ECAC Season Begins Friday

ECAC Season Begins Friday

Blue On Road Against Dartmouth, Harvard

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 NEW HAVEN, Conn. –  The Yale men's hockey team, coming off a win and a tie at the Ivy Showcase, opens ECAC play this weekend on the road against Dartmouth and Harvard in pair of 7 p.m. games that can be seen on both school's websites.



Yale, which leads the Dartmouth series 106-87-13, had a 10-game win streak come to an end last Friday afternoon at the Showcase in a 2-2 OT tie. The 207th meeting is Friday night at Thompson Arena. There have been 235 meetings between Yale and Harvard including games in Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Philadelphia, New York City, Brooklyn, Lake Placid and New Haven. The first meeting was Feb. 26, 1900, in New York, a 5-4 Yale victory. Yale has taken five of the last seven, but Harvard leads the overall series, 136-78-18.



The season began in exciting fashion at the Ivy Showcase at Meehan Auditorium. Antoine Lagainere (Ile Cadieux, Que.) scored both goals as the Bulldogs and Dartmouth skated to a 2-2 overtime tie. Laganiere  beat Big Green goalie Cab Morris twice in the second period to erase a one-goal deficit. He had a team-high six shots on goal. Clinton Bourbonais (Dexter, Mich.), the only other Eli with a point, assisted on both Yale goals. The Blue was outshot 37-20 and got 35 saves from senior goalie Nick Maricic (Alta Loma, Calif.).  He needed 13 in the third and another five stops in the overtime to earn the draw.



The teams split the regular season encounters with the home teams winning both.  Harvard won 4-3 at Boston on Jan. 27, Yale took a 7-1 decision at New Haven on Feb. 18. The Crimson won two of three in the ECAC Quarterfinal playoff series at Boston.



Antoine Lagainere finished a three-goal opening weekend by notching the game-winner in a 3-2 decision against Princeton in game three of the 2012 Ivy Showcase at Brown's Meehan Auditorium. Laganiere used a Clinton Bourbonais clean faceoff win to get the puck past Princeton goalie Mike Condon on a low laser shot from the slot at 17:42 of the second. Yale outshot Princeton 34-27 and had two fewer penalties. The Elis got 25 saves, including a dozen in the second period, from senior Jeff Malcolm (Lethbridge, Alb.). He and his defense allowed just one power-play goal in three attempts. Jesse Root (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Kenny Agostino (Flanders, N.J.) had the other Yale tallies.



The Bulldogs begin the home schedule by hosting Clarkson and St. Lawrence in a pair of 7 p.m. games at Ingalls Rink.



Senior F Andrew Miller (106 gp, 24-92-116) is among a select group of college players who have more points than career games played heading into a final season. He has been ranked among the top 10 in Division I for assists the last three years and was voted "best passer" by his teammates the last three years. Miller, a 2010-11 first-team All-ECAC pick, had 12-33-45 that season and was fourth in the nation in assists. More impressive was that 22 of his 33 assists were primary. The 33 helpers were second best at Yale and a sophomore school record. His best offensive weekend as a collegian came in Feb. 2011 when he hit the net three times on the weekend vs. Colgate/Cornell. As a freshman, Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), was 12th in the nation in points and registered the most (34) points by a Yale rookie in 25 years. The speedy forward was the 2008-09 USA Junior Player of the Year and 2007 Michigan High School Mr. Hockey.



Senior F Antoine Laganiere (Ile Cadieux, Que.) has 13 goals over his last 12 games, including three of Yale's five scores last week at Providence. One of the most improved Bulldogs last year, he had his best year with 19 goals and 33 points. Laganiere (87 gp, 38-21-49), whose 19 goals were second on the team last season, got hot when the Blue needed it most; he had 10 goals over the final 10 games, including his first collegiate hat trick in game three of the Princeton ECAC playoff series. He scored shorthanded, on the power play and even-strength against the Tigers. He also had Yale's best weekend with five goals over three games, which earned him his first ECAC Hockey Player of the Week honor.



Yale junior forward Kenny Agostino (Flanders, NJ) has been one of the hottest Bulldogs the last two seasons. He was third with 14 goals and 34 points in 2011-12, while he earned ECAC Player of the Week honors for his three-goal, Feb. 17-18 weekend. Agostino (66 gp, 26-34-60) pulled off a rare feat last winter by scoring goals in consecutive games with under 35 seconds left in regulation, one for a win and another to send it to overtime. Agostino beat Dartmouth at Hanover with 34.8 ticks remaining, followed by a GTG against SLU with 34.2 left at home. His season-high was 2-2-4 against both UConn and Harvard at Ingalls in 2011-12. 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 in 27 years. Yale's rookie of the year in 2010-11, Agostino had 11 goals and 25 points and was the HCA National Rookie of the Month for January (8-4-12), the first Bulldog to receive that award. He was ECAC Hockey 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 Nick Maricic (Alta Loma, Calif.) got his first start and victory in a 4-2, 25-save effort against Cornell in the fourth game of his freshman season. Since then he has compiled 721 saves and 13 wins, including some big ones down the stretch last year that helped the Blue go 3-0-1 to close the regular season. He stopped 66 of 70 shots the final weekend on the road. He saved 52 of 56 shots and held Dartmouth/Harvard scoreless on 10 of 11 advantages the week before. Maricic (2.86, .901, 13-9-4), who was in net for two wins vs. Dartmouth as a junior, had a career-high 40 saves in the 2-2 tie at Quinnipiac on Feb. 25, 2012.  



Senior Jeff Malcolm (2.89, .898, 17-15-2), the Yale goalie with the most minutes and saves in 2011-12, was in net for two of the more memorable events of the season: he made 27 saves in the win over Princeton in the playoff series finale and notched a shutout streak of three (Colgate, RPI, Union) games and 226:39 minutes (parts of 5 games) in November. Malcolm (Lethbridge, Alb.) earned ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Week honors after stopping all 72 shots in wins at No. 8 Union and RPI last winter. The three straight SHOs tied the school record but fell short of the Yale record (240:53 by Ryan Rondeau '11) scoreless streak. 



There are eight defensemen on the Yale roster, including one senior, one junior three sophomores and three freshmen. Senior Colin Dueck (Calgary, Alb.) has the most experience with junior Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.) a close second. Sophomore Tommy Fallen (Plymouth, Minn) was the team's rookie of the year in 2011-12, but classmates Matt Killian (Basking Ridge, NJ) and Bennett Carroccio (Armonk, NY) also made contributions.   



Last weekend at Providence, six freshmen were in the lineup, three on defense and three at forward. The eight new Bulldogs come from five different states and one province, and bring experience from the USHL (3), EJHL (2), BCHL, AJHL and a New England prep school. They range in size from 5-foot-9 to a pair of 6-foot-4 skaters, while the average weight of the class of 2016 is just over 190 pounds. 



Yale has 11 games against opponents ranked in the Oct. 15 poll, including a January date against the defending national champion Boston College Eagles. Four teams the Elis play this season appeared in the 2012 NCAA Tournament and two (BC, Union) advanced to the Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla.



The Yale roster includes players from 12 different states, two provinces and Norway. New York and New Jersey are represented by four players from each state, while Alberta and Michigan contribute three players and Illinois has a pair.



The United States Hockey League contributed nine players to the Bulldog roster. There are three from the British Columbia Hockey League, two from the Eastern Junior Hockey League and one from the Atlantic Junior Hockey League.  Eleven Yale student-athletes came directly from prep schools.



The current Yale roster is comprised of leaders and scholars. Here are some examples.


21        Captained a hockey team before coming to Yale

18        Captained another sports team

20        Won a scholar-athlete award

14        Graduated in top 10% of their class

10        National Honor Society Members

 4         Class Presidents



The Yale players were surveyed about each other, and here are the results:


Strongest player (pound for pound):                8 Josh Balch

Fastest on skates:                                             22 Tommy Fallen

Hardest Shot:                                                   28 Antoine Laganiere

Best fore-checker:                                           20 Jesse Root

Best Passer:                                                      17 Andrew Miller

Best Singer:                                                      21 Colin Dueck

Most Unique Hobby:                                       17 Andrew Miller (Fabric Collector)

Sense of Humor:                                              20 Jesse Root

Biggest Appetite:                                              15 Clint Bourbonais

Most Soft Spoken:                                           21Colin Dueck

Most Talkative:                                                20 Jesse Root

Player you would want your sister to date:      21 Colin Dueck

Best Dressed:                                       17 Andrew Miller

Most Likely to be a Head Coach:                     2 Gus Young



Of the 18 Yale players who have decided on majors, six plan on earning degrees in political science. Three Elis have unique majors among teammates: Clinton Bourbonais (biomechanical engineering), Nick Maricic (philosophy) and Colin Dueck (psychology).



Yale and Fairfield co-hosted three (2009, 2011, 2012) of the last four NCAA East Regional Tournaments at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. The two schools could be getting more in the near future. The Bulldogs competed in two (2009, 2011) of the three.



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.



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 in 2010-11, finished 10-7 last year. The Bulldogs are 50-16-3 over the last four seasons at the Whale and 14-11-3 in home ECAC playoff games all time.



There were 23 former Yale hockey players skating professionally last winter, including eight from the class of 2011.


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)



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