Yale Has 2 Games Before ECAC Slate Back
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A roller coaster first segment of the 2011-12 campaign has been completed, and the Yale men's hockey team has two contests to prepare itself for the stretch run of conference play. The No. 19 Bulldogs host the Russian Red Stars (7 p.m.) on Dec. 28 before Bentley comes to Ingalls on New Year's Day for a 4 p.m. game. Both games can be seen live on yalebulldogs.com.
This is the second meeting of Yale and the Red Stars, the Blue took last year's game, 5-3, at the Whale. Yale and Bentley meet for the first time on Jan. 1.
The Red Stars outshot the Bulldogs 38-30, but the stat that counted the most favored Yale 5-3 before a sellout crowd at New Haven last December. The Elis used all three goals while Kenny Agostino scored twice and three other (Brad Peltz, Jesse Root, Antoine Laganiere) teammates found the net.
Branden Gracel broke a 1-1 tie midway through the third period that sent Massachusetts to a 3-1 win over Yale before 2,473 at the Mullins Center on Dec. 7. The Bulldogs had plenty of chances to distance themselves from the Minutemen, but going 1-for-6 with the advantage was just too much for Yale goalie Jeff Malcolm (Lethbridge, AB) to overcome. He made 30 saves and stopped all four power plays, including a number of grade-A chances, and deserved a better fate than a second straight loss. Sophomore defenseman Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.) had the Yale tally, the first of his collegiate career. UMass (5-7-4) outshot the Blue 33-27 and erased a one-goal deficit with the game's last three tallies, while freshman goalie Kevin Boyle made 26 saves. Ten of those saves came with his team down a man, which ended up being the difference.
The Red Stars are an all-star team of 25 players, ages 19 to 21, from the 51-team Junior Hockey League (MHL). The league is the younger brother of the KHL, the professional hockey league in Russia. Current players Nail Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko have been mentioned as potential early NHL draft selections. The Red Stars will get tested on a grueling eight-game swing through the U.S that includes North Dakota (12/17), Vermont (12/27), Northern Michigan (12/30), Notre Dame (1/3), UMass-Lowell (1/5) and two NAHL teams. The MHL, with more than 2,000 players, is in its third year of existence and is the first junior hockey league that unites Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia.
Bentley College, located 10 miles outside of Boston in Waltham, has a Division II athletic program except for hockey. The Falcons, one of the original six of Atlantic Hockey, are 5-8-3 after beating UConn 4-2 on Dec. 9 and are 1-2-2 over their last five outings. Brett Hartung leads Bentley with five goals and nine points while Justin Breton had a goal and seven points. Brandon Komm (2.24, .934) has all but two decisions in net for the Falcons.
Yale's combined special teams rank No. 1 in Division I at 60.6 percent. The Bulldog penalty-kill is second (93.9), while only two teams have been penalized less than the Bulldogs. The Elis' power play unit is second (28.0) and trails only Harvard (32.1), while Yale's scoring defense is 30th (2.83) and scoring offense 23rd (3.08). In the polls, the Blue is 19th in the uscho.com Division I list (received one vote for the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll).
Yale (8 points) is fourth in ECAC Hockey after playing six games. First-place Cornell has 13 points in eight games, Colgate is second with 12 points after eight contests and Quinnipiac as nine points in 10. Yale's next league game is Jan. 6 at home against Quinnipiac. The Blue finished second to Union in the standings last winter.
Junior F Antoine Laganiere (Ile Cadieux, Que.) is the hottest Bulldog over the last three games with three goals and six points. His five goals share the team lead while the 10 points are a close second. Laganiere, who leads the team with 41 shots taken, had a career-high four points (2-2) at Brown on Dec. 3, matching his best goal outing (at Princeton, 2009-10).
MALCOLM IN MIDDLE
Junior Jeff Malcolm has started every game this season and has all six wins. He had a shutout streak of three (Colgate, RPI, Union) games and 226:39 minutes (parts of 5 games) in November and was named ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Week after stopping all 72 shots in wins at No. 8 Union and RPI on Nov. 11-12. The three straight SHOs tied the school record set by Ryan Rondeau '11 last winter. His scoreless streak fell short of the 240:53 by Rondeau. His career record is 12-9-1 with a 2.85 GAA and three shutouts. Malcolm has a 2.50 GAA (29th in Division I) with a .925 SP (15th) this year.
Junior F Andrew Miller (81 gp, 19-69-88) is one of college hockey's premier offensive catalysts. Not known for his goal scoring, Miller, who leads the team with seven helpers and is 10th on the school's career assist list, is best at creating space, setting up teammates and winning draws. Miller, a 2010-11 first-team All-ECAC pick, was voted "best passer" by his teammates last season while he had 12-33-45. He was No. 4 in the nation with .97 assists per game (tops in ECAC). More impressive is that 22 of his 33 assists were primary ones. His team-high 33 helpers (2nd best at Yale and five behind Mark Kaufmann '93) were a sophomore school record while 45 points were second on the team. 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.), was 12th in the nation with 1.29 points per contest and registered the most (34 as a freshman) 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. In 2009-10 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 that year with .85 assists per outing.
Yale's captain, Brian O'Neill (115 gp, 53-75-128), leads the squad with five goals and 11 points and jumped over Sean Backman '10 into ninth place on Yale's career points list with 128. O'Neill is 11th on the career goals list (2nd among active ECAC players) and eighth in assists. He was a 2010-11 first-team All-ECAC selection and has led the team in scoring the last two seasons. His best night was a hat trick at Clarkson on Feb. 12, 2011. He ranked 15th nationally with 1.29 points per game last year. He 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. The year before, he led the Elis with 29 assists and 45 points while ranking seventh in the country with 1.32 PPG. O'Neill (Yardley, Pa.) made the 2008-09 CHN and ECAC Hockey All-Rookie teams after going 12-14-26.
Junior Nick Maricic (Alta Loma, Calif.) saw his first action of the year at SHU but has not made a start this season. Maricic owns a 2.89 career GAA and an .885 SP. Freshman Connor Wilson (Cary, NC) is looking for his first opportunity.
There are seven defensemen on the Yale roster: two seniors, a junior, a sophomore and three freshmen. They have combined to score six goals while allowing 34 in 12 games. Two of the newcomers, Tommy Fallen (Plymouth, Minn.) and Matt Killian (Basking Ridge, NJ) scored goals against SHU. Three of the seven have a depth of experience. Seniors Kevin Peel (Onoway, Alb.) and Nick Jaskowiak (Bloomington, Minn.) have been regulars since arriving in New Haven. Junior Colin Dueck (Calgary, Alb.) became a mainstay last winter and sophomore Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.) has seen action in every game this season.
Yale sophomore forward Kenny Agostino (Flanders, NJ) was named to the 30-man U.S. National Junior Team's preliminary roster on Dec. 6. Agostino, one of three ECAC Hockey players on the list, is one of 17 forwards selected. The final, 22-man roster will be announced on Dec. 22. Agostino, who missed the last three games with an injury, has goals in his last three games. His best game this year was 2-2-4 vs. UConn. Agostino became the first Yale newcomer in 30 years to record five points in one game on Jan. 2, 2011. 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. Yale's rookie of the year last winter after scoring 11 goals and 25 points, Agostino was the HCA National Rookie of the Month for January (8-4-12), the first Bulldog 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 in 2010-11. The former Delbarton School star had a goal and three assists before the holiday break, and 10 goals and 11 assists after. He ranked 11th nationally among rookies with .86 points per game.
Senior F Dan Otto (Lake Zurich, Ill.) notched his first two collegiate goals at Union on Nov. 12 after battling injuries the last three years that prevented him from playing a regular season contest. Otto (2-0-2) has played in every game this year and has the top shooting percentage (.333) with two goals on six shots.
Yale split the season series with Brown for the second straight year… Brian O"Neill and Antoine Laganiere each scored four of their five goals on the man-advantage... Andrew Miller had the best day for a Bulldog in the faceoff circle when he won 17 of 25 draws on Nov. 5 in a 2-0 win over Colgate... There are four Bulldogs with more than 100 career games played: Brian O'Neill, Charles Brockett, Kevin Limbert and Kevin Peel.
BEHIND THE BENCH
Assistant coach Dan Muse is in his third season season under Keith Allain. He joined the Bulldog staff when C.J. Marottolo left to take the top job at Sacred Heart. Former University of New Hampshire star Eric Lind has been with Allain every season at Yale. There is one new face on the Yale bench this season, Dennis "Red" Gendron, who replaced Kyle Wallack as the Bulldogs' associate head coach. Gendron, an assistant at the University of Massachusetts the last six seasons and a former University of Maine coach from 1990 to 1993, helped the Black Bears win a 1993 NCAA Championship.
The Elis are back in ECAC play with Quinnipiac and Princeton coming to Ingalls on Jan. 6 and 7.
The Yale roster includes players from 13 different states and three provinces. New York and Minnesota are represented by three players from each state while Alberta brings in four players.
FROM WHENCE THEY CAME
The United States Hockey League contributed 10 players to the Bulldog roster. There are four from the British Columbia Hockey League, one from the Atlantic Junior Hockey League and another from the Eastern Junior Hockey League. Ten Yale student-athletes came directly from prep schools.
BULLDOGS IN THE PROS
There are 23 former Yale hockey players skating professionally, including eight from the class of 2011. Here are the Bulldog pros, youngest to oldest:
Chris Cahill '11 (Cincinnati Cyclones, ECHL)
Denny Kearney '11 (Trenton Titans, ECHL)
Broc Little '11 (HockeyAllsvenskan, VIK Västerås HK, Sweden)
Jimmy Martin '11 (Florida Everblades, ECHL)
Brendon Mason '11 (Nybro Vikings, Sweden)
Mike Matczak '11 (Kalamazoo Wings, ECHL)
Ryan Rondeau '11 (Laredo Buck, CHL)
Ken Trentowski '11 (Brooklyn Aviators, FHL)
Sean Backman '10 (Bridgeport Sound Tigers, AHL)
Ryan Donald '10 (Florida Everblades, ECHL)
Mark Arcobello '10 (Oklahoma City Barons, AHL)
Billy Blase '10 (Neuilly-sur-Marne, France)
Tom Dignard (Belfast Giants, EIHL)
Alec Richards '09 (Rockford Icehogs, AHL)
Brennan Turner '09 (Dundee Stars, EIHL)
David Meckler '09 (Manchester Monarchs, AHL)
Blair Yaworski '08 (Utah Grizzlies, ECHL)
Jean-Francois Boucher (Saint-George COOL-FM, LNAH)
Matt Cohen '07 (Fife Flyers, EIHL)
Brad Mills '07 (New Jersey Devils, NHL)
Chris Higgins '05 (Vancouver Canucks, NHL)
Joe Callahan '05 (Hamilton Bulldogs, AHL)
Ray Giroux '98 (ChelyabinskTraktor, KL)
CURRENT NHL CONNECTIONS
Three players on the current Yale roster have been drafted by NHL teams: Gus Young (Colorado, 7th, 184, 2009); Kenny Agostino (Pittsburgh, 5th, 140, 2010); Brad Peltz (Ottawa, 7th, 190, 2009).
It's not fair to compare recent Yale teams to the 2011-12 Bulldogs, who lost nine standout class of 2011 players. Eight of the graduates are skating professionally. The current squad isn't lacking talent, but nobody re-loads with equal force after losing nine seniors from a championship team. There are seven seniors seeing regular duty, though one of them seeks his first varsity letter. Four of the five sophomores and five of the six juniors have been in almost every game while five freshmen have been needed to fill the largest void.
The Nov. 4 Cornell game at Ingalls was on CBS Sports Network, the first of three TV games including Yale this month. Time Warner Cable did both the Nov. 11 and 12 games at RPI and Union. Other TV games planned are Jan. 27 at Harvard (NBC Sports Ntwk), Feb. 17 Dartmouth (NBC Sports Ntwk) and Feb. 25 at Quinnipiac (SNY).
YALE HOCKEY BROADCASTS
Pay-per-view broadcasts of Yale hockey regular season home games are available on yalebulldogs.com. The Yale Athletic Department production is almost entirely student run: Sam Dorward '13 is the producer; Tom Stokes '12 and Patrick Ouziel '13 are the cameramen; Evan Ellis '12, the Voice of Yale Hockey, and Max Valenstein '13 are the broadcasters.
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.
Yale and Fairfield hosted the 2009 and 2011 NCAA East Regional Tournaments in Bridgeport at Webster Bank's Arena at Harbor Yard, and the Bulldogs participated in both. The 2012 East Regional is slated for the Yard, which has hosted numerous NCAA events.
Yale hockey celebrated the re-dedication of Ingalls Rink (3,500 capacity) on Jan. 16, 2010. The rink built in 1958 has been modernized while adding 13,000 square feet of 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 and more. There are new historical displays, concession stands and bathrooms for the building nicknamed the "Whale" because of its humpback-shaped roof.
WHALE OF A TIME
The Whale (Ingalls Rink) has been a tough place for visitors in recent years. Yale, which enjoyed its first undefeated (15-0-1, only Division I team to do that) regular season at Ingalls last winter, finished 17-1-1 at home (2-2 this year). That is the most wins ever in New Haven for a Yale team (The Blue went unbeaten at New Haven in 1928-29). The Bulldogs are 42-11-3 over the last three-plus seasons at the Whale and 12-10-3 in home ECAC playoff games all time.
Ingalls Rink was sold out for the last 12 games of the 2010-11 regular season and three (Cornell, Colgate, BC) of the first five games this season. There are tickets available for the rest of the home campaign, but only G.A. and S.R.O. tickets remain for contests with Harvard and Dartmouth.
Here are some important things to know if you are covering the Bulldogs or just working a game at Ingalls.
Interviews: Yale head coach Keith Allain and select players are available on a semi-regular basis each week at Ingalls Rink, typically Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. If you would like to attend these informal media sessions, please contact Sports Publicity Director Steve Conn.
Post-game:interviews with Yale personnel are conducted in one of the youth locker rooms at ice level on the home side of the building. Let Steve Conn know who you would like to speak with immediately after the game.
Media Gate List: Attendants stationed at the front and back of the rink have a media gate list to check off your name.
Parking: The same list is used for PARKING in the garage (entrance off Prospect Street) behind the rink.
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director