this season when he went 3-2-5 against Holy Cross.
The Bulldogs have 69 goals and are No. 1 in the nation with a 5.31 average. They scored 10 against the Crusaders and had seven goals twice, six once and five on five occasions this year. Yale led the nation in scoring in 2009-10.
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.

Northeast prep schools and the United States Hockey League each contributed nine players to the Bulldog roster. Six former British Columbia Junion Hockey League skaters are at Yale while the Atlantic Junior Hockey League has a pair. One Eli played in the Eastern Junior Hockey League and another came from a private school.
The Bulldogs have outshot 12 of 13 opponents (by 143 combined) this year after having the advantage in 26 of the 34 games last year. Vermont (32-30) was the only squad to outshoot the Blue this season.

The Class of 2011 became the winningest in Yale men's hockey history after beating Holy Cross on Jan. 2. The current seniors have amassed 73 victories, surpassing the total reached by the Class of 2010. In addition, the Class of 2011, which is the first from this school to be undefeated (3-0-1) at Cornell, could be the first at Yale to have four winning seasons since the Class of 1954.
Eight members of the senior class have accounted for 34 goals. The juniors (6) have hit the net 21 times. Yale sophomores (3) have six tallies while the freshmen (4) have seven goals. The newcomers accounted for four goals in the exhibition game against the Red Stars, but the stats from that contest do not count.  Bulldog defensemen have hit the net five times.

Yale's first goal of 2010-11 was shorthanded by Broc Little, the school's career leader with six, but the team has not done that since. The Elis had four SHG last winter.

Junior Dan Otto (Lake Zurich, Ill.) waited two and a half seasons to get the medical clearance to skate in his first collegiate game. He played forward and saw regular ice time against the Red Stars, nearly scoring a goal on a shot that glanced off the pipe… Yale has 18 goals in its last three games… Ryan Rondeau's 11-0 record this season is the best in Division I... The Blue is 9-0 at home; RPI and Union are also unbeaten at home and nationally ranked... Junior Chad Ziegler (Spruce Grove, AB) has a career-best 5-3-8 already this season.

Yale has a home-and-home series with its ECAC travel partner next week. The Elis are at Brown on the 14th and the Bears come to Ingalls for a 4 p.m. game on Saturday the 15th. Brown beat Boston University 6-1 on Jan. 1 at a tournament in Illinois.

Thirteen former Yale players are skating professionally this winter: Sean Backman '10 (Texas Stars, AHL, 26 GP, 5-7-12 ), Ryan Donald '10 (Providence Bruins, AHL), Mark Arcobello '10 (Stockton Thunder, ECHL, 27 GP, 6-8-14), 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; Albany Devils, AHL), Chris Higgins '05 (Florida Panthers, NHL, 32 GP, 7-7-14), Joe Callahan '05 (Rochester Americans, AHL), Stacey Bauman '03 (Tulsa Oilers, CHL), Jeff Hamilton '01 (HIFK Helsinki, FNL), Ray Giroux '98 (Chelyabinsk Traktor, KHL).
A survey of the 2010-11 Bulldogs produced the following results about the student-athletes.

Who on the team…
Is the strongest (pound-for-pound):    Peel    
Is the fastest on skates:            Balch
Has the hardest shot:            Matczak
Is the best fore-checker:            Jaskowiak
Is the best passer:            Miller

Which teammate is…
The best singer:                Anderson        
Has the most unique hobby (what is it):    O'Neill    (community theater)
Has best sense of humor:            O'Neill
Has the biggest appetite:            Peel
Most soft spoken:            Dueck
Most talkative:                Kearney
Want your sister to date:            Dueck
Best dresser:                Kearney
Likely to become a head hockey coach:    Rondeau

The pay-per-view Yale home hockey "TV" broadcasts on are a Yale Athletic Department production that employs students to produce, shoot and broadcast most of 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 as well as an interview with Coach Allain.

The Feb. 5 Dartmouth game airs live on the YES Network as part of the winter Yale on YES package. This is the first time the Yale hockey team will appear on YES, the network available in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania on cable, DirecTV, AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS. The home of the New York Yankees and New Jersey Nets is also available nationally on DirecTV, AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS and select cable operators.
The Dec. 5 game against Union aired live on ESPNU with Barry Melrose and E.J. Hradek calling the action. It was the first of two Yale games on ESPNU this season. The Feb. 20 game at Princeton is also on ESPNU.  The Union game was Yale's third on the tube this season. The first was Nov. 19 at Cornell on CBS College Sports followed by a Nov. 20 game at Colgate on Time Warner Cable.
The Yale student radio station formerly found on AM-1340 and on, is only availabe via internet this season. WYBC does most of the home contests and a pre-game interview with Coach Allain.
Yale hockey 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.
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 3 and 6:30 with a 6:30 p.m. championship contest on the 26th.
For the fifth straight week, Yale has the nation's top ranked men's college hockey team. The Bulldogs received all 34 first-place votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and 45 of 50 in the poll. North Dakota, Boston College, New Hampshire, Minnesota-Duluth and Denver round out the top six on both lists. The Fighting Sioux and Eagles were the other schools to earn first-place tallies in the poll.

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director