March 17, 2009

Allain, Six Bulldogs Receive ECAC Honors

March 17, 2009

It's been six years since the Yale men's hockey team had a first-team All-ECAC selection, and the Bulldogs have not had six players make the all-conference squad in 11 seasons, which is also the last time they had the league's coach of the year. The 2008-09 Elis have ended those streaks, which is one reason No. 7 ranked Yale will compete for the conference championship this Friday in a 4 p.m. semifinal against No. 14 St. Lawrence at Albany's Times Union Center.

Junior forward Mark Arcobello (Milford, Conn.) has been named first-team All-ECAC Hockey while Keith Allain '80, Yale's Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey, is the recipient of the Tim Taylor Award as ECAC Hockey's Coach of the Year.

A pair of juniors, forward Sean Backman (Cos Cob, Conn.) and defenseman Tom Dignard (Reading, Mass.), earned second-team honors. The third team included sophomore forward Broc Little (Rindge, N.H.) and senior goalie Alec Richards (Robbinsdale, Minn.). In addition, freshman forward Brian O'Neill (Yardley, Pa.) was named to the ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team.

Arcobello, ECAC Hockey Player of the Week on March 2, had the game-winning goal and three assists in Yale's 4-2 win over Cornell at home that clinched the regular-season title on Feb. 27. Arcobello, second in Division I with seven game-winners, leads the team with 33 points and is second with 16 goals. He has a point in 12 of the last 14 games.

Allain, who earned the award named after his collegiate mentor and former Yale coach, is in his third year as Yale's head coach. His 2008-09 squad, picked seventh in both conference pre-season polls, won the Elis' first ECAC regular season title in 11 seasons and established a few firsts on the way, including an unprecedented nine-game road win streak. Taylor, the only other Yale coach to win that award, was coach of the year in 1987, 1992 and 1998.

"I think it is great that a number of our guys have been recognized by the other coaches in our league. Whenever a team experiences some success, individual honors usually follow," said Allain.

Backman, the only Bulldog to earn ECAC honors last year, leads the Blue with 17 goals and ranks ninth in the nation and third in the league with .59 goals per game. He is one of 16 Division I players picked as semi-finalists for the Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England. Backman (17-12-29), who has five multiple-goal outings, was 2007 co-ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year and a third-team all-league pick last winter.

Dignard, who suffered a season-ending injury in the Jan. 31 Quinnipiac game, was still named second-team All-ECAC. He is one of the ECAC's top all-around blueliners. Dignard (21 GP, 5-12-17) owns the 10th best (.81) points-per-game average among conference defensemen.

Little, who leads the nation with a school-record five shorthanded goals, had a goal and two assists against the Bears last weekend and now has 14-17-31. Little had six goals over four games and was named ECAC Offensive Player of the Week in that span.

Richards, who has a 1.50 GAA over the last dozen games, recorded the school's second post-season shutout ever and the first in 12 years when he beat Brown 2-0 on March 14. Richards made the roster for the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four Skills Competition that will take place on April 10 at Washington, D.C. Richards, one of two goalies on the East squad, will compete (unless Yale is playing) against the West the day between the Frozen Four semifinals and championship.

O'Neill, has been ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week twice this season and ranks 21st among Division I freshmen (4th in ECAC) with .73 points per game. He has a team rookie-high 11 goals and 22 points.

FIRST TEAM ALL-LEAGUE

G Zane Kalemba, Princeton

D Lane Caffaro, Union

D Zach Miskovic , St. Lawrence

F Mark Arcobello, Yale

F Riley Nash, Cornell

F David McIntyre, Colgate

SECOND TEAM ALL-LEAGUE

G Ben Scrivens, Cornell

D Tom Dignard, Yale

D Brendon Nash, Cornell

F Sean Backman, Yale

F Bryan Leitch, Quinnipiac

F Colin Greening, Cornell

THIRD TEAM ALL-LEAGUE

G Alec Richards, Yale

D Alex Biega, Harvard

D Jody Peterson, Princeton

F Brock McBride, St. Lawrence

F Broc Little, Yale

F Adam Presizniuk, Union

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

G Jody O'Neill, Dartmouth

D Jeff Buvinow, Brown

D Keir Ross, Cornell

F Patrick Cullen, Rensselaer

F Doug Jones, Dartmouth

F Brian O'Neill, Yale

SPECIAL AWARDS

Player of the Year - Zane Kalemba, Princeton

Rookie of the Year - Jody O'Neill, Dartmouth

Goaltender of the Year - Zane Kalemba, Princeton

Best Defensive Forward - Tyler Mugford, Cornell

Best Defensive Defenseman - Matt Generous, St. Lawrence

Coach of the Year - Keith Allain, Yale

Turfer Athletic Trophy - Princeton

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