BULLDOGS IN BELFAST FOR THANKSGIVING
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale Men's Hockey Team has played in Alaska and Canada but never outside of North America during the regular season. That changes on Nov. 23-24 at Belfast, Ireland, when Yale, Union, Boston University and UConn play in the 2018 Northern Irish Connections Friendship Four Tournament. The Bulldogs (2-2-1) play Union (7-3-1) in the first semifinal at 10 a.m. ET before BU (2-4-1) skates with UConn (4-4-1) at 2 p.m at The SSE Arena, home of the Elite Ice Hockey League's Belfast Giants. All the Friday games air live on NESN and TSN, Saturday is NESN+ and TSN.
THE BELPOT TROPHY
This is the fourth consecutive year teams from ECAC Hockey and Hockey East compete for the Belpot Trophy. In recognition of the sister city relationship between Boston and Belfast the Friendship Four Tournament uses amateur sport to create opportunities to unite communities, providing a conduit to revitalize the cultural ties between America and Northern Ireland. UMass-Lowell won the inaugural tournament in 2015, with the Vermont (2016) and Clarkson (2017) taking the last two.
There are two semifinals on the 23rd. Yale vs.Union is a non-conference game, while UConn-BU is a Hockey East contest. The losers play for third place at 10 a.m. ET on the 24th, while the championship contest is at 2 p.m. The UK is 5 hours ahead of ET, so games times in Belfast are 3 and 7 p.m.
Union has a 25-24-2 edge over Yale all time after splitting last year. BU took the last meeting with Yale and now owns a 32-31-3 advantage. The Elis have won all 12 games with UConn, including the last in 2017 at Hartford.
Yale beat Union 5-3 at Schenectady early before the Dutchmen grabbed a 3-2 win at Ingalls Rink.
LAST TIME OUT
The Bulldogs, down a goal twice to Harvard at New Haven, came back to earn a 3-3 overtime tie in ECAC Hockey action before a sold-out Ingalls Rink on Nov. 9. First year Jack St. Ivany, sophomore Tyler Welsh and senior Joe Snively had the Yale goals, while junior Corbin Kaczperski recorded 30 saves. A night later, Dartmouth scored just 2:34 after the opening faceoff and Big Green goalie Adrian Clark made it stand with 29 saves in a 3-0 win that included a pair of late, empty-net tallies.
ALLAIN ON FRIENDSHIP FOUR
"We are all really excited to be competing in Belfast. In addition to the great hockey, we are looking forward to visiting Northern Ireland, meeting new people, and experiencing the culture of their beautiful country. I have spoken with several people who have competed in the Friendship Four and everyone speaks highly of the total experience for their student athletes. I'm sure the trip will bring us closer together as a team and create lifelong memories for our young men."
The Dutchmen, also off on Nov. 16-17, head to Belfast ranked No. 12 nationally and 3-3-0 in conference play. On Nov. 9-10 Union split with a pair of nationally ranked opponents in No. 19 Princeton (L) and No. 12/15 Quinnipiac (W). Senior forward Cole Maier leads the way in scoring for the Dutchmen with 13 points on 8 assists followed by seniors Ryan Walker and Brett Supinski with 11 and 10 points respectively. Senior Jake Kupsky has most of the minutes in net for Union.
Boston U. was 2-2-1 in Hockey East heading into a Nov. 16-17 set with Maine. UConn was 4-4-1 overall with three games left to play before making the 3,000-mile trip. The Huskies play Brown on Nov. 13 and UMass-Lowell on Nov. 16-17.
The second-longest road trip in program history, in Belfast, is followed by the longest road trip in the ECAC. The Bulldogs head to Canton/Potsdam, N.Y., where they face off against St. Lawrence and Clarkson on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
contact: Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD/Sports Publicity - firstname.lastname@example.org