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Dogs, Cats On Ice at Whale This Weekend

Jeff Malcolm. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Jeff Malcolm. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Back in ECAC Action

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale men's hockey team begins the stretch run of the ECAC Hockey campaign by hosting Quinnipiac (11-7-4, 3-4-3 ECAC) and Princeton (4-9-4, 3-7-1) in a pair of 7 p.m. games this Friday and Saturday at the Whale. Both games can be seen live on, Friday's game with the Bobcats airs live on WQUN Radio (AM-1220).

Quinnipiac leads the series with Yale 6-5-1 in a New Haven County rivalry that began in 2005-06. The Bulldogs swept last year and have won two straight at home. Five different players hit the net and Ryan Rondeau '11 stopped 30 of 31 shots as Yale beat Quinnipiac 6-1 before 3,957 at the TD Bank Sports Center in the last meeting last February. Denny Kearney '11 had two goals while Chad Ziegler, Kevin Limbert, Jimmy Martin '11 and Brian O'Neill tallied goals as the Elis outshot the Bobcats 42-31. Kenny Agostino had two assists on a night when his team scored two shorthanders.

The Elis won both meetings last winter and the teams skated to a 2-2 tie on opening night this season. Yale now lead the series 128-101-9 heading into the 249th contest. In October's Ivy Shootout at Thompson Arena, the Bulldogs, who outshot the Tigers 30-28, erased a 1-0 deficit and built a 2-1 lead. Five different Yale players notched points while Jeff Malcolm made 26 saves.

Yale rang in the New Year by ringing up nine goals, thanks in part to a four-goal outburst by Brian O'Neill (Yardley, Pa.), in a 9-3 win in the first-ever meeting with Bentley before 2,928 at Ingalls Rink on Jan. 1. The Bulldogs, who had a 37-19 advantage in shots, broke open a 3-3 contest with six straight goals. Four consecutive scores came from the stick of Yale's captain. Yale overcame Bentley's mini-comeback to shut down the Falcons (5-9-3) over the last 36 minutes. That meant keeping them off the scoreboard and allowing just 11 shots over the last two periods. Kenny Agostino (Flanders, NJ), who had a goal and three points, and Andrew Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich), who had four helpers, also had big days.

Quinnipiac, 4-1-2 over its last nine outings, is coming off a tie and a loss at Nebraska-Omaha last weekend. Jeremy Langlois leads the team with 12 goals and 20 points, while Eric Hartzell (2.08, .912) and Dan Clarke (2.05, .901) have handled most of the duties in net. The netminders have helped the Bobcats, led by 18th-year head coach Rand Pecknold, rank fourth in the country on the penalty kill and 10th (2.33) for scoring defense.

The Tigers, led by first-year head coach Bob Prier (SLU '99), are coming off a pair of 3-3 ties at the Mariucci Classic in Minnesota last weekend against Northeastern and Niagara. Sean Bonar (2.94, .899) has 13 of Princeton's 17 decisions while stopping 35 of 38 shots against Niagara. Jack Berger has a team-high seven goals and 13 points. The Tigers, like the Elis, are one of the least penalized teams in the country.

The Bulldogs dusted off the rust from a 22-day break between games to register a 6-4 exhibition victory over the Russian Red Stars before 3,319 at Ingalls Rink on Dec. 28. Kenny Agostino (Flanders, N.J.) scored twice while Brian O'Neill (Yardley, Pa.) had three assists and Andrew Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) handed out a pair in the Bulldogs' second straight win over the all-star team from the Russian professional league known as the MHL. Yale, which used a different goalie each period, outshot the Red Stars 40-34 and never trailed. Both squads scored a pair of power-play goals.

Yale ranks sixth in scoring offense (3.54) and 29th in defense (2.85) while its combined special teams rank No. 1 in Division I at 60.9 percent. The Bulldog penalty-kill is first (94.4), while only two teams have been penalized less than the Bulldogs. The Elis' power play unit is second (28.6) and trails only Harvard (32.2). In the polls, the Blue is 20th in the Division I list. Yale received 15 votes for the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll but did not crack its top 15.

Yale (8 points) is fourth in ECAC Hockey after playing six games. First-place Cornell has 13 points in eight games, Colgate, the hottest (6-0-1 in last 7) team in the conference, is second with 12 points after eight contests while Quinnipiac (9) is third.

Junior F Antoine Laganiere (Ile Cadieux, Que.) is the hottest Bulldog with 4-5-9 over his last five games. His six goals are second on the team. Laganiere, who leads the team with 44 shots taken, had a career-high four points (2-2) at Brown on Dec. 3, matching his best goal outing (at Princeton, 2009-10).

Junior Jeff Malcolm has started every game this season and has all seven wins. He had a shutout streak of three (Colgate, RPI, Union) games and 226:39 minutes (parts of 5 games) in November and was named ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Week after stopping all 72 shots in wins at No. 8 Union and RPI on Nov. 11-12. The three straight SHOs tied the school record set by Ryan Rondeau '11 last winter. His scoreless streak fell short of the 240:53 by Rondeau. His career record is 13-9-1 with a 2.95 GAA and three shutouts. Malcolm has a 2.54 GAA (29th in Division I) with a .921 SP (34th) this year.

Junior F Andrew Miller (82 gp, 19-73-92) is one of college hockey's premier  offensive catalysts. Not known for his goal scoring, Miller, who leads the team with 11 helpers and is ninth on the school's career assist list, is best at creating space, setting up teammates and winning draws. Miller, a 2010-11 first-team All-ECAC pick, was voted "best passer" by his teammates last season while he had 12-33-45. He was No. 4 in the nation with .97 assists per game (tops in ECAC). More impressive is that 22 of his 33 assists were primary ones. His team-high 33 helpers (2nd best at Yale and five behind Mark Kaufmann '93) were a sophomore school record while 45 points were second on the team. He probably had his best offensive weekend as a collegian on Feb. 25-26 when he hit the net three times against Colgate/Cornell combined. Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), was 12th in the nation with 1.29 points per contest and registered the most (34 as a freshman) points by a Yale rookie since Tom Walsh set the bar with 41 in 1984-85. The speedy forward was the 2008-09 USA Junior Player of the Year and 2007 Michigan High School Mr. Hockey. In 2009-10 he was second among conference rookies with one point per game, which also put him fourth in the country for newcomers. He ranked eighth in Division I that year with .85 assists per outing.

Yale's captain, Brian O'Neill (116 gp, 57-75-132), leads the squad with nine goals and 15 points. He is seventh on Yale's career points list and is 11th on the career goals list (2nd among active ECAC players). He was a 2010-11 first-team All-ECAC selection and has led the team in scoring the last two seasons. O'Neill had a career-high four goals (most by a Bulldog since 2003) this year against Bentley. His four tallies against the Falcons on Jan. 1, 2012, were on consecutive scores. That eclipsed his hat trick at Clarkson on Feb. 12, 2011. He ranked 15th nationally with 1.29 points per game last year. He began 2010-11 with a 3-2-5 weekend in the two wins including 2-1-3 and the GWG against Dartmouth on Oct. 30. The year before, he led the Elis with 29 assists and 45 points while ranking seventh in the country with 1.32 PPG. O'Neill (Yardley, Pa.) made the 2008-09 CHN and ECAC Hockey All-Rookie teams after going 12-14-26.

Junior Nick Maricic (Alta Loma, Calif.) saw his first action of the year at SHU (2 saves, 24 minutes) but has not made a start this season. Maricic owns a 2.89 career GAA and an .885 SP. Freshman Connor Wilson (Cary, NC) is looking for his first opportunity. He stopped 11 of 12 shots in one period of work against the exhibition against the Russian Red Stars on Dec. 28.

There are seven defensemen on the Yale roster: two seniors, a junior, a sophomore and three freshmen. They have combined to score six goals while allowing 37 in 13 games. Two of the newcomers, Tommy Fallen (Plymouth, Minn.) and Matt Killian (Basking Ridge, NJ) scored goals against SHU. Three of the seven have a depth of experience. Seniors Kevin Peel (Onoway, Alb.) and Nick Jaskowiak (Bloomington, Minn.) have been regulars since arriving in New Haven. Junior Colin Dueck (Calgary, Alb.) became a mainstay last winter and sophomore Gus Young (Dedham, Mass.) has seen action in every game this season.   

Yale sophomore forward Kenny Agostino (Flanders, NJ), who came within a step of making the U.S. National Junior Team this winter, has five goals and 12 points this season in 11 games. Agostino, who missed the last three games before the break with an injury, has five goals over the last five games. His best game this year was 2-2-4 vs. UConn. Agostino became the first Yale newcomer in 30 years to record five points in one game on Jan. 2, 2011. He notched three goals and two assists against Holy Cross and became the school's first freshman to tally five points since former Olympian and NHL star Bob Brooke '83 established the school rookie record against Dartmouth in 1980. Yale's rookie of the year last winter after scoring 11 goals and 25 points, Agostino was the HCA National Rookie of the Month for January (8-4-12), the first Bulldog to receive that award. He was ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week on Jan. 23 (3 goals vs. Clarkson/SLU), becoming the only Bulldog to earn conference rookie honors in 2010-11. The former Delbarton School star had a goal and three assists before the holiday break, and 10 goals and 11 assists after. He ranked 11th nationally among rookies with .86 points per game.
Seniors Dan Otto (Lake Zurich, Ill.) and Josh Balch (Wilmette, Ill.) missed the last two games with injuries... Sophomore Brad Peltz (Mount Kisco, NY) and freshman Trent Ruffolo (Coral Springs, Fla.) scored their first regular season goals against Bentley. Ruffolo notched two points 10 seconds apart... There are four Bulldogs with more than 100 career games played: Brian O'Neill, Charles Brockett, Kevin Limbert and Kevin Peel.

Assistant coach Dan Muse is in his third season season under Keith Allain. He joined the Bulldog staff when C.J. Marottolo left to take the top job at Sacred Heart. Former University of New Hampshire star Eric Lind has been with Allain every season at Yale. There is one new face on the Yale bench this season, Dennis "Red" Gendron, who replaced Kyle Wallack as the Bulldogs' associate head coach. Gendron, an assistant at the University of Massachusetts the last six seasons and a former University of Maine coach from 1990 to 1993, helped the Black Bears win a 1993 NCAA Championship.

The Elis are on the road next weekend for the longest trip of the year at Clarkson and St. Lawrence.

The current Yale roster is comprised of leaders and scholars. Here are some examples.

22  were captains of hockey teams before coming to New Haven
13 captained another sports team
17 won a scholar-athlete award
14 graduated in top 10 percent of their senior class

The Yale players were surveyed about each other, and here are the results:

Best Passer:              Andrew Miller (Jr, F)
Fastest on Skates:         Brian O'Neill (Sr, F)
Hardest Shot:             Antoine Laganiere (Jr, F)
Best Forechecker:         Chad Ziegler (Sr, F)
Strongest:             Josh Balch (Jr, F)
Most Likely to become a coach: Josh Balch  
Best Singer:             Colin Dueck (Jr, D)
Most Unique Hobby:         Brian O'Neill (model airplanes)
Best Sense of Humor:         Charles Brockett (Sr, F)
Biggest Appetite:         Charles Brockett
Best Dresser:             Andrew Miller
Want your sister to date:     Anthony Day (Fr, F)
The Yale roster includes players from 13 different states and three provinces. New York and Minnesota are represented by three players from each state while Alberta brings in four players.

The United States Hockey League contributed 10 players to the Bulldog roster. There are four from the British Columbia Hockey League, one from the Atlantic Junior Hockey League and another from the Eastern Junior Hockey League. Ten Yale student-athletes came directly from prep schools.

There are 23 former Yale hockey players skating professionally, including eight from the class of 2011. Here are the Bulldog pros, youngest to oldest:

Chris Cahill '11 (Cincinnati Cyclones, ECHL)
Denny Kearney '11 (Trenton Titans, ECHL)
Broc Little '11 (HockeyAllsvenskan, VIK Västerås HK, Sweden)
Jimmy Martin '11 (Florida Everblades, ECHL)
Brendon Mason '11 (Nybro Vikings, Sweden)
Mike Matczak '11 (Kalamazoo Wings, ECHL)
Ryan Rondeau '11 (Laredo Buck, CHL)
Ken Trentowski '11 (Brooklyn Aviators, FHL)
Sean Backman '10 (Bridgeport Sound Tigers, AHL)
Ryan Donald '10 (Florida Everblades, ECHL)
Mark Arcobello '10 (Oklahoma City Barons, AHL)
Billy Blase '10 (Neuilly-sur-Marne, France)
Tom Dignard (Belfast Giants, EIHL)
Alec Richards '09 (Rockford Icehogs, AHL)
Brennan Turner '09 (Dundee Stars, EIHL)
David Meckler '09 (Manchester Monarchs, AHL)
Blair Yaworski '08 (Utah Grizzlies, ECHL)
Jean-Francois Boucher (Saint-George COOL-FM, LNAH)
Matt Cohen '07 (Fife Flyers, EIHL)
Brad Mills '07 (New Jersey Devils, NHL)
Chris Higgins '05 (Vancouver Canucks, NHL)
Joe Callahan '05 (Hamilton Bulldogs, AHL)
Ray Giroux '98 (ChelyabinskTraktor, KL)

Three players on the current Yale roster have been drafted by NHL teams: Gus Young (Colorado, 7th, 184, 2009); Kenny Agostino (Pittsburgh, 5th, 140, 2010); Brad Peltz (Ottawa, 7th, 190, 2009).
It's not fair to compare recent Yale teams to the 2011-12 Bulldogs, who lost nine standout class of 2011 players. Eight of the graduates are skating professionally. The current squad isn't lacking talent, but nobody re-loads with equal force after losing nine seniors from a championship team. There are seven seniors seeing regular duty, though one of them seeks his first varsity letter. Four of the five sophomores and five of the six juniors have been in almost every game while five freshmen have been needed to fill the largest void.

The Yale men have left a mark on Division I over the last three seasons under Keith Allain '80, the Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach of Hockey. The combined statistics from 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 make the last three years the best in the history of the sport in New Haven and among the best in the nation over that span.

The Numbers From 2008-11                Accomplishments
Overall Record:            73-25-6 (.729)                Top Winning Percentage in Division I
ECAC Record:            47-14-5 (.749)               Two-time Division I Scoring Leader (2009-10, 2010-11)
Scoring:                405 goals, 104 games (3.89)    Led nation in scoring defense 2010-11
All-Americans:            4                2 ECAC Hockey Tournament Championships (2009, 2011)
All-ECAC:                8                2 ECAC Hockey Regular Season Titles (2008-09, 2009-10)
All-Ivy League:            10                3 NCAA Tournament Appearances

Pay-per-view broadcasts of Yale hockey regular season home games are available on The Yale Athletic Department production is almost entirely student run: Sam Dorward '13 is the producer; Tom Stokes  '12 and Patrick Ouziel '13 are the cameramen; Evan Ellis '12, the Voice of Yale Hockey, and Max Valenstein '13 are the broadcasters.

Yale and Fairfield hosted the 2009 and 2011 NCAA East Regional Tournaments in Bridgeport at Webster Bank's Arena at Harbor Yard, and the Bulldogs participated in both. The 2012 East Regional is slated for the Yard, which has hosted numerous NCAA events.
Yale hockey celebrated the re-dedication of Ingalls Rink (3,500 capacity) on Jan. 16, 2010. The rink built in 1958 has been modernized  while adding 13,000 square feet of operational space. The additions include locker rooms and space for strength & conditioning (including skating treadmill), student-athlete study area, medical & training, officials, video, coaches, equipment, reception and more. There are new historical displays, concession stands and bathrooms for the building nicknamed the "Whale" because of its humpback-shaped roof.

The Whale (Ingalls Rink) has been a tough place for visitors in recent years. Yale, which enjoyed its first undefeated (15-0-1, only Division I team to do that) regular season at Ingalls last winter, finished 17-1-1 at home (2-2 this year). That is the most wins ever in New Haven for a Yale team (The Blue went unbeaten at New Haven in 1928-29). The Bulldogs are 42-11-3 over the last three-plus seasons at the Whale and 12-10-3 in home ECAC playoff games all time.

Ingalls Rink was sold out for the last 12 games of the 2010-11 regular season and three (Cornell, Colgate, BC) of the first five games this season. There are tickets available for the rest of the home campaign, but only G.A. and S.R.O. tickets remain for contests with Harvard and Dartmouth.

Here are some important things to know if you are covering the Bulldogs or just working a game at Ingalls. Interviews: Yale head coach Keith Allain and select players are available on a semi-regular basis each week at Ingalls Rink, typically Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. If you would like to attend these informal media sessions, please contact Sports Publicity Director Steve Conn. Post-game:interviews with Yale personnel are conducted in one of the youth locker rooms at ice level on the home side of the building. Let Steve Conn know who you would like to speak with immediately after the game. Media Gate List: Attendants stationed at the front and back of the rink have a media gate list to check off your name. Parking: The same list is used for PARKING in the garage (entrance off Prospect Street) behind the rink.

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director