Bulldogs Take on Union, RPI in New York
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – ECAC Hockey's capitol district trip has become one of the toughest in the conference, especially with both teams earning national rankings and producing impressive numbers. The top ranked Yale men's hockey team (17-2, 11-1 ECAC), holding a slim lead atop the conference standings, travels to No. 12/13Union (16-7-3, 8-3-1) and No. 10 Rensselaer (15-6-3, 7-5) this Friday and Saturday nights for a pair of 7:00 puck drops.
The Elis have a 21-14-3 lead in a series that began in 1991-92, the year Union replaced Army in ECAC Hockey. The Dutchmen earned a 3-3 tie in the last meeting at Schenectady, but the Blue has taken the last two games at Ingalls. It was the battle of the top ranked offense vs. the nation's best defense on ESPNU when they last met on Dec. 5 at Ingalls. Yale won 5-0 as Ryan Rondeau stopped 30 shots and the Elis had two goals from Chris Cahill. Brian O'Neill, Nick Jaskowiak and Kevin Limbert had the other tallies.
The Bulldogs and Engineers first played in 1908-09 and RPI has a 49-38-6 lead. Yale won the last meeting at New Haven last month but lost both games last winter. The Bulldogs took the game at the Whale 4-2 despite a season-low 24 shots on goal in a battle of ranked teams. Andrew Miller's third-period power-play goal broke a 2-2 tie. Broc Little, Chris Cahill and Jeff Anderson had the other tallies as the Bulldogs used eight RPI infractions to notch two of its four goals. Yale won the defensive battle by allowing just 17 shots on target and preventing a power-play score out of five chances. Ryan Rondeau stopped 15 shots for the Blue.
Five different Yale players found the net as the Elis combined to outshoot its North Country opponents 69-52. The Blue, which needed three goals in the third period of both games, beat Clarkson 5-2 before getting past St. Lawrence 4-1. Yale managed to score nine goals despite scoring once on 14 advantages during a pair of sold-out games at Ingalls Rink. Ryan Rondeau stopped 49 of 52 shots while Kenny Agostino (3 goals) and Chris Cahill (2-3-5) led the Yale offense.
Union, which has non-league wins over Minnesota and Alaska-Anchorage, has won five of its last six after splitting a home weekend with the Crimson (win) and Big Green (loss). The Dutchmen have two of the league's top scoring players in Jeremy Walsh and Daniel Carr, while Keith Kinkaid is among the top ranked goalies in the country. Saturday night at Houston Field House is "Big Red Freak Out Night," and the fans in Troy have reason to freak out. Their Engineers have won three straight and four out of five, including a sweep of Dartmouth and Harvard at home last week, and had two players (Chace Polacek, Allen York) earn ECAC Hockey Awards this week.
Yale's 2010-11 start is unique. This is the first time the Elis have won their first nine conference games before taking 11 of the first 12. The Blue has not won 17 of its first 19 games since Yale ran off 16 straight wins in 1929-30 and finished 17-1-1.
Sophomore F Andrew Miller (53 gp, 10-50-60), voted "best passer" by his teammates, is No. 3 in the nation with 1.11 assists per game. What's more impressive is that 14 of his 21 assists are primary ones. He is also hitting the net when it counts this season; four of his five goals have been winners, which ranks fourth in Division I. Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), who is 12th in the nation with 1.37 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.
CAPTAIN AHAB BEWARE
The Whale (Ingalls Rink) has been a tough (12-0 for Yale) place for visitors this season, Moby Dick would be proud. This is just the fourth time (last in 2008-09) in school history that Yale has won at least a dozen at home. The Bulldogs aren't biting any legs off but they are 35-9-2 over the last three seasons at the Whale.
A year after four goalies shared the Yale net, Ryan Rondeau (Carvel, AB), one of the four in 2009-10, has started 17 of the 19 games and has twice been named ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Week. He has started the last 13 games; the last time an Eli netminder had a streak like that was 2006-06 (Alec Richards '09). Rondeau, who had a 141:29 scoreless streak and consecutive shutouts (first time for a Yalie since 1998) in December, is 16-1. He ranks third in GAA (1.80) and sixth in SP (.932) in Division I. Ten of the 30 goals he has allowed this year came on the man-advantage. Rondeau's season-high is 32 saves (twice) while his career-high is 40 at Princeton in 2009. The senior, who owns a 22-5-1 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.
After opening the season with five straight wins, the Blue stumbled on Nov. 14 at Air Force before bouncing back with a road win at Cornell on Nov. 19. That was the first of 10 straight wins that carried through to the Jan. 15 victory over Brown at Ingalls. Division I's longest win streak this year came to an end the next day at Brown.
Denny Kearney (Hanover, NH) is fourth on the team with 10 goals and 24 points. His assist total (14) includes 11 that were primary helpers, while he ranks 24th in the country with 1.26 points per game. Kearney 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 most prolific weekend of his collegiate career. In addition, all four assists were primary ones. Kearney (121 gp, 39-75-114), who was voted by his teammates as the "best dresser" and "most talkative" among the Bulldogs, is Yale's active career assist leader (7th best at Yale) 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.), a Hobey Baker candidate, leads the team with 13 goals and 27 points despite being kept off the board last weekend. He is eighth in the nation with .68 goals per game, seventh with 1.42 points. Little had his third career hat trick (3-1-4) against Holy Cross on Jan. 2. Eight of his 14 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 (114 gp, 66-60-126), who has 12 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, including RBK Second-Team All-America, first-team All-ECAC, All-Ivy and All-New England. Little, a political science major, has shown the same dedication in the classroom with a 3.1 GPA and three-time ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team status.
Senior Yale hockey forwards Broc Little (Rindge, N.H.) and Denny Kearney (Hanover, N.H.) have been nominated for the 2011 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. The first phase of the process includes fan voting. Go to hobeybakeraward.com and make your choice once every 24 hours. The results of the fan voting will impact the final selection process.
Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, is 89-51-12 as a head coach, including 9-7 in the post season. Only two 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.
"We are excited to play at two great hockey venues against a pair of very good teams this weekend. We played tight, hard-fought games against both RPI and Union at Ingalls Rink last month and I expect the same this week."
Keith Allain served as head coach of the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team and led the squad to a bronze medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y. The U.S., which won all but its semifinal game, defeated Sweden to take the bronze on Jan. 5. Allain, who helped the U.S. National Junior Team win a second straight medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship for the first time, owns a 13-4-2 overall record as a head coach in the event, giving him the top winning percentage (.736) of any U.S. head coach to have served on multiple teams. Allain was joined on the U.S. team by Yale's hockey strength & conditioning coach Joe Maher. Kyle Wallack, Yale's fifth-year assistant who is in his first season as associate head coach, served as Yale's head coach in Allain's absence.
Captain Jimmy Martin (St. Louis, Mo.) is a defensive defenseman who has turned himself into a player with offensive potential. He had an assist in both games last week and now has six goals and 45 career points, including a career-best two goals and 17 assists last winter. Martin, who attended three different high schools in three states before coming to New Haven, is a political science major who helped the Des Moines Buccaneers make it to the 2007 USHL final four.
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.
ENGINE NO. 9
Junior F Brian O'Neill (86gp, 40-56-96), who has goals in four straight outings, is second on the team with 12 goals and ranks 11th nationally with .63. 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. 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.
Three seniors, two juniors and a sophomore comprise the typical Yale defensive lineup this season. These six players, who have seven goals between them in 2010-11, have a combined 474 career games played. Mike Matczak (Sewell, N.J.) was the only Yale blueliner to hit the net (vs. SLU) last weekend.
Chris Cahill (North Andover, Mass.) entered the season with 16 goals in three collegiate seasons. He already has 11 this winter, including four different two-goal games and a three three-point outings. Cahill, 14th in Division I with .61 goals per game, 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 third on the team in goals with career numbers of 27 goals and 66 points in 109 games.
Yale freshman forward Kenny Agostino was named ECAC Hockey MLX Skates Rookie of the Week after hitting the net three times last weekend in a pair of wins last weekend. The Flanders, N.J., native scored the game-winner against Clarkson on Jan. 21 before notching a pair against St. Lawrence on Jan. 22. He is the first Bulldog to earn conference rookie honors this season. Agostino, the hottest hand on the nation's top ranked team, has seven goals over his last seven games. His transition from first half of rookie season to now has helped the Bulldogs win 17 of 19 games. The former Delbarton School star had a goal and three assists before the holiday break, and has seven goals and four assists since. The leading scorer (8-7-15) among Yale freshmen, Agostino became the first Yale newcomer in 30 years to record five points in one game on Jan. 2. 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 school rookie record against Dartmouth in 1980.
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.), who has been fighting injuries, has an assist in two games played, while F Brad Peltz (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) is looking for his first regular season action. Agostino (2), Root and Peltz combined for four of Yale's five goals in the win over the Russian Red Stars. Agostino tied a school rookie record with five (3-2) points against Holy Cross.
RED LIGHT DISTRICT
The Bulldogs have 91 goals and are No. 1 in the nation with a 4.79 average. They scored 10 against the Crusaders and had seven goals twice, six once and five on seven 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.
FROM WHENCE THEY CAME
Northeast prep schools and the United States Hockey League each contributed nine players to the Bulldog roster. Six former British Columbia 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 18 of 19 opponents (by 192 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.
A CLASS OF ITS OWN
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 76 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, is the first at Yale to have four winning seasons since the Class of 1954.
Eight members of the senior class have accounted for 43 goals. The juniors (6) have hit the net 24 times. Yale sophomores (4) have tallied 10 goals, while the freshmen (4) have added 12. Bulldog defensemen have hit the net seven times.
Yale had four shorthanded goals last year and led the nation with nine the year before. The Bulldogs' first goal of 2010-11 was shorthanded by Broc Little, the school's career leader with seven, but the team has not done that since.
RPI asked Yale to wear its home white jerseys for Saturday's Big Red Freak Out Night, so the Elis will wear them both nights this weekend… This is the 10th campaign a Yale hockey team has won 17 games or more… Yale has the top (.895) winning percentage in Division I hockey… The defense (2.05) and power play (24.1) rank third in the nation…The Elis are 5-1 in Ivy League games and have a two-point lead over 4-1 Dartmouth… The Bulldogs are 12-0 at home and are averaging 3,280 (3,500 capacity) at Ingalls Rink… The average attendance at a Yale road game is 3,280… The Blue has three NHL draft picks on the roster: Kenny Agostino (Penguins), Gus Young (Avalanche) and Brad Peltz (Senators).
The Blue is home next weekend to host Harvard and Dartmouth in a pair of 7 p.m. games on Alumni Weekend. The annual alumni game is 9:30 AM on Feb. 5.
BULLDOGS IN THE PROS
This season, for the first time ever, two former Yale players skated on the same National Hockey League team. Chris Higgins '05 and Joe Callahan '05 are both on the Florida Panthers' roster, though Higgins is currently injured. They played in the same game twice in November. Thirteen former Yale players are skating professionally this winter: Sean Backman '10 (Texas Stars, AHL, 33 GP, 5-8-13 ), Ryan Donald '10 (Reading Royals, ECHL), Mark Arcobello '10 (Oklahoma City Barons, AHL), Alec Richards '09 (Rockford Icehogs, AHL, 24 gp, 56 GA, 2 SO, 2.64 GAA, 9-11-1, .907 save percentage), 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, 34 GP, 8-8-16), Joe Callahan '05 (Florida Panthers, NHL; Rochester Americans, AHL), Stacey Bauman '03 (Tulsa Oilers, CHL), Jeff Hamilton '01 (HIFK Helsinki, FNL), Ray Giroux '98 (Chelyabinsk Traktor, KHL).
IN THE POLLS
Yale has been Division I's top ranked squad the last two months. The Bulldogs made it an eighth straight week on Monday when the USCHO.com and USA Today/American Hockey Magazine polls were released. The Blue earned 46 of 50 USCHO.com first-place votes, while No. 2 Boston College had the other four. Yale, one of five ECAC teams in the Top 20 poll, became No. 1 in December, the first time in program history. Yale was the unanimous choice in the USA Today poll, taking all 34 first-place votes. RPI and Union are the other ECAC squads on that top 15 list.Boston College was No. 2 in both polls, while Denver jumped over North Dakota for No. 3 in the rankings.
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 HOCKEY BROADCASTS
The pay-per-view Yale home hockey "TV" broadcasts on yalebulldogs.com 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 calls for the Elis as well as an interview with Coach Allain.
YALE ON YES
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. Encore airings of the Yale on YES will be Feb. 5 at 11:30 p.m. and Feb. 6 at 5 p.m.
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. Both games this weekend are slated for TWC.
The Yale student radio station formerly found on AM-1340 and on wybc.com, is only available via internet this season. WYBC does most of the home contests and a pre-game interview with Coach Allain.
NCAAS BACK AT BRIDGEPORT
Yale and Fairfield hosted the 2009 East Regional in Bridgeport at Webster Bank's Arena at Harbor Yard, and the Bulldogs were one of the four teams to participate. The 2011 and 2012 East Regionals are also slated for the Yard. 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.
Yale, winners of the last two conference regular season titles, has a five-point lead over second-place Union with a full ECAC schedule on tap for this weekend.
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director