Rivalry On Ice This Saturday Night

Rivalry On Ice This Saturday Night

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This Saturday at 8 p.m. in the world's most famous arena, the Yale men's hockey team has an opportunity to do something Bulldog teams haven't done for 44 years, play an ancient rival on neutral ice in a big city before a big crowd. No, the Elis are not jumping on a train to Manhattan with hockey bags in hand – like they did the first time they met the archrival in the Big Apple. Two of the world's most famous institutions get their retro fix when Yale (7-3-4) takes on Harvard (5-7-3) at Madison Square Garden in the Rivalry On Ice, which can be seen on NBC Sports Network and heard on AM-1340 (wybc.com).

They played to a 2-2 draw almost a month ago at New Haven that makes the overall series at 138-81-19 in favor of the Cantabs. There have been 238 Yale-Harvard meetings in eight different cities. The first was Feb. 26, 1900, in New York, a 5-4 Yale victory.  Yale swept last year's regular season meetings. The largest crowd to attend a Y-H game in New Haven was 7,460 at the New Haven Coliseum (6-5 Y win) on March 3, 1979.

The last Y-H game at MSG was a 6-2 Harvard win at the ECAC Holiday Festival on Dec. 21, 1970. The last Y-H regular season meeting off campus was a 1-1 OT tie at the New Haven Coliseum on Feb. 18, 1984. The last regular season meeting not in Connecticut or Massachusetts was an 8-3 Harvard win at the Great Lakes Invitational in Detroit on Dec. 28, 1974.

It's unknown how many Yale hockey games were played at MSG. There were numerous seasons that Yale did not have a home, indoor venue and used a first or second-generation of Madison Square Garden for contests. It's possible that the first 22 Y-H meetings were inside MSG. This year's game in Manhattan will likely be the best attended Y-H hockey contest ever.

The Blue outshot Harvard 54-27 but had to come back from a late, 2-0 deficit to earn a 2-2 OT tie on Dec. 7 at Ingalls Rink. Yale got third period goals by Matt Killian and Kenny Agostino, while Matthew Beattie had the primary assist on both Yale tallies. Alex Lyon stopped 25 of 27 shots, including four in the extra frame, to help the Elis grab a conference point.

Kenny Agostino found the net twice, John Hayden had the other tally and five different Bulldogs had assists as Yale skated to a 3-3 OT tie at No. 20 Vermont before a packed Gutterson Fieldhouse last Saturday night. Alex Lyon stopped 32 shots but saw a shot on a 6-on-5, odd-man rush fly into the net with 53 seconds left to send the game to OT. The Elis grabbed 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads before the extra session.

Harvard is coming off a 2-2 OT tie at home with No. 7 Quinnipiac on Tuesday. Crimson rookie Alexander Kerfoot  scored with 48 seconds left in regulation to send it to OT. Raphael Girard made 29 saves. Harvard's wins this season were against Bentley, RPI, Princeton, New Hampshire and Boston U.

The Elis are the least penalized team in Division I with 7.4 minutes on average… Yale is 5-0-1 with a lead after one period and 6-0-2 with a two-period advantage… The Blue is 5-1-1 when scoring first and 2-2-3 when allowing the first tally… Yale averages 3.2 goals (and 35 shots) and has given up 2.6 (27 shots)… Kenny Agostino has goals in four straight games.

Teams have played between eight and 10 conference games, and the Elis (8 gp) are tied with RPI for sixth with nine points. Quinnipiac (10) and Union (8) are tied for the top spot with 14 points.

The Bulldogs are ranked No. 10 in both the uscho.com and USA Today/American Hockey Magazine polls. Yale has finished among the top 10 four of the last five seasons, including No. 1 in 2012-13. The Elis were 5th in 2008-09, 8th in 2009-10 and 6th in 2010-11.

Yale, 2013 Frozen Four Champions, has earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament four of the last five years, and played in a pair of regional finals.

The Blue is on the road next weekend to start the stretch run of conference play by facing Clarkson and St. Lawrence.

The Yale roster includes players from 12 different states, two provinces and Norway. Five players represent New Jersey, Minnesota has three players while Massachusetts, Florida, and Michigan each contribute a pair.
The United States Hockey League contributed nine players to the Bulldog roster. There are three from the British Columbia Hockey League, four from the Eastern Junior Hockey League and one from the Atlantic Junior Hockey League.  Eight Yale student-athletes came directly from prep schools and one came from the US National Team.

The Bulldogs have just three seniors, including two forwards and a defenseman. There are seven juniors, eight sophomores and eight newcomers. The scoring by class has been very balanced: sophomores and seniors have 13 goals, juniors have 10 and newcomers notched nine.

Yale's Class of 2017, which has been averaging four forwards in the lineup over 14 games, has contributed nine goals (2 game-winners) and 21 points while grabbing every minute of playing time between the pipes.  

"Ice hockey has never had as provocative a setting as Yale's new $1.4 million David S. Ingalls Rink." That's how Sports Illustrated described the famous building also known as the Yale Whale in a 1959 article. And it's just as exciting today. Ingalls (3,500 capacity), re-dedicated on Jan. 16, 2010, was modernized and expanded during a multi-phase project. The original (1958) look remains, but 13,000 square feet of operational space was added along with numerous amenities.

Junior Tommy Fallen (Plymouth, Minn.) was a 2012-13 All-Ivy honorable mention pick. He has skated in 86 games and has 50 points, 11th on the school's career list for defensemen... Sophomore Ryan Obuchowski (West Bloomfield, Mich.) was a 2012-13 ECAC All-Rookie Team selection... Rob O'Gara, a second-year man from Nesconset, N.Y., is a Boston Bruins draft pick. He and Gus Young are the two blueliners picked by pro teams.

Yale and Fairfield are co-hosting the 2014 NCAA East Regional at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on March 28-29. The Friday semifinal game times are 2 and 5:30 p.m. with coverage by ESPNU. The Saturday championship game is set for 3 p.m. on ESPN2. Tickets for 3-game packages are available now on www.NCAA.com/frozenfour, or through the Webster Bank Ticket Office. This is the fourth year Yale and Fairfield have co-hosted this regional at Harbor Yard. This is the fourth time Webster Bank will host the regional. There have been four college hockey programs (Yale, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota-Duluth) with NCAA titles that have played in Bridgeport's NCAA event. Miami, Vermont, Union, Air Force and UMass-Lowell are the other schools to compete in the arena.


Bulldog Best: Two goals in four different games... Scored both game-winning goals at 2013 NCAA West Regional.
2013-14: Leads team with six goals... Scored two goals against SHU on Nov. 16 in his 99th collegiate game… Had 1-1-2 in 3-3 OT tie with St. Lawrence on 11/1... Hit net twice in 5-2 win at Colgate on Nov. 22.
2012-13: Played in 34 games, centering the line with Andrew Miller and Kenny Agostino... Scored GWG nine seconds into OT against Minnesota in West Regional semifinal... Scored GWG in third period of finale against North Dakota to send Bulldogs to his hometown for the Frozen Four... NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team... Scored two goals at Harvard in November win... Fourth on team with 12 goals and 23 points.
2011-12: Fifth on team with 24 points... Seven goals were second among sophomores... Nine multiple-point nights... Goal and three points in home win over Dartmouth... Led team with two shorthanded goals.
2010-11: Second among the Yale newcomers with two goals and eight points... 25 games... Points in consecutive games twice... Academic All-ECAC.
At Taft School:  Played four seasons and was one of three captains for 2008-09 season… Led team with 36 points in 27 games playing center… Founders League All-Star… Team made 2009 New England Quarterfinal playoffs…  Named No. 2 long-stick midfielder in New England lacrosse… Western NE All-Division I lacrosse team… Taft Honor Roll for three years… National AP Scholar… In EJHL: Tallied 44 points in 41 games and led Jr. Bruins with seven game-winning goals… Played on playoff semifinalist…

Drafted in the fifth round (140th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft by Pittsburgh; Traded to Calgary (for Jarome Iginla) in 2013
Bulldog Best: 3-2-5 vs. Holy Cross freshman season.
2013-14: 2-0-2 at Vermont on Jan. 4… Had two of Yale's three goals on Dec. 6-7… Scored 1st goal of year against SHU on Nov. 16.
2012-13: Second-team All-ECAC Hockey... NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team (2-1-3)... 17 goals and 41 points... Tied for team lead in points, second in goals... ECAC Player of Week after road trip to Clarkson and SLU... OT goal at No. 2 Denver in November. 2011-12: Third on team in points (34) and goals (14) in 33 games... Three GWG... ECAC Hockey Player of the Week for three-goal Feb. 17-18 weekend... Came within a step of making the U.S. National Junior Team in December... Scored goals in conseutive games with under 35 seconds left in regulation, one for a win and another to send it to overtime: Beat Dartmouth at Hanover with 34.8 ticks remaining; GTG against SLU with 34.2 left at home. Top game was 2-2-4 against both UConn and Harvard at Ingalls... Honorable mention All-Ivy. 2010-11: Began with a goal and four points through first dozen games and then had a historic January (8-4-12, 9 games)... Named Hockey Commissioner's Association Rookie of the Month... ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week on 1/23/11 after netting three goals in games against Clarkson and St. Lawrence... Led all newcomers with 10 goals and 25 points... His five (3 goals) points against Holy Cross were the most by a Yale rookie since 1980... Academic All-ECAC.
At Delbarton School: School's all-time leading scorer with 261 points over three seasons… Two-time New Jersey Player of the Year… Three-time first-team all-state selection… Played on three state championship teams… 2009-10 team was ranked No. 2 nationally… Had 23-11-34 for the New Jersey Colonials in the Atlantic Youth Hockey League in the fall of 2009…

Bulldog Best: 1-1-2 at Princeton on 2/24/12.
2013-14: Scored goal against Merrimack on Nov. 30.
2012-13: Frozen Four All-Tournament... West Regional All-Tournament... Scored a goal against Minnesota in the NCAA West Regional semifinal and had an assist in the Frozen Four Championship Game against Quinnipiac... Played in all 37 games and had two goals with nine points.
2011-12: Probably most consistent defenseman on team... Played in every game and had three goals with 12 points... Notched two points in series clinching win over Princeton in playoffs.
2010-11: Played in five games... Assist vs. Sacred Heart... Academic All-ECAC.
At Noble and Greenough School: Two-time captain and four-year letterman…  Had 12 goals and 38 points in 28 games in 2009-10… Led all prep school defensemen in scoring as a senior… Team won ISL and was New England Prep School semi-finalists… Went 5-29-34 (29 GP) in 2008-09… Drafted by the Colorado Avalanche (184th) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft… All-ISL junior and senior seasons… 2009-10 All-New England… Honorable mention All-ISL sophomore year… All-ISL lacrosse player who captained team senior year and earned four letters…
Newcomer Alex Lyon (Baudette, Minn.) has started the last nine games and is 4-2-3 in that span. Lyon had a season-high 48 saves (most since Nick Maricic at Harvard in 2012 ECAC playoffs, 2 OT) on Nov. 9 at Quinnipiac. He has a team-high 2.34 GAA and a .915 SP. Freshman Patrick Spano (Montreal, Que) was in net for three of the five Yale wins and has a 1.93 GAA and a .924 SP. Sophomore Connor Wilson (Cary, NC) is the other goalie in the mix.

There are five current Yale players drafted by NHL teams: Gus Young (Colorado), Kenny Agostino (Pittsburgh, Calgary), Rob O'Gara (Boston), Matthew Beattie (Vancouver) and John Hayden (Chicago). Fifteen former Yale players are skating professionally this season including Vancouver Canucks forward Chris Higgins '05 and Mark Arcobello '10 with the Edmonton Oilers this season. Arcobello help make club history when he assisted on Taylor Hall's two goals, eight seconds apart in October. It was the fastest consecutive goals by an Oiler since Wayne Gretzky had a nine-second outburst during the team's dynasty years. After the first 10 games, the Milford, Conn., native had accumulated a league-high 10 assists, which also made him the league's rookie points leader at the time. Only two rookies – Sydney Crosby and Patrick Kane - have had 10 assists in their first 10 games in the last 20 years. The Bulldogs have seven skating in the AHL, four outside North America and two in the ECHL.


filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director: steven.conn@yale.edu