Bulldogs End 1st Segment with SHU
The Yale men's hockey team, coming off a conference road split, finishes the first segment of the 2017-18 season with a non-conference, instate contest. The Bulldogs (4-7, 4-6 ECAC Hockey) travel South on I-95 to take on Sacred Heart (4-10-2, 2-7-2 AHC) Saturday night at 7. The game at Bridgeport's Webster Bank Arena airs live on sacredheartpioneers.com.
Yale has taken three of the four meetings with the Pioneers while outscoring SHU 24-11 overall.
Jesse Root had two goals and Trent Ruffolo added a goal and an assist as No. 9 Yale beat Sacred Heart 5-1 at Ingalls Rink on Nov. 16, 2013. The Elis, who scored three times on special teams, outshot the Pioneers 42-23 and converted two power plays to run their unbeaten streak to six games.
Junior forward Ted Hart notched his first career hat trick and rookie forward Kevin O'Neill scored twice in Yale's win at Union last Saturday. Sam Tucker got the win in net with 27 saves. The night before the Elis fell 2-1 at RPI.
The Pioneers are coming off a 5-3 win at Mercyhurst last weekend that gave them a weekend conference split with the Lakers. SHU, coached by former Yale assistant CJ Marottolo, also has wins over Notre Dame and UConn.
UP NEXT FOR THE BLUE
Yale is off for the next three weeks, returning for the Dec. 29-30 Ledyard Classic at Dartmouth. The Elis play Minnesota-Duluth the first day and then skate against New Hampshire. Both contests are 4 p.m.
HART OF A BULLDOG
Junior forward Ted Hart became the second Bulldog this season to score 4 goals in a weekend ECAC set with Yale's only tally last Friday at RPI and then 3 of the team's 5 goals at Union. He is now second on the squad with four goals and seven points.
Yale went four seasons without a hat trick and now has two in 2017-18. Rookie forward Dante Palecco had his first three career goals on Nov. 10 at home against St. Lawrence. Junior forward Ted Hart notched his first three-goal college game on the road against Union on Dec. 2. Both Bulldogs were skating those nights on a line with Ryan Hitchcock and Joe Snively and the Elis won both contests.
KEMP WITH U.S. NATIONAL TEAM
First-year defenseman Phil Kemp (7 gp, 1-2-3) has been named to the roster of the U.S. National Junior Team's pre-tournament camp in Columbus, Ohio. The camp runs Dec. 15-19 as part of the selection process ahead of the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. The 42nd world championship takes place in Buffalo at the Key Bank Center and Harbor Center, Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
Senior forward Ryan Hitchcock was voted captain by his teammates for the 2017-18 season. The Manhasset, N.Y., native has notched 16 goals and 55 points in his 83-game college career, which has been shortened by injuries the last two seasons. In 2016-17, Hitchcock, who was voted by his teammates as the top passer among the Elis, dished out a team-leading 16 helpers before a Jan. 14 injury derailed the remainder of his season. Prior to his time at Yale, Hitchcock was a member of the United States National Team Development Program, where he won a gold medal as a member of the U.S. U18 squad at the 2014 World Championships. Hitchcock followed up that international experience by 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.
Junior forward Joe Snively (Herndon, Va.), who leads the team with 5 goals and 10 points, was one of five players selected to the Pre-season Coaches All-ECAC Hockey Team after netting 1.18 points per game in 2016-17, which ranked 21st in the nation. An All-Ivy League honorable mention from a season ago, Snively had three multiple-goal outings in 2016-17, including consecutive games against Holy Cross and RPI. Snively (77 pts, 76 career games) has already registered two multi-goal games and three multi-point outings this season.
Junior goalie Sam Tucker (Wilton, Conn.) has all but one of the games in net this season. Tucker made his collegiate debut on Nov. 12, 2016, in a relief appearance against Cornell, and eventually won his first collegiate game against UConn on Jan. 7, 2017. Tucker seized the starting job as the Elis headed into ECAC playoffs, where he stopped 68 of 71 shots in first round playoff action against Dartmouth. Tucker has been solid this season, recording a 2.92 goals against average and a .901 save percentage in his first 10 games. His Nov. 18 effort at Quinnipiac was one of the best of Tucker's career with 40 saves.
Freshman forward Dante Palecco had one of the best weekends for a Bulldog forward in recent memory against St. Lawrence and Clarkson on Nov. 10-11. In a 6-1 win over St. Lawrence on Friday, Palecco netted his first collegiate goal and added two more in scoring the first Yale hat trick since 2012. On Saturday Palecco chipped in Yale's only goal in a 4-1 loss to No. 8 Clarkson. For his efforts, the Whippnay, N.J. native was awarded both the ECAC Hockey Offensive Player and Rookie of the Week.
The blue line is one of Yale's major improvements from last season. Last winter, rookies Matt Foley, Chandler Lindstrand and Billy Sweezey were baptized under fire while Henry Hart '18 was transitioned to defense after playing his first two seasons at forward. The Elis now have a seasoned group. Adam Larkin, Charlie Curti, and Anthony Walsh are veterans who are helping freshmen Phil Kemp and Brian Matthews with the transition.
Seven freshmen joined the team this year (4 F, 2 D, 1G). Two are from Canada and played junior hockey in the British Columbia Hockey League, while the other five come from around the U.S. and competed in the United States Hockey League last season. Yale's freshmen have accounted for 9 goals and 14 points this season.
Yale is very balanced in scoring this season with 10 in the first period, 8 in the second and 10 in the final frame… The Bulldogs currently rank fifth in the ECAC in goals per game (2.88).
The Bulldogs have four seniors, including two forwards, and two defensemen. There are seven juniors, nine sophomores, and seven newcomers.
Yale head coach Keith Allain, an assistant for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team, traveled to Augsburg, Germany, in November for the Deutschland Cup. He watched a roster of prospective Olympic players compete against Slovakia, Russia, and Germany. Several Yale alumni made a strong case to make the final Olympic roster. Broc Little '11, Mark Arcobello '10 and Brian O'Neill '12 were reunited on a line together, while Sean Backman '10 also skated for the Americans. Arcobello posted a goal and an assist in three games, while Little netted a goal. The XXIII Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang, South Korea, begin on Feb. 9.
YALE HOSTING REGIONAL
Yale and Fairfield will co-host the 2018 Division I Men's Ice Hockey Regional at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on March 23-24. The two schools also brought the regional to the state of Connecticut in 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2014. The other sites for the 2018 tournament include the PPL Center in Allentown, Pa. (Host: Penn State), the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass. (Host: Holy Cross), and PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Host: North Dakota). The 2018 Frozen Four will take place at the Xcel Center in Saint Paul, Minn. (Host: Minnesota).
by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD/Sports Publicity Director - firstname.lastname@example.org