BULLDOGS BATTLE FOR BYE
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- ECAC Hockey
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – It's the last weekend of the 2013-14 regular season, and the Yale men's hockey team (14-8-5, 9-7-4 ECAC) is trying to earn a bye next week for the first round of the ECAC Tournament while grabbing credentials for the NCAA Tournament selection committee. The Bulldogs host 2013-14 Cleary Cup Champion Union (22-6-4, 16-3-1) on Friday and Rensselaer (13-13-6, 7-8-5) on Saturday at Ingalls Rink in 7 p.m. face-offs that can be viewed on the Ivy League Digital Network and heard on WYBC-AM 1340.
Standing Room Only tickets are available for both games this weekend. Call the Yale Ticket office at 203.432.1400 to order.
The Bulldog are in fifth place, two points behind Cornell (vs. Dartmouth/Harvard this weekend) for the last of the first-round playoff byes. Quinnipiac is three points away in third place. Meanwhile, Clarkson is one point behind Yale, and RPI is three back of the Blue. The top four rest next weekend and host a quarterfinal series the following week. The 5th through 8th teams host first round playoff series next weekend. The fifth-place finisher will host Princeton on March 7-9.
The Elis have a 21-19-4 lead against Union in a series that began in 1991-92, the year the Dutchmen replaced Army in ECAC Hockey. The Bulldogs and Engineers first played in 1908-09 and RPI has a 53-39-6 lead.
The Bulldogs had a 2-1 lead but surrendered four straight Union goals on the way to a 5-3 loss before a sellout crowd at Achilles Center on Feb. 8. Yale got goals from three different players but was outshot 37-27. The Elis had just one power play on a night with just six penalty minutes combined... Mike Doherty found the net 59 seconds into overtime to give Yale a 3-2 win over Rensselaer at Houston Field House on Feb. 7. An Engineer boarding penalty just after the opening draw of overtime put the Bulldogs on the advantage. The Elis cashed in for their second power-play tally of the night on a connection from Stu Wilson to Frankie DiChiara before it got to Doherty. The Bulldogs, who erased 1-0 and 2-1 deficits, were outshot 37-35 but converted half of their advantages, including two by blueliner Tommy Fallen, who notched his third double-digit goal night this year. Alex Lyon made 35 saves for Yale.
3-POINT ROAD WEEKEND
The Bulldogs are coming off a 5-2 win at Harvard and a 3-3 tie at Dartmouth last weekend. Jesse Root scored twice and had an assist at Boston as Yale converted three of four power plays. Root had another goal the next night as the Elis erased a 2-0 deficit with three straight tallies, including goals by Mike Doherty and Cody Learned. A late Big Green goal sent the game to OT.
The Blue outscored last weekend's opponents 8-5 while having an edge (70-58) in shots and getting goals from six different players. Alex Lyon stopped 53 shots over two games.
Union, which clinched the ECAC Regular Season Championship last weekend and is No. 2 in the nation in offense, swept Clarkson and SLU by scoring 11 goals combined. Its offense is led by a pair of Daniels, Carr and Ciampini, who have a combined 31 goals and 64 points. Junior goalie Colin Stevens (.922, 2.10) has played in 27 of the team's 32 games and heads a defense that ranks eighth in Division I and has the team ranked No. 3 in the nation and on a seven game unbeaten streak… RPI, coming off a loss at SLU and a tie against Clarkson, has some firepower of its own. Ryan Haggerty (24 goals, 38 points) ranks third in the nation in goals per game, while Brock Higgs has 14 goals, 29 points. Junior Scott Diebold (.914, 2.44) has been in net in 31 of the 32 games.
Yale defensemen have produced 23 goals and 62 points this winter, including 12 goals over the last five weeks. In 2012-13, Bulldog blueliners had 14-53-67 in 37 games. Senior Gus Young (6-10-16) had a string of three games with goals and points in seven of 10 contests. Sophomore Ryan Obuchowski (4-12-16), who has nine points in his last 10 games, had three assists on Jan. 25. Junior Tommy Fallen (7-7-14) scored twice against Brown on Jan. 25 and RPI on Feb. 7.
Kenny Agostino jumped over Sean Backman '10 on the school's career points list into 11th place with 128. On the assist list, he leaped over Dan Poliziani '82 into 10th with 73… The Blue ranks 12th in offense (3.33) among Division I teams; it is 16th in defense (2.52); The Elis are fourth in both categories in the conference… Yale is the least (10.9) penalized team in the ECAC…
The Elis are tied for 17th with Maine (coached by former Yale associate head coach Red Gendron) in the PairWise Rankings, a very good indicator of where schools stand for the 16-team NCAA Tournament… As for the voting lists, the Bulldogs are No. 15 in both the uscho.com and USA Today/American Hockey Magazine polls this week. 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 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: seniors (31), sophomores (25), juniors (18) and newcomers (16). As for points, the seniors (74) and sophomores (71) are out in front, while the freshmen (46) have an edge on the juniors (43).
Yale's Class of 2017, which has been averaging four forwards in the lineup, has contributed 16 goals (4 GWG) and 46 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.
DECORATED DOGS ON D
Junior Tommy Fallen (Plymouth, Minn.), a 2012-13 All-Ivy honorable mention pick, has a pair of multiple-goal games this year. His 100th collegiate game is Friday, while his 57 points are ninth on the school's career list for defensemen... Sophomore Ryan Obuchowski (West Bloomfield, Mich.), who had three assists vs. Brown on Jan. 25 and has 16 points this winter, 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 (Colorado) are the two blueliners drafted by pro teams.
NCAAs AT BRIDGEPORT
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.
Yale is one of only two (Niagara) teams in the country with freshmen logging all the minutes in net this season. Alex Lyon (Baudette, Minn.) has started the last 20 games. Lyon, who averages 25 saves per appearance, had a season-high 48 saves (most since Nick overall), while his .916 SP and 2.49 GAA are top five for rookie goalies in Division I. Patrick Spano (Montreal, Que) was in net for three Yale wins and has a 1.93 GAA and a .924 SP. Sophomore Connor Wilson (Cary, NC) is the other goalie in the mix.
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director