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Harvard, Dartmouth Coming to Whale

The Bulldogs host No. 3 Harvard Friday (Gil Talbot image)
The Bulldogs host No. 3 Harvard Friday (Gil Talbot image)

Ivy Rivals In For Alumni, Senior Weekend


NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale men's hockey team (10-10-5, 6-8-4) closes out the home regular season slate by hosting Harvard and Dartmouth in a weekend celebrating both the seniors and alumni. The Bulldogs and No. 3 Crimson (18-5-2, 12-4-2) skate on Friday, while the Big Green (9-13-3, 6-10-2) come to Ingalls Rink Saturday night. Both contests can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network at 7 p.m. A limited number of tickets (Friday SRO only) are available for both.

Harvard leads the series 142-90-21, but the Bulldogs are 11-2-3 since the start of the 2012-13 season. There have been 253 Yale-Harvard meetings in eight different cities. The first was Feb. 26, 1900, in New York, a 5-4 Yale victory… Yale leads the series vs. Dartmouth 110-92-14 and is 14-5-2 in the last 21 meetings. However, the last time the Big Green came to New Haven they swept the 2016 ECAC Quarterfinal Playoff series.

Patrick Spano made 33 saves and Ted Hart scored the goal in Yale's 1-1 overtime draw at Boston on Jan 21. The visitors scored late and the home team scored even later to send it to extra time… Charlie Curti had two goals and five other Elis hit the net in a 7-0 win at Hanover on Jan. 20. Spano got the shutout with 22 saves.

Last Saturday at Ithaca Yale erased a 2-0 early deficit and grabbed a point with a 2-2 OT final. Ted Hart scored both goals and Sam Tucker made 27 saves. The next afternoon at Hamilton did not go as well. Penalties slowed the Bulldogs in a 4-2 loss to Colgate. Hart and Frankie DiChiara had the Yale tallies, while Tucker, who stopped penalty shots both days last weekend, made 21 saves.
Harvard, on an eight-game unbeaten streak after beating Boston University 6-3 Monday in the Beanpot title game, outshot the Terriers 46-17. The Crimson have the top winning percentage and scoring margin in Division I hockey. Sophomore Ryan Donato, the son of Harvard head coach Ted Donato, leads the team with 16 goals after potting four in a 6-2 win over Union last weekend. Senior Sean Malone is second with 14. Junior Merrick Madsen (2.22) has all the Harvard decisions in net this year, including a pair of shutouts. He has also benefited from skaters who our outshooting opponents by an average of 35 to 27.

Dartmouth, which has split its last four games and plays at Brown Friday night, is coming off a win at RPI and a loss at Union. The other recent win was a 4-2 game at Cornell three weeks ago. Senior forward Troy Crema 15-9-24 leads the Green in goals, while rookie Cam Strong is second with eight. A junior, Devin Buffalo (2.99), and a freshman, Adrian Clark (3.80) have been sharing the net duties this winter for head coach Bob Gaudet, a former Dartmouth goalie.

Four games remain in the regular season and the seventh-place Bulldogs play two teams above them and another pair that currently sit below Yale in the standings.

Friday night's game at the Whale has significance for the Ivy title. Harvard, in first place with 13 points, would claim the championship with a win or clinch at least a share with a tie. A Yale win would give the Blue hope of overtaking the Crimson with games remaining against Dartmouth and Princeton. The Elis have eight points, while Cornell has completed its Ivy play with 12 points.

The Bulldogs close out the regular season by playing at Quinnipiac and Princeton in a pair of 7 p.m. puck drops.

John Hayden's .64 goals per game is third in the ECAC, while he leads the team with 16 goals. He has points in four of his last six games and averages 1.12 per game, which is eighth in the conference. Hayden has four multiple-goal games this year and is a semifinalist for the 65th Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England. He has had a lot of great moments in his Yale career; the latest coming Jan. 13 when he scored the GWG with 59 seconds left in the third against Clarkson. Earlier this year at RPI, he had two goals in 42 seconds to tie the game and then win it in OT. However, the essence of his impact on the Yale team was on display in one scoring sequence last season at Arizona State's Tournament. The Yale forward, who led the 2015-16 Elis with 16 goals and five game-winners (4th in nation), blasted a Sun Devils defenseman with the puck in the slot and sent him sliding back into the goalie while Hayden grabbed the puck and flicked it top shelf. Hayden had the best season of his career last winter. He was one of Yale's top scorers the year before despite missing a few games to serve as alternate captain for the U.S. National Junior Team at the IIHF World Junior Championships. Hayden gets much of his inspiration from the memory of former HoneyBaked (AAA Club) teammate, the late Ian Jenkins, a goalie whose motto was "Have a Purpose" (HAP). Hayden and others are currently organizing fundraising events to raise money for the Big "E" Have a Purpose Foundation. The Greenwich, Conn., native, a third round NHL draft pick by Chicago, has a HAP 35 logo on his stick and wore a sticker on his helmet when he was with the U.S. National Development Program. Hayden has plenty of Team USA experience, including winning a silver medal at the 2013 IIHF U-18 World Championships in Sochi, Russia.

Joe Snively (10-20-30), who leads the team in points and has surpassed his rookie total, is fourth in the conference with 1.20 per game and seventh assists. The sophomore has had three multiple-goal outings this year, including consecutive games against Holy Cross and RPI (2-1-3), while he made the all-tournament team at Notre Dame's tourney. Snively was the 2015-16 ECAC Hockey and Ivy League Rookie of the Year after leading the Blue with 28 (10-18) points. Snively earned two conference rookie of the week honors and was January's ECAC Rookie of the Month. The Herndon, Va., native scored a goal against Dartmouth that was the No. 1 highlight on the NCAA Plays of the Week, while he enjoyed a career-high, three-point night. His 28 points were the most for an Eli rookie since Andrew Miller '13 had 34 in 2009-10. Snively, the former USHL (Sioux City) star, has a pair of two-goal games (UMass, Harvard). His second of the night at Boston on Nov. 6, 2015, tied the game with under a minute to play. He was 8th among Division I rookies with .96 points per game.

Junior forward Ryan Hitchcock, voted by his teammates as the top passer among the Elis, showed why he got the nod. Hitchcock led the team with 16 helpers until he got injured on Jan. 14. He has not been in the lineup since that game. His top game this season was three vs. RPI on Dec. 9. He finished with 14 points in 22 games last season after helping Team USA to a bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF World Juniors in Finland. The U.S. team beat Sweden 8-3 to grab third place. Hitchcock, the third line left wing for the U.S. squad and the eighth Bulldog to play in this tournament, played in every game while becoming the first Eli to earn a medal at the world juniors.

Senior Patrick Spano is having a solid season that has him sixth in the ECAC with a 2.54 goals against. His .909 save percentage is eighth. Spano earned co-MVP (Tim Taylor Cup) honors at Harvard on Jan. 21 and finished that Dartmouth/Harvard weekend with 55 saves on 56 shots. That helped the Bulldog earn ECAC Goalie of the Week. His first season as the top goalie has not been easy, especially with so many first-time regulars on the blueline and seven or eight rookies in the lineup each night. Spano's finest weekend as a Bulldog (7-0 at Dartmouth, 1-1 OT at No. 6 Harvard) was Jan. 20-21, but there have been other good ones. He had 71 stops on 74 shots combined against Clarkson/SLU earlier in January. He also made 33 saves on Jan. 10 vs. Providence, so he finished that week with 104 saves. Spano, a Montreal native who speaks fluent Italian and French, has a scissor hand comparable to his catching glove, and some of his teammates trust him enough to cut their hair. He has been helping teammates with haircuts since his prep school days at Westminster. Spano played for Cowichan Valley in the British Columbia Hockey League before coming to New Haven.

Sophomore goalie Sam Tucker (Wilton, Conn.) notched his first collegiate win against UConn on Jan. 7. He made just 13 saves against the Huskies, but half of them were quality stops that were huge contributions in the victory during his fourth start for Yale. His first three starts (at SLU, Union, at BU) were against nationally ranked teams, while he earned a tie against No. 12 Cornell on Feb. 11. Tucker was a four-year varsity member at Choate Rosemary Hall before coming to Yale.

Nine freshmen joined the team this year, seven (4 F, 3 D) of them have been playing regularly and four have dressed for every contest. The nine rookies are the most Keith Allain has had, but there are 10 schools this year that have more. The most is Miami with 14.

Yale has faced 3 penalty shots and stopped each one this season. Sam Tucker had one each game last weekend and Patrick Spano stopped Holy Cross... Frankie DiChiara, Ted Hart and Joe Snively are all tied for second on the team with 10 goals… Yale has scored 74 goals this season and allowed 74, and its 2.96 average in both rank sixth in the ECAC… The Eli power play (20.4) is fourth best in the conference.
The Bulldogs have six seniors, including four forwards, a defenseman and a goalie. There are five juniors, seven sophomores, and nine newcomers. The seniors have hit the net 32 times this season; they are followed by the sophomores (24), juniors (8) and freshmen (10).

Defenseman Henry Hart, who has been playing forward since his youth hockey days until this season, has worked with the Herb Brooks Foundation while also having an internship on Mike McFadden's 2014 U.S. Senate campaign. His sister, Annie, was a five-time All-America skier at Dartmouth and is now a pro with SMS T2 ski team.... Mike Doherty's father, Michael Doherty, is Deputy Chief of the City of Boston Fire Department and serves on the game night staff for Boston Bruins games at the TD Bank Boston Garden… Frankie DiChiara, who broke a pane of Ingalls glass with a short backhander in practice as a junior, has a strong father; Ernie DiChiara is a former Connecticut State ADFPA Powerlifting Champion... The Yale roster doesn't have much of an international flair, but at least six languages can be spoken among the group.

The superlatives survey among Bulldogs produced the following leaders:
    Strongest (pound for pound): Chris Izmirlian
    Fastest on skates: Ted Hart
    Hardest shot: Frankie DiChiara
    Best fore-checker: John Hayden
    Best passer: Ryan Hitchcock**
    Best sense of humor: Patrick Spano
    Best singer: Mike Doherty**
    Biggest appetite: Frankie DiChiara*
    Most Unique Hobby: Chandler Lindstrand (Rubix Cube)
    Most soft spoken: Ted Hart
    Best dresser: Ryan Hitchcock**
    Most likely to become a coach: John Hayden/Tim Bonner
    *repeat leader

It is very possible that Evan and Mitchell Smith are the first twins to skate for the Yale men's hockey team. The Stouffville, Ontario, brothers, one of only two twin combinations in Division I hockey this season, have been skating on the same team since they began organized hockey and have been linemates since they were eight-years old. However, they have not been on the same line when both in the lineup every game this season. The identical twins, wearing jerseys No. 13 (Evan) and 14 (Mitchell), attended Salisbury School before playing for Dubuque in the USHL. Even teammates are challenged to tell the difference between the two, but Evan (6-0, 190), who had two goals against Brown on Jan. 28, is listed as an inch taller and five pounds heavier than Mitchell. The Timothy Dwight College members have a follicle flow going this winter and were part of a January video feature on hockey hair.

The Yale roster includes players from 11 different states and two provinces. There are four players from both Massachusetts and Minnesota while Michigan and Ontario each have three. Connecticut, New York and New Jersey also have a pair. All-time Yale hockey rosters have included players from 30 different states. There are 23 Americans and four Canadians.

This winter the Bulldogs average 6-feet in height and 188 pounds. Yale is the eighth smallest in Division I for weight. The heaviest team in the country is Western Michigan (198.6), the tallest is Maine (6-1.5).

The United States Hockey League contributed 15 players to the Bulldog roster, the most by any league. Here is a breakdown of the 2016-17 roster: USHL – 15… Prep/High School – 4… EJHL – 2… BCHL – 2…USNDT – 2… NAHL – 2.

Yale has been to the national tournament seven times, including six under current head coach Keith Allain. Over the last five season, which included Yale's 2013 national title, the only ECAC Hockey school with more NCAA appearances than the Elis (3) is Quinnipiac (4). There are only seven (BC, Denver, North Dakota, Minnesota, UML, St. Cloud State) schools in the country with 4 or 5 in that span.

The current team includes 23 players who captained their teams prior to Yale, eight who captained other sports, 20 who were scholar-athlete award winners, 14 who graduated in the top 10 percent of their class, six National Honor Society members and three class presidents.

All home regular season games at Ingalls Rink are broadcast live on the Ivy League Digital Network. A selection of those are simulcast on ESPN3. Go to to sign up for a game or a season subscription.

David S. Ingalls Rink, named after the World War I U.S. Navy Flying Ace, opened in 1958, was dedicated in 1959 and had major renovations in 2010. It's the eighth oldest active college hockey venue and the fifth oldest in ECAC Hockey. The best place to park on game night at Ingalls (a.k.a. The Whale) is the garage accessed by Prospect Street. There are press boxes on both sides of the building; broadcasters and visiting teams/media are on the Prospect side.


Eighteen former Bulldogs have played professionally this season.

Jean-Francois Boucher '08 - Cologne Sharks- DEL
Mark Arcobello '10 - Bern SC, Swiss-A Switzerland
Sean Backman '10 - Ontario Reign, AHL
Broc Little '11 - Linkopings HC, SweHL Sweden
Denny Kearney '11 - Bolzano HC- Austria
Brian O'Neill '12 - Jokerit Helsinki, KHL Finland
Andrew Miller '13 - Charlotte Checkers, AHL
Antoine Laganiere '13 - San Diego Gulls, AHL
Kenny Agostino '14 - St. Louis Blues, NHL/Chicago Wolves, AHL
Gus Young '14 - Missouri Mavericks, ECHL
Jeff Malcolm '14 - Greenville Swamp Rabbits, ECHL
Jesse Root '14 - Bolzano HC- Austria
Ryan Obuchowski '16 - Missouri Mavericks, ECHL
Carson Cooper '16 – Strasbourg - France
Mitch Witek '16 - Strasbourg- France
Matthew Beattie '16 - Strasbourg- France
Rob O'Gara '16 – Boston Bruins, NHL/Providence, AHL
Alex Lyon 17 - Philadelphia Flyers, NHL/Lehigh Valley, AHL


filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director -