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Bulldogs Host SLU in ECAC Series

Bulldogs Host SLU in ECAC Series

No. 2 Seed Takes on No. 11 Saints This Weekend

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's hockey team (23-5-1, 17-4-1 ECAC), which earned a bye in the first round of the ECAC Hockey Playoffs as the No. 2 seed, hosts  No. 11 St. Lawrence (12-20-5, 6-15-1) this weekend in a best-of-three quarterfinal series. Game one is Friday, March 11, followed by Saturday night's second contest. The third game, if necessary, is Sunday. All opening faceoffs are 7:00 at Ingalls Rink.  The Bulldogs are ranked No. 1 in the PairWise System and No. 3 in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and polls.

All of the series can be seen live on America One (formerly, a pay-per-view stream that uses the home school's broadcast team to provide audio. Ron Vaccaro '04 and Evan Ellis '11 will call the action. Season subscriptions to Yale's All Access on do not apply to the post season.  

The winner of two games advances to the ECAC Hockey Championship weekend semifinals at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. There are no ties; all games even after regulation include 20-minute overtime periods until there is a winner.

The Blue has played 66 ECAC Playoff contests since the first in 1967 and are 18-43-5 overall. Yale, winners of five of its last seven conference playoff games, lost two of three to Brown a year ago in the quarterfinals. The Elis entered that series with a school-record four-game win streak in ECAC post-season play, which included their only ECAC Tournament Championship in 2008-09. Yale has hosted the ECAC Quarterfinals eight times (last 3 years) and are 8-6-3 in those games while advancing to the conference championship weekend four times. The Blue played in two ECAC championship weekends at the Boston Garden in the 1980s, skated at Lake Placid in 1998 and won the title at Albany in 2009.

Yale and St. Lawrence split the last two regular-season series and are 3-3-1 over the last seven. The Saints have a 54-26-8 overall lead and a 6-4-2 advantage on Yale in ECAC playoff games, though the Elis are 3-2-2 in quarterfinal series.

GAME 1: Kenny Agostino had two goals as Yale beat St. Lawrence 4-1on Jan. 22 at the Whale. Ryan Rondeau stopped 28 of 29 shots and his defensive mates blanked a solid Saints' offense for just over 58 minutes. Rondeau, who made a dozen saves in the first, stopped all four SLU advantages and knocked aside numerous grade-A chances to prevent the visitors from taking the game's first goal. The Blue outshot SLU 36-29 and kept freshman goalie Matt Weninger (32 saves) very busy. He prevented the Elis from hitting the net on six of seven power plays and picked a number of pucks headed for the corners out of the air. In addition to Agostino, Mike Matczak and Brian O'Neill tallied while Chris Cahill and Brendan Mason each had two assists.
GAME 2: Yale fell out of first place in the ECAC standings for good after falling 3-2 at Canton on Feb. 11 despite outshooting the Saints 33-24. Andrew Miller and Antoine Laganiere found the net for the Bulldogs while Ryan Rondeau made 21 saves. St. Lawrence got 31 saves from Robby Moss, who helped the Saints kill off all four Yale advantages.

St. Lawrence entered last weekend's best-of-three first round playoff series at Princeton with three straight losses to finish off the regular season. The Saints dropped the first to the Tigers and then won two straight one-goal contests to end the Princeton season at Baker Rink. The Tigers outshot the visitors 49-17 in the finale but Matt Weninger (2.51, .916, 6-13-3) made 48 saves while freshman scoring sensation Greg Carey (21-16-37) and Kyle Essery (6-2-8) scored goals. Kyle Flanagan (11-22-33) and Aaron Bogosian (13-12-25) are the other top scorers for the North Country squad led by Joe Marsh, in his 26th season at Canton.

It came down to overtime at Houston Field House in Troy where RPI was hosting Colgate in game three on Sunday night. If RPI had scored, Harvard would head to New Haven for the quarterfinal series. Instead, the Raiders pulled out the 2-1 double OT win, sending SLU to the Whale. Here are the other matchups:

No. 12 Colgate at No. 1 Union
No. 10 Harvard at No. 3 Dartmouth
No. 8 Quinnipiac at No. 4 Cornell

The Elis grabbed three points on the last weekend of the regular season by skating to a 1-1 tie with Colgate before beating Cornell 4-1. Yale outshot the two 82-51 while scoring four of its five goals in the second period. Andrew Miller had three of those goals, but he has his teammates went 1-for-11 with the man-advantage. The Blue did manage an amazing 19 shots on goal during those power plays, while its penalty kill was perfect on seven attempts. Ryan Rondeau stopped 49 of 51 shots including a variety of grade-A chances that could have changed the games.

Yale broke open a scoreless game with three second-period goals en route to a 4-1 win over Cornell before a packed Whale on Feb. 26. Andrew Miller scored twice, Clinton Bourbonais and Broc Little also hit the net and Kenny Agostino added two assists as the Blue outshot the Red 42-19. "I thought we controlled the play for most of the game," said Little, one of nine seniors playing his final regular season home game. "It's been a while since we put a full 60 minutes together. We knew we were playing our game and knew the goals would come." The Yale power play was clicking, and producing plenty of shots (8 on goal), but the Elis only converted one of seven. Fortunately for the home team, its penalty-kill was very effective in killing off all four Big Red attempts. Ryan Rondeau made only 18 saves, but he needed to come up with a number of quality stops to get Yale its 23rd win of the year. At the other end, Michael Garman (38 saves) stood on his head for the first half of the game until the Blue finally blasted through. Without his solid play, this could have been a blowout.

Yale outshot Colgate 40-32 but had to settle for a 1-1 tie before a sold-out Ingalls Rink on Feb. 25. This was a classic battle of veteran vs. newcomer in the nets. Yale senior Ryan Rondeau stopped 31 shots and stood on his head at times to keep the Elis unbeaten at home. Eric Mihalik, a freshman, turned aside 39 shots, including 22 over the third period and overtime combined. The defense played especially well. They blocked a lot of shots and nobody panicked. They played solid in front of the net," said Rondeau, who had 13 saves in the third, including a few heart-stoppers. Both goals came in the second off the sticks of Yale's Andrew Miller and Austin Mayer of Colgate. The teams were blanked on a combined seven power plays.

Yale's 35 ECAC points tie the school record established by the 1997-98 Bulldogs, who won the regular season title, lost in the conference semifinals at Lake Placid and then fell to Ohio State in the NCAA West Regional at Ann Arbor.

The 23 wins are one shy of the school record set by the 2008-09 Elis who went 24-8-3 while winning the ECAC regular season and tournament titles before falling to Vermont at the NCAA East Regional at Bridgeport. Yale's 17 ECAC wins equal the record reached by the 1997-98 team with an identical 17-4-1 mark.

The NCAA's power ranking system used to compare teams for tournament time is called Pairwise. It uses four criteria: record against common opponents, head-to-head competition, record against other teams under consideration and the RPI ranking. Yale is currently first with 29 points followed by Boston College (28) and North Dakota (27).

The Elis almost went the entire regular season without seeing overtime or a tie. The 1-1 decision with Colgate on Feb. 25 was the first OT game and tie of the 2010-11 season. The last time Yale went without a tie was the 2003-04 campaign; the Blue last went a season without OT in 1967-68.

The Bulldogs are not looking past the conference playoffs, but the governor of Minnesota might be. Mark Dayton '69, former Yale hockey goalie and two-year letterman, would love to see his alma mater in St. Paul's Xcel Engergy Center for April's Frozen Four… assuming one of the home state schools also advances. Former Yale player Jack Dalrymple '70 (lettered in 1968) might also have a two-team rooting interest as governor of North Dakota.

Six members of ECAC Hockey compete for the Ivy League's Hobey Baker Trophy, which is all that is on the line in this race. Yale won its third straight Ivy title by going 9-1 and earning 18 points. Dartmouth was second with 13 points.
Sophomore F Andrew Miller (63 gp, 16-56-72), voted "best passer" by his teammates, is No. 5 in the nation with .93 assists per game (tops in ECAC). More impressive is that 17 of his 27 assists are primary ones. He is also hitting the net when it counts this season; four of his eight goals have been winners, which ranks 12th in Division I. He probably had his best offensive weekend as a collegian on Feb. 25-26 when he hit the net three times against Colgate/Cornell combined. Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), who is 13th in the nation with 1.31 points per contest, registered the most (34 last year) 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.

The Whale (Ingalls Rink) has been a tough place for visitors this season, Moby Dick would be proud. Yale, 15-0-1 at Ingalls and the only Division I team undefeated at home, has never won that many games in a season at New Haven. Yale, which has never been undefeated at Ingalls in a year, last went unbeaten at New Haven in 1928-29. The Bulldogs aren't biting any legs off, but they are 38-9-3 over the last three seasons at the Whale. Yale, 10-9-3 in home ECAC playoff games, has sold out its last 12 straight home games.

Junior F Brian O'Neill (96gp, 45-63-109), who has points in seven straight games, leads the Blue with 17 goals. That includes a career-high three goals at Clarkson on Feb. 12. He ranks 13th nationally with .59 goals per game and is 20th with 1.28 points (3rd in ECAC in both categories). O'Neill began 2010-11 with a 3-2-5 weekend in the two wins including 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. 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.

A year after four goalies shared the Yale net, Ryan Rondeau (Carvel, AB) has started 27 of the 29 games and has been named ECAC Hockey MLX Skates Goalie of the Week three times this year. He has three shutouts this season (and career): vs. Harvard (season-high 34 saves), Union and Vermont. Rondeau had a 141:29 scoreless streak and consecutive shutouts (first time for a Yalie since 1998) in December. His 22 wins this year are a school record. He ranks third in GAA (1.97) and third in SP (.928) in Division I (3rd in both among ECAC goalies). Rondeau's career-high is 40 saves at Princeton in 2009. The senior, who owns a 27-8-1 career record, has been in net for seven wins over ranked teams including a 3-2 decision with North Dakota at the 2010 NCAA Northeast Regional semifinal.
Denny Kearney (Hanover, NH) is third on the team with 13 goals and fourth with 30 points. His assist total (17) includes 12 that were primary helpers. Kearney notched eight points 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 (131 gp, 42-78-120), who was voted by his teammates as the "best dresser" and "most talkative" among the Bulldogs, is Yale's active career assist leader (5th best at Yale) and is ninth in points and third in career games played. However, he 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.) is second on the team with 15 goals and 32 points. Little, sixth on Yale's career goals list, had his third career hat trick (3-1-4) against Holy Cross on Jan. 2. Ten of his 17 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 (123 gp, 68-63-131), who has eight 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.

Chris Cahill, Broc Little and Denny Kearney are all among the 15 semifinalists for the 59th annual Walter Brown Award given to the top American born Division I player in New England by the Gridiron Club of Boston each March. A Yale player has never won the award.

Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, is 94-54-13 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 90-win mark faster than Allain. The former Yale goalie has led the Blue to three Ivy League titles, two ECAC regular season championships, three straight 20-win campaigns 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 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.  

Yale is 3-2 vs. ranked teams this year. The Elis beat Union, RPI and Dartmouth at home while falling to the Dutchmen and Engineers on the road. The Blue is 6-2 vs. teams currently ranked in the poll.

The Bulldogs have 124 goals and are No. 1 in the nation with a 4.28 average after 29 games. Yale hit the 100-goal mark after 23 games. The Blue scored 10 against the Crusaders and had seven goals twice, six three times and five on eight occasions this year. Yale led the nation in scoring in 2009-10 and hit the 100 mark in game No. 25. The school record is 160 goals by the 1985-86, a squad that went 20-10 and lost an ECAC semifinal in OT to Cornell at Boston Garden.

Captain Jimmy Martin (St. Louis, Mo.) is a defensive defenseman who has turned himself into a player with offensive potential. He has points in six of his last nine games. His five goals this year are a career-high. He now has nine goals and 51 career points which rank ninth at Yale. 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 (16 gp, 2.89, .888, 7-4-2) played the last period against Holy Cross (5 saves) and some of the third at RPI. Maricic has not had a start this winter.
Three seniors, two juniors and a sophomore comprise the typical Yale defensive lineup this season. These six players, who have 12 goals between them in 2010-11, have a combined 527 career games played. Two seniors with 30 points combined, Jimmy Martin and Mike Matczak (Sewell, N.J.), have produced seven goals this season. Martin and Ken Trentowski (Ronkonkoma, NY) scored goals at Quinnipiac.
Chris Cahill (North Andover, Mass.) is enjoying his best collegiate season on offense with a career-high 12 goals and 29 points, including four different two-goal games and a trio of three-point outings. None of his goals were bigger than the one he scored to win the Feb. 20 game at Princeton with less than two minutes left. Cahill was named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week on Dec. 6 after leading Yale to a pair of wins over nationally ranked teams with three goals and four points. The senior forward is fourth on the team in goals and has career numbers of 28 goals and 70 points in 119 games.

Yale freshman forward Kenny Agostino, named HCA National Rookie of the Month for January (8-4-12), is the first Yale freshman to receive that award. He was ECAC Hockey MLX Skates Rookie of the Week on Jan. 23 (3 goals vs. Clarkson/SLU), becoming the only Bulldog to earn conference rookie honors this season. The former Delbarton School star had a goal and three assists before the holiday break, and has nine goals and 10 assists since. The leading scorer (10-13-23) among Yale freshmen, he ranks eighth nationally among rookies with .96 points per game.  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 three 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 Dec. 29 win over the Russian Red Stars. Agostino tied a school rookie record with five (3-2) points against Holy Cross.
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 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 26 of 29 opponents (by 281 combined) this year after having the advantage in 26 of the 34 games last year. Vermont (32-30), Union (34-30) and Princeton (40-32) are the only squads to outshoot the Blue this season. Vermont was the only team to outshot the Blue at Ingalls.

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.

Yale's streak of 57 straight ECAC games without consecutive losses came to an end during the Union/RPI trip in late January.

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 84 victories, surpassing the total (72) 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 55 goals. The juniors (6) have hit the net 37 times. Yale sophomores (4) have tallied 17 goals, while the freshmen (4) have added 15. Bulldog defensemen have hit the net 12 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 gone 15 games without another. Chris Cahill hit the net down a man against Clarkson at home. The Elis tripled their season output on the Quinnipiac-Princeton road trip with shorthanders by Kevin Limbert, Denny Kearney, Andrew Miller and Charles Brockett. Notre Dame leads the nation with 12 SHG.  

Jimmy Martin and Denny Kearney tied the school record with 131 career games played… Four of the five goals scored the last weekend of the regular season came in the second period… active scoring leaders vs. series opponent?

The Blue either heads to Atlantic City for the ECAC Championship Weekend or waits for the March 20 NCAA selection show to see if they are in the 16-team national tournament.

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 have been on the Florida Panthers' roster at times. They played in the same game again on Feb. 13 and Higgins had a goal that night against the Sharks. In other alumni news, Mark Arcobello '10 was named MVP of January's ECHL All-Star Game after netting three goals. Fourteen former Yale players are skating professionally this winter: Sean Backman '10 (Texas Stars, AHL, 46 GP, 6-10-16 ), Ryan Donald '10 (Reading Royals, ECHL), Mark Arcobello '10 (Oklahoma City Barons, AHL), Thomas Dignard '10 (Tulsa Oilers, CHL), Alec Richards '09 (Rockford Icehogs, AHL, 78 GA, 2 SO, 2.63, 11-18-1, .906), Brennan Turner '09 (Binghamton Senators, AHL), 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, 45 GP, 10-11-21), 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).
The pay-per-view Yale home regular season 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 calls for the Elis as well as an interview with Coach Allain.

Yale has been on TV seven times this season. The Dec. 5 game against Union and the Feb. 20 contest at Princeton aired live on ESPNU.  The YES Network aired the Feb. 5 Dartmouth game. The Elis have also been on CBS College Sports (at Cornell) and Time Warner Cable (at Colgate, Union and RPI).
The Yale student radio station formerly found on AM-1340 and on, is only available 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 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.


filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director