Bulldogs Celebrate Championship at Team Banquet
Awards Handed Out at Yale Commons
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The national championship celebration continued today with a salute to the Class of 2013. Almost 300 people celebrated the Frozen Four title and the six senior leaders at the 2012-13 Yale Men's Hockey Team Banquet at the Yale Commons presented by the Yale Hockey Association.
Yale President Richard Levin, in his last year leading the university, attended the event and spoke early in the program after being introduced by master of ceremonies Ron Vaccaro '04. Levin has seen a lot of athletic success in his 20 years as president, but this championship was different for the big Bulldog fan. "Thank you for giving us the best going away present possible," said Levin, who recognized athletics director Tom Beckett for having the foresight to renovate Ingalls Rink in a manner that would attract the best players and the most fans.
President Elect Peter Salovey also had a special message for the Bulldogs but couldn't be there to deliver. Instead, his wife, Marta Moret, read his remarks. Salovey wrote that the Yale team "helped ignite the town-gown relations this year" and that "you have us all basking in reflective glory."
Yale's incoming president also claimed the best line of the night when he wrote, "For God, For Country and 4-0 (the score of the national championship game)," mimicking the famous slogan, "For God, For Country and For Yale."
The Bulldogs, picked fifth in the ECAC pre-season poll, finished third in the regular season while winning the Ivy League title. After sweeping St. Lawrence in the ECAC Quarterfinals at home, the Blue fell in the semifinal to Union and was one of the last teams to get into the NCAA Tournament.
Yale didn't need much motivation after getting the nod. The Elis bulldozed two teams with a combined 19 national titles in the West Regional, knocked off a hot UMass Lowell squad in the national semifinal and got revenge (for 3 losses earlier in year) against Quinnipiac in the Frozen Four title game with a 4-0 win.
Yale Hockey Association President Daryl Jones '98 (in photo with Jesse Root), who wrote a wonderful editorial about the late Yale coach, Tim Taylor, in the New Haven Register last week, led off at the podium and thanked everyone for their support. He and other former Yale skaters like Roland Betts '68, Billy Matthews '90 and Jim MacDonald '78, presented individual awards.
Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach, read a long list of words people used to describe the Elis in the many emails he received after the championship game. He did that in alphabetical order and said at the end, "here's the one word I like the most, champions, that does it all."
Betts, a senior fellow of the Yale Corporation, talked about the 1997-98 Eli squad – led by Tim Taylor – being the foundation for the recent success. "We didn't know what year it (a national title) was going to happen," he said. "You have no idea how meaningful this championship is."
The 19th team to earn an NCAA Division I men's hockey championship came within a game of two other Frozen Fours during the tenure of the class of 2013. Those six seniors, who received a special, framed collection of items including their jersey, an image and other memorabilia, were introduced with some interesting background information on each of them.
Jesse Root '14, the new captain of the Bulldogs, was introduced by 2012-13 captain Andrew Miller, who earned team MVP honors. The torch was passed for the last speaker, and Root put the "team perspective" in place when talking about next season.
"Gus (Young), Kenny (Agostino) or Clint (Bourbonais) could be up here today. However, the best attribute of our class is that each guy, as a player and a person, brings a different element of leadership to the table. I believe it will be the sum of these qualities that will guide the team next year, not one man," said Root, who scored both game-winners in the West Regional and was named the recipient of the David C. Noyes III Award.
At the end of the program, which included a viewing of the team highlight video, all of the team members were asked to come up on the podium for a photo opportunity before receiving their gifts (watches, replica of championship trophy) from the NCAA for winning the national title.
Yale Hockey Association Awards
Martin Dwyer III Award- Presented by the YHA to the most outstanding first-year player of the Yale hockey team.– D, Ryan Obuchowski '16 (West Bloomfield, Mich.)
John Poinier Award- Presented by the YHA to the best defensive player on the Yale hockey team – G, Jeff Malcolm '13 (Lethbridge, Alb.)
Yale Hockey Coaches Award- Presented to that member of the Yale Hockey team whose determination and desire have contributed most to team morale and the spirit of hockey at Yale – F, Josh Balch '13 (Wilmette, Ill.)
David C. Noyes III Award- Presented by the YHA to that member of the Yale hockey team whose performance and attitude has most inspired his teammates through determination, grit and courage. – F, Jesse Root '14 (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
J. Murray Murdoch Award- Presented by the YHA to that member of the Yale hockey team deemed the most valuable player. – F, Andrew Miller '13 (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)
Edward M. Wright, M.D. Award- For athletic and academic accomplishments, leadership and dedication to the higher purposes of intercollegiate athletics. This award is based equally on two factors: success on the ice and success in the classroom. – D, Colin Dueck '13 (Calgary, Alb.)
Malcom G. Chace Award- Presented by the YHA to that member of the Yale hockey team who, through sportsmanship, spirit, and ability, has best served the finest traditions of Yale hockey as exemplified by Malcom G. Chace. – F, Kenny Agostino '14 (Flanders, NJ)
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director