Tag Archive: Hockey

  1. M. HOCKEY | Elis split series with Harvard

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    For the second straight night, it was overtime for the men’s hockey team in its best-of-three ECAC quarterfinal matchup against Harvard (11–9–11, 8–5-9 ECAC).

    But unlike Friday, when Kenny Agostino ’14 scored the game-winner in overtime, there would be no hero for Yale (16–15–3, 10–10–2) tonight as the Cantabs won 4–3 in double overtime to even the series at 1–1.

    Defenseman Dan Ford broke through for Harvard almost ten minutes into the second extra frame on a wild final play.

    Ford took advantage on a rebound that nobody else on the ice seemed to be able to locate. Conor Morrison initiated the madness with a shot from the high slot that the Eli defense blocked. As the Bulldogs attempted to locate the missing rubber in front of the net, Ford skated to the left circle and fired a moving puck for the win.

    “I don’t think anyone in the building knew where it was,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said. The puck got shot into a pile and it took half a second for it to come clear. It went right to the one guy who was facing the goal.”

    Yale looked like it might be coasting to an easy win after the first period. Despite having been outshot 15–10, the Elis headed into the locker room with a 2–0 lead. Defenseman Colin Dueck ’13 kicked off the scoring with a shot from the blue line for his third goal of the season just five minutes into the action.

    About ten minutes later, the Bulldogs struck again when Andrew Miller ’13 picked out Chad Ziegler ’12 for Ziegler’s eighth goal of the season. Ziegler one-timed a Miller pass from the slot to give Yale a comfortable two-goal cushion.

    But the Bulldogs’ woes on special teams kept them from pulling away for good. Yale failed to score a goal in 11 power play opportunities.

    The Elis could not match the Cantabs’ ability to contain the power play. Harvard scored on three straight power plays and took a 3–2 lead with about nine minutes remaining in the game.

    After that goal, it appeared that Yale was finished for the night. The Elis pulled their goalie, Nick Maricic, from the net in a desperate attempt to even the score.

    But Antoine Laganiere’ 13, who notched a hat trick last weekend against Princeton, prolonged the fight when he stepped up again to tie the game with just 27 seconds left on the clock.

    After taking a pass from Kevin Peel ’12, Clinton Bourbonais ’14 fired a shot from the left circle. The puck bounced off Harvard goaltender Raphael Girard’s pads and Laganiere, who was standing in the slot, knocked it in as he fell to the ice.

    Yale took the momentum into overtime and appeared to have the upper hand. The Bulldogs outshot the Crimson 16–11 in the first extra frame. Allain said he thought the Elis were playing their best hockey of the night.

    “I thought the third period was our best period to that point, and then I thought the first overtime was better,” Allain said. “I thought we were getting stronger as the game went on.”

    Still, the Blue and White could not put one over the goal line as Harvard warded off two more Yale power plays en route to the exhausting victory.

  2. M. HOCKEY | Bulldogs split first two playoff games

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    A late comeback by the men’s hockey team was not enough to overcome its slow start.

    The Bulldogs (14–14–3, 10–10–2 ECAC) fell in overtime to Princeton (9–15–7, 6–12–4) 5–4 as the Tigers extended the ECAC playoff series to its final game. Despite missing seven players to injuries, Princeton jumped out to a 2–0 lead and held off a relentless Blue and White offense in the final period. The Elis outshot their foes 42–31 but could not contain a revitalized Princeton offense.

    Unlike Friday night, the Tigers struck first in game two. Left-winger Rob Kleebaum put Princeton on the scoreboard with a quick wrister over the shoulder of goalie Nick Maricic ’13 after Jack Berger won a faceoff in Bulldog territory.

    The Elis could not duplicate the dominating opening period that helped them to a quick 2–0 lead in game 1, barely outshooting the Tigers 10–8 in the first frame.

    4:50 into the second period, forward Antoine Laganiere ’13 was sent to the penalty box for interference. The Tigers immediately attacked the Yale net and scored an apparent power play goal. But a video review showed that the Tigers kicked the puck in, and the referees discounted the goal to keep the game at 1–0.

    With 3:31 left in the middle frame, defenseman Nick Jaskowiak ’12 fired off a shot that hit the pipe and set off the red light that usually signals a goal. However, the referees upheld the no-goal call after video review.

    For the second night in the row, the Elis’ effort on ice was marred by penalties. Two consecutive calls against Kevin Limbert ’12 and Brian O’Neill ’12 with less than three minutes before the second intermission set up a five-on-three power play for the Tigers.

    With the two-man advantage, Princeton’s Andrew Calof found open space, fired the puck into the top of the net, and widened Princeton’s lead to 2–0 at the 18:35 mark.

    Yale finally broke through the Princeton defense with a power play of its own. Blueliner Kevin Peel ’12 put the Bulldogs on the board 6:33 into the final period by converting a rebound off Jaskowiak’s stick.

    The momentum did not stay with Yale for long. Kleebaum notched his second goal of the night just five seconds after Princeton’s sixth power play opportunity of the night expired.

    But the Bulldogs clawed their way back into the game, starting with a shorthanded goal by center Jesse Root ’14, who somehow found the back of the net as a Princeton defender hauled him down. Root also scored a shorthanded goal against Quinnipiac last week.

    Now skating with a man-advantage, the Elis attacked Princeton goalie Sean Bonar relentlessly. Laganiere managed to tie the game at 3–3 with six minutes remaining in the third period with a shot from behind the net that bounced off the back of Bonar’s leg.

    Once again, the Bulldogs could not keep up their offensive pressure. Twenty-seven seconds after Laganiere’s equalizer, Princeton pulled ahead again, 4–3, with a long goal by defenseman Michael Sdao.

    The Elis, however, refused to tap out. With 2:24 left in the game and a two-man advantage, center Andrew Miller ’13 tied the score at 4–4 with a slap shot and sent the game into sudden-death overtime.

    The Bulldogs’ dream for a comeback was quickly ended after just 33 seconds of overtime play. Following a quick two-on-one rush, Calof fired the puck toward the inside post and scored his second goal of the night.

    With the loss, Yale’s overtime record this season dropped to 0–3–3. The two teams will play game 3 of the series at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

  3. M. HOCKEY | Elis close regular season with tie

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    It’s playoff time.

    The men’s hockey team rounded out its regular season with a 2–2 tie at Quinnipiac University on Saturday night to finish sixth in the ECAC. The sixth-place finish puts the Elis (13–13–3, 10–10–2 ECAC) in position to host Princeton for the opening round of the ECAC playoffs this weekend.

    Quinnipiac (17–11–6, 9–8–5) and Yale went back and forth in a deadlocked early on in the first period. The Bulldogs came out hot and had the upper hand for the first ten minutes and led in shots on goal by an 8–3 margin. But Quinnipiac picked up the pace in the second half of the period. Heading into the first intermission, the Bobcats led 15–10 in shots on goal. Yale goaltender Nick Maricic ’13 made some big saves in the final ten minutes of the period to keep the score knotted at one. Maricic said facing tough shots early helped him later on in the game.

    “It’s nice to get the shots early, that’s what you hope for,” he said in a press release. “When you can make a good save at the beginning of the game, it really helps you.”

    While neither side managed to score in the first period, during the middle frame the teams combined for four goals. Yale kicked off the action just 30 seconds into the period when Jesse Root ’14 notched his first of two consecutive goals off an assist from Charles Brockett ’12.

    “I was calling for it as I came out,” Root said in a press release. “It was a really nice play. He hit me in stride. I had a lot of room to make a move.”

    However, Yale squandered the momentum by committing two straight penalties that gave Quinnipiac a chance to get back into the game. The Elis made it through the first penalty unscathed but did not get so lucky when Kenny Agostino ’14 went to the box just 40 seconds later. It took the Bobcats all of 33 seconds to slip one just past Maricic’s leg and tie the score.

    With Quinnipiac building momentum, Yale caught a bad break at the wrong time. Just 35 seconds after Quinnipiac tied it at one, the referees ejected Antoine Laganiere ’13 for five minutes for making contact to the head. With a five-minute penalty kill coming up, things looked grim for Yale.

    But Root struck again with a shorthanded goal to deflate the Quinnipiac crowd and give Yale a 2–1 lead. Forward Clint Bourbonais ’14 took advantage of a bad touch by a Quinnipiac defenseman and stole the puck at the Bobcats’ blue line. With the blueliner on his back, Bourbonais carried the puck to the net and shot an off-balanced backhand that Bobcats’ keeper Eric Hartzell stopped. With the puck free in front of the net, Root swooped in, grabbed the rubber and finished an easy goal to give Yale the lead again.

    With seven minutes remaining in the second period, Quinnipiac put away another goal on a beautifully executed power play while Laganiere was still off the ice.

    After the flurry of goals in the second period, the teams returned to a stalement in the third. Quinnipiac controlled the pace of the game for most of the period and outshot Yale 15–5. With less than five minutes remaining, the Bobcats looked as though they were going to score when they went on a power play. Quinnipiac had moved the puck effortlessly against Yale on the power play all night, but the Bobcats could not capitalize on their scoring chances.

    In overtime, the Bulldogs recorded two shots on goal to Quinnipiac’s zero. Head coach Keith Allain ’80 said he was pleased with Yale’s overtime effort.

    “I thought we were the stronger team in overtime, and that’s very important,” Allain said in a press release. “Our team has the skill and grit to beat anyone in the league. If our attention is there, and our focus is there, we will see [in the playoffs] if we are good enough.”

  4. M. HOCKEY | Yale bounces back against Clarkson

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    The men’s hockey team (10–11–2, 7–8–1 ECAC) bounced back in a big way on Saturday night with a win over visiting Clarkson at Ingalls Rink. After a disappointing 4–3 overtime loss to St. Lawrence on Friday night, the Elis rebounded with a 5–1 thumping of Clarkson (13–12–5, 7–6–3 ECAC) on Saturday.

    Forward Andrew Miller ’13 said it was an important win for the team.

    “It was a big difference from last night,” Miller said. “Last night was a tough game for us, and to win one at home in front of our home crowd was a lot of fun. Winning by a 5-1 margin, it’s big for our team.”

    Continuing with his recent trend, Allain put Jeff Malcolm ’13 in between the pipes after giving Nick Maricic ’13 the start last night. The move did not seem to pay dividends early on, as the Elis allowed the game’s first goal just two minutes into the opening period. But Malcolm was able to shake it off and keep the Golden Knights off the scoreboard the rest of the way.

    “I just try to focus on the next save,” Malcolm said. “You get a bad bounce like that, or whatever it was, I just come back and concentrate on the next save and after that you just kind of get in a rhythm.”

    In the first period, Clarkson forward Allan McPherson brought the puck from behind the net and attempted a wrap-around, only to be stuffed by Malcolm. But the Canadian netminder was unable to corral the rebound before McPherson popped it in the net to put the Golden Knights up by one.

    However, the Elis evened up the score just four minutes later. After some nice puck movement in the offensive zone, defenseman Tommy Fallen ’15 ended up with the rubber at the point. His shot was saved but the rebound fell to the right side of the net. Waiting there was Miller who grabbed it, made a move around the keeper and put it in for his fifth goal of the year.

    The second period was all Brian O’Neill ’12 as the Elis turned the 1–1 tie into a 3–1 advantage. The captain and forward was recently named the January ECAC Player of the Month and showed everybody why in the middle frame.

    He got the party started just one minute into the period with his ninth power play goal of the season, tying him for first in the nation in that category. After taking a pass from Jesse Root ’14, O’Neill cut between two defensemen and beat Clarkson goalie Paul Karpowich handily.

    His second tally of the period came with only two minutes remaining. This one was made possible by a great find from Miller, who recorded his second point of the night. Standing at the right circle, Miller picked out O’Neill who was moving toward net on the edge of the left circle. Karpowich was helpless as O’Neill finished for the 3–1 lead.

    “I really hadn’t seen him before, but when I turned he was calling for it and streaking to the net,” Miller said.

    The Bulldogs and Knights went back-and-forth for the first 40 minutes, with the Blue and White holding a narrow 22–20 advantage in shots on goal after two periods. But the Elis closed out the last half of the third period in dominating fashion.

    With 8:03 left in the game, Antoine Laganiere ’13 streaked down the middle of the ice sandwiched between two defenders. While Karpowich blocked his shot, the ensuing chaotic scramble in front of the net allowed winger Kenny Agostino ’14 to notch his tenth goal of the season.

    18 seconds later, the Bulldogs put the game completely out of reach for the Golden Knights.

    Off the edge of the crease, center Clint Bourbonais ’14 took advantage of another scramble in front of the Clarkson goal for the final tally of the night. The Bulldogs outshot the Knights 33–28 and Malcolm finished with 27 saves, likely earning him another start next weekend.

    The Elis will travel to New York next weekend to take on Colgate and Cornell.

  5. M. HOCKEY | Elis end losing streak

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    It didn’t look a night that was going to mark the end of Yale’s losing streak.

    The Bulldogs (9–10–2, 6–7–1 ECAC), who entered the game mired in a four-game losing streak, surrendered four first period goals and entered the first intermission down 4–1. But they bounced back after the break, held Dartmouth (9–9–2, 6–6–1) scoreless for the rest of the game and tallied four goals of their own in the final 40 minutes to stun the Big Green 5–4 in Hanover.

    Winger Kenny Agostino ’14 notched the game-winning goal, his second of the night, with 34 seconds left.

    “It was a tremendous win,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said. “Our guys did a great job of overcoming adversity. This was a real testament to their mental toughness.”

    Allain made a critical line-up change before the game, starting Nick Maricic ’13 over Jeff Malcolm ’13, who allowed four goals in a loss to Harvard on Friday night. But the move seemed to have backfired as Maricic endured a nightmarish first period.

    Dartmouth’s Tyler Sikura drew first blood just 3:49 into the game, flicking the puck over Maricic.

    The Elis, who were outshot 20–13 in the opening frame, tied the game at 1–1 when forward Kevin Limbert ’12 knocked in a rebounding shot by center Jesse Root ’14. But the Big Green would dominate the rest of the first period.

    Halfway through the period, blueliner Connor Goggin’s shot bounced off the end boards and into the stick of Troy Mattila, who scored his first goal of the year with an easy put back. 25 seconds later, Eric Robinson’s wrist shot from the slot extended Dartmouth’s lead to 3–1.

    Paul Lee notched the Big Green’s final goal of the night with four minutes left in the first period, pulling the puck loose from a scrum in front of the crease for his first goal of the season.

    While Dartmouth’s offense dominated for the first 20 minutes of the game, it could not unable to find the back of the net again and was outshot by the Bulldogs 25–13 in the last two periods.

    “Our senior class showed tremendous leadership after the first period to get their teammates going,” Allain said.

    The Elis began their comeback by killing off two penalties at the beginning of the second period, allowing just three shots on goal while a man down. The Bulldogs’ sustained offensive pressure gradually worn down the Dartmouth defense and goalie James Mello.

    Midway through the game, Agostino cut the deficit in half off a pass from right winger Antoine Laganiere ’13.

    The third period started off in an one-sided fashion as the Bulldogs’ constant fore-checking and shots on goal overwhelmed Dartmouth. Defenseman Tommy Fallen ’15 pulled the Blue and White within a goal after knocking in a low shot inside the near post five minutes into the third period.

    With 11:18 left, Root scored the equalizer on Yale’s second power play of the night, shooting from the right point and silencing a sellout crowd at the Thompson Arena.

    “I shot it and didn’t see what happened after. It must have hit a Dartmouth player,” Root said.

    Dartmouth’s blue line held off the Yale offense for the next ten minutes and the game seemed to be heading toward overtime. But with less than 40 seconds left in regulation, defenseman Colin Dueck ’13 flicked the puck from the Yale end into the other side, catching defender Goggin out of position. Agostino took the pass, moved around the defender and finished the comeback.

    “I was able to get a fortunate bounce,” said Agostino. “The defense cheated toward O’Neill and I was able to beat [Goggin] on the short side.”

    The Bulldogs will face off against St. Lawrence and Clarkson next weekend at home.

  6. M. HOCKEY | Bulldogs fall to Crimson

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    The men’s hockey team capped off a woeful weekend for Yale in the storied Harvard-Yale rivalry with a Friday night loss to the Crimson. After the men’s basketball team and women’s hockey team had been thrashed by Harvard forces, the hockey team lost narrowly by a 4–3 score. The loss dropped the Elis to 0–4–1 in their past five games and gave Harvard its first win since Dec. 10.

    “We had moments in all three periods where we played well,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said. “Our energy, work ethic and emotion were there, but it wasn’t quite good enough,”

    The Bulldogs (8–10–2, 5–7–1 ECAC) outshot the Crimson (5–6–8, 4–4–6) by a 39–35 margin which marked the second game in a row that the Elis fell despite possessing this advantage. Last Saturday against RPI, the Bulldogs led in shots on goal 46–18 but fell 2–1. This time, the Elis managed to convert more opportunities but still fell short in front of 3,095 at Harvard’s Bright Hockey Center.

    The Cantabs played disciplined hockey, allowing only one power play to the Elis. This power play was awarded in the first period and Yale was unable to capitalize. On the other side of the man-advantage, Harvard converted a crucial goal on one of its four power plays.

    After defenseman Nick Jaskowiak ’12 went to the box for tripping, Harvard created some offense, and Marshall Everson scored his eighth goal of the year to put the Cantabs up 3–2 with about ten minutes to play in the contest.

    After going down 1–0 only four minutes into the game, the Bulldogs scored goals just 13 seconds later to take back the lead in the blink of an eye. With about five minutes remaining in the period, Jaskowiak scored his first goal of the year when he launched a shot from the blue line that navigated through traffic and found the back of the net.

    Just after the ensuing face-off, forward Andrew Miller ’13 chased down a puck in the Harvard end and picked out captain Brian O’Neill ’12 in the high slot. After moving past a defender, O’Neill beat Harvard goalie Steve Michalek stick-side for his 13th tally of the season.

    After the Crimson came back and took a 3–2 lead, the Elis managed to play catch-up one more time. With only four minutes remaining, defenseman Gus Young ’14 corralled a failed Harvard clearance and fired a quick snap shot to tie things up at three.

    But Harvard won the battle down the stretch. With about one minute left to play, Harvard’s Alex Killorn scored his second goal of the night after an odd-man rush gave him an open shot on the right side of the ice. After Yale goalie Jeff Malcolm ’13 saved Killorn’s first attempt, the Harvard center tried again and managed to put a backhand between Malcolm’s legs for a 4–3 Harvard victory.

    The Elis will take to the ice again tonight when they travel to Dartmouth for a 7 p.m. matchup.

  7. M. HOCKEY | Yale falls to Clarkson in overtime

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    For the second game in a row, the men’s hockey team could not take advantage of overtime.

    But unlike Saturday night’s 3–3 draw with St. Lawrence, the Elis (8–7–2, 5–4–1 ECAC) conceded with a minute remaining in the five-minute period to lose 5–4 to Clarkson Sunday afternoon.

    The Golden Knights (10–10–5, 4–4–3) scored the deciding goal on a controversial power play. A few minutes into the overtime period the Yale bench was penalized for a comment directed toward an official. Within a minute, Clarkson’s Sam Labrecque put the puck in the net to win it.

    The game looked promising early on for the Blue and White. Ten minutes into the game, defenseman Tommy Fallen ’15 intercepted a clearance and fired a slap shot to give the Bulldogs the lead.

    Forward Antoine Laganiere ’13 followed this up with a similar effort about three minutes later. After creating a turnover in Clarkson’s end of the ice, Laganiere made a move past a Golden Knights defenseman and put the pack past the Clarkson netminder.

    The second period was filled with goals as the two teams combined for four tallies. Yale’s Clinton Bourbonais ’14 kicked off the scoring with his second goal in two days to again put the Elis up by two.

    But the Yale offense shut down after Bourbonais’ goal. With less than two minutes remaining in the second period and up 3–1, the Elis seemed to be in good shape. But the momentum would shift starting with Ben Sexton’s power play goal. Another Yale penalty gave the Golden Knights a chance to tie things up. Louke Oakley took advantage with 20 seconds remaining in the period. After a Sexton shot bounced off the glass, Oakley took the rebound and put it in.

    Only two minutes later, Oakley struck again to put the Golden Knights up 4–3. True to the bounce-back nature of the game, Yale defenseman Colin Dueck ’13 fired a slap shot from the point to knot it up at four.

    For the second night in a row the Elis struggled on special teams. After converting only one power play out of seven opportunities Saturday night, the Elis went 1-6 on Sunday. On the penalty kill the Elis struggled as well. Despite having one of the best penalty killing units in the ECAC, the Elis allowed three goals in Clarkson’s five power plays.

    The Elis will be back in action 7 p.m. Friday against Union and Saturday at 7 p.m. against RPI. Both games will be played at Ingalls Rink.

  8. M. HOCKEY | Elis slip in conference standings

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    Their trip to the North Country began with a blizzard, a delayed game and a seven-hour power outage at their hotel.

    Things continued to look bleak for the men’s hockey team when they faced a 3–1 deficit with eight minutes left in the second period against St. Lawrence (8–11–3, 4–5–1 ECAC), the ECAC’s 10th-place team. But Yale (8–6–2, 5–3–1) came back to salvage a 3–3 tie that dropped them to sixth place in the conference standings.

    St. Lawrence jumped on Yale early in the game with a goal from Pete Child putting the Saints up 1–0 just 1:38 into the first period.

    “They scored right off the bat, so we were on our heels right away,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said in a press release. “Our guys did a great job of battling back. This is a tough place to play.”

    The Bulldogs regained some momentum when forward Andrew Miller ’13 scored with only two seconds remaining in the first period.

    But the Elis momentum would not last. On one of their six power plays, St. Lawrence’s Greg Carey scored to give his team a 2–1 lead. Carey would strike again only seven minutes later to put Yale in a 3–1 hole.

    Behind netminder Jeff Malcolm ’13, who recorded 26 saves on the night, the Elis held the Saints at three and began mounting their comeback. A little less than three minutes into the third period, Kevin Peel ’12 put in a power play goal to bring the Elis within one. It was the only time Yale’s normally robust power play units converted on the night despite seven opportunities.

    Then, with less than five minutes remaining in the game, forward Clinton Bourbonais ’14 scored the goal that would eventually send the contest to overtime.

    “Clint’s goal was the result of a great sustained offensive zone shift by that line. [Antoine Laganiere ’14] and [Trent Ruffolo ’15] did a great job on the fore-check to keep pucks alive. Both of them were involved in getting Clint the puck in the slot. His shot went high glove side,” Allain said.

    But in overtime, despite controlling the run of play, the Elis could not capitalize to take the win. Yale recorded four out of the five shots on target but St. Lawrence goalie Matt Weninger managed to keep the puck out of the net.

    Sunday afternoon, the Elis will be traveling to Clarkson to make up Friday night’s cancellation. The puck drops at 4 p.m.

  9. M. HOCKEY | Men’s hockey No. 2 coach Wallack leaves Yale for Indiana

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    The men’s hockey team is losing its No. 2 coach.

    The Indiana Ice, a team in the amateur United States Hockey League (USHL), announced Wednesday morning that it had hired Kyle Wallack as general manager and head coach. Wallack, who was Yale’s associate head coach and recruiting director, joined the program in 2006, soon after head coach Keith Allain ’80.

    “It’s a league where it’s more of a business than the college game, but there’s an opportunity to be a head coach and that’s been a goal of mine,” Wallack said. “I’m excited to see where it takes me, and hopefully I can come back and coach at Yale one day.”

    Wallack was known at Yale for his recruiting. His efforts helped draw the key pieces of the Elis’ recent successful teams to New Haven from as far away as California and British Columbia.

    “[Wallack] gets to know your family, not just you,” said forward Chad Ziegler ’12, a native of Alberta, Canada. “He shows an interest in you as a person just as much as a hockey player. That’s a major thing to prospective players.”

    Yale had a losing hockey program when Allain took over and hired Wallack as his second in command. But the pair have elevated the Elis into the national spotlight in recent years by building around undersized, speedy forwards and with recruiting coups that included bringing USA Hockey’s 2009 Junior Player of the Year Andrew Miller ’13 to campus.

    Players said that the personable manner that helped Wallack as a recruiter carried over to the ice and locker room. Goaltender Nick Maricic ’13, whose first contact with Yale was with the coach, described Wallack as a vocal presence who pointed out what players were doing wrong but also had a sense of humor. That sense of humor included a bet in January that Ziegler — who is known for being vocal about his Canadian heritage — could not go a week without mentioning the name of his home province. Wallack won.

    “I think his ability to make guys laugh helped us to keep things in perspective during rough times the last few seasons,” Maricic said.

    Wallack — a Connecticut native who started at goalie for all his four years at Springfield College — had coached for the University of Connecticut and Holy Cross before joining the Bulldogs. He said that he grew enormously as a coach during his time at Yale and with Allain.

    “If [Allain] hadn’t given me the stamp of approval, I don’t think I would have left,” Wallack said. “I’m sure I’ll be on the phone with him next year quite a bit picking his brain on different situations.”

    Wallack may be making those phone calls from North Dakota, Nebraska or Ohio. Each state has at least one team in the USHL, a junior league that players enter to hone their skills and earn the attention of NCAA and NHL scouts. It includes athletes as young as 16 and as old as 20. Those players — many of whom finish high school while with their teams and move away from home to enter the league — can be drafted or traded during their time in the league.

    Former Indiana head coach and general manager Charlie Skjodt was promoted to president of the club on May 5, leaving an opening at his former position.

    “Kyle embodies everything the Indiana Ice stands for here in Indianapolis,” said team CEO Paul Skjodt, Charlie’s brother, in a press release Wednesday. “The most impressive part of his stay at Yale was his ability to not only recruit, but to build a team of student athletes that require the highest standards of education to gain entry and still win at the college level.”

    Wallack said he officially signed with the Ice over the weekend. His contract runs through 2013–14, according to a press release announcing his hiring.

    On Tuesday, Wallack emailed the Yale team to announce his departure.

    Nine members of the 2010-11 Elis played in the USHL, and former star goaltender Alec Richards ’09 skated with Indiana for a year before he came to Yale.

  10. O’Neill ’12 elected hockey captain

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    After he was ejected midway through his team’s season-ending loss to Minnesota-Duluth in the NCAA tournament, men’s hockey captain-elect Brian O’Neill ’12 could not bring himself to watch the remaining playoff games on television.

    O’Neill, who has led the team in scoring for the past two seasons, had to watch his team implode from the locker room. One month later, however, he is focusing on the future. His teammates have elected him as the 117th Yale captain of Yale hockey, and the right winger from Pennsylvania already has his sites fixed on a familiar goal: a national championship.

    O’Neill’s teammates say he has led by example in his three years on the team, but has also gradually taken on a more vocal role in the locker room. He has blossomed on the ice during that time from a member of the College Hockey News’ All-Rookie Team after his freshman year to the scorer of almost half Yale’s NCAA tournament goals last season.

    “He is really the heart and soul of this team,” head coach Keith Allain ’80 said.

    O’Neill had two assists in his first ever game in a Yale uniform. He has not let up the scoring pace since. He was instrumental in his team’s ECAC playoff victory last season, and his scoring touch helped Yale land the No. 1 overall seed in the national tournament.

    He kept putting pucks in the net as the stakes increased, and scored the Elis’ only regulation goal in their NCAA tournament-opening victory over Air Force. He scored again the next night, against Minnesota-Duluth. But, following his ejection, he could not contribute as that game slipped away.

    Without its leading scorer playing, Yale limped to a season-ending 5–3 loss. Allain defended O’Neill after the game, and replays seemed to show that the hit had been clean. But the loss stood, and the season ended prematurely for a team that had its sights set from the outset on a national title.

    Now O’Neill says that he and his fellow rising seniors want to lead the team to build on this past season’s success. But the team they will lead is losing nine seniors, all of who played crucial roles last year. Half the defensive corps is graduating, as are three of the team’s top five scorers. Departing goaltender Ryan Rondeau ’11 shared team most valuable player honors with O’Neill at the end of the season.

    Next year’s Yale squad will lean heavily on untested underclassmen to replace those seniors, but O’Neill says he does not plan on captaining a rebuilding team.

    “It’s up to the seniors to help the freshmen adjust,” he said. “After three, six games, most guys acclimate to the college style, and we’re hoping to pick up where we left off.”

    O’Neill had little trouble adjusting to the college game himself. He led Yale freshmen in scoring in his first campaign with the Elis. His scoring production has increased steadily since then, and his 117 career points put him 12th on the University’s career list.

    “He’s relentless,” former captain Jimmy Martin ’11 said. “He’s one of those guys who just have a knack for putting the puck in the net.”

    Martin and O’Neill have more than the captainship in common — Yale lists both as 5 feet 9 inches. But that number was a point of contention at the team’s annual awards banquet on Monday, when each took the podium and said that the other stood only 5 feet 7 inches.

    Whatever the new captain’s true height, he stands shorter than most defensemen he faces. But that size disadvantage does not stop him from crashing the opposing net.

    “[O’Neill] is the type of player that won’t shy away from any situation in the game,” said goalie Jeff Malcolm ’12, who has seen plenty of his teammates’ shots up close in practice. “That grittiness helps him to get into the right positions and become an offensive threat.”

    Indeed, both of the political science major’s goals during the NCAA tournament began with perfect positioning. Against Air Force, he parked himself at the corner of the net and buried a perfect pass from defenseman Nick Jaskowiak ’12 with ease. His goal the next night came when he converted another one-timer, this one after he had created some open space for himself in the high slot.

    Those two goals left O’Neill with eight points in his five career NCAA tournament games.

    “He’s a big-game player and one of the most competitive people that I know,” linemate Andrew Miller ’13 said. “He always shows up in big games. And that tells a lot about his character.”

    Miller, Martin and other teammates point to that production as a sign of O’Neill’s leadership by example. Media and opposing coaches recognized his skill when they named him to the first team All-ECAC and one of three finalists for the conference’s player of the year.

    As captain, O’Neill will be expected not only to keep producing, but also to be a vocal presence. But, Martin said, his successor will not have to change much to fill that role.

    “A leader is a leader,” he said. “And O’Neill is one on and off the ice.”

    Although O’Neill said that he already tended to be a voice in the locker room, he said that he would have to work especially hard next year to help create unity between the team’s veterans and its large incoming class of freshmen.

    The incoming captain will not be alone in that work. He said that he expects the rest of his class to step up and do as much work as he will to lead the team.

    “We’ll be seniors, and it will be our team,” he said. “We’ve been through a lot together and we’re excited to go into next season as a class.”

    O’Neill’s position on the team and success on the ice are a surprise for a student from Yardley, Penn., far south of traditional hockey hotbeds. O’Neill said his path to hockey began with his father’s encouragement to try skating and an immediate passion for the game.

    “The rest is history,” he said.

    The right wing’s individual production has already guaranteed him a place in the Yale record books. His success as captain could help make his class the first in school history every to qualify for the NCAA tournament four times. Not to mention the first to win the national title.

  11. M. HOCKEY | Bulldogs go pro

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    Mike Matczak ’11 was in bed when the Adirondack Phantoms called last Saturday morning. The American Hockey League team wanted him to play for them that night.

    The former men’s hockey blueliner packed his bags and drove three and a half hours to the Phantoms’ rink in Glens Falls, New York. By 7:00 p.m., he was wearing one of the Phantoms’ orange jerseys and skating shifts on defense against the Wilkes-Barre Penguins.

    “Saturday is a big blur for me at this point,” Matczak said. “I woke up at New Haven, and next thing I know I’m playing for the Phantoms.”

    Matczak is one of five Elis to have received calls from professional hockey teams since the Yale season ended with a loss in the NCAA Tournament almost two weeks ago. Goaltender Ryan Rondeau ’11 has also signed with the Phantoms, and Denny Kearney ’11, Chris Cahill ’11, and Jimmy Martin ’11 have also logged time on professional teams.

    All five heard from the professional clubs in the same manner — a phone call — and then left Yale for an unfamiliar city. Cahill had the longest trip of the group: a flight to Wisconsin for his gig with the Milwaukee Admirals. The rest of the Elis have had easier commutes — Kearney had to drive just an hour to his gig with the Springfield (Mass.) Falcons.

    The Falcons, the Admirals, and the Phantoms — who have Rondeau on their roster as well as Matczak — play in the American Hockey League, just one step below the top professional league in the world: the National Hockey League. The minor league is full of players who have seen action in the Big Show, or are on the verge. The game is faster-paced and more controlled than college hockey.

    “It’s the same sport, but each man is a little more skilled than the guys are in college,” Kearney said.

    That higher level of play has not stopped the former Yale left wing, who has racked up a goal and three assists in his three games with Springfield. His most recent assist, which he earned with a pretty pass across the crease to linemate Greg Moore, came in a familiar location: Bridgeport’s Arena at Harbor Yard, the site of Yale’s season-ending loss to Minnesota-Duluth on March 26.

    “During warmups, the goal judge from our game against [Duluth] said, ‘Hey, remember me? When you scored on UMD you jumped against the glass and scared me to death,’” Kearney said. “That was funny, but being there was strange. It was too soon to be back.”

    Although Kearney is the only Eli who has made the trip to Bridgeport for a game so far, all have experienced the same rapid turnaround from the end of their Yale season to the beginning of what each one hopes will be a long professional career.

    Martin had just two days to make the transition. The Reading Royals of the East Coast Hockey League called him last Tuesday. He was on a plane to Pennsylvania before the day was out, and played that Wednesday.

    “You’re still getting over the [Duluth] loss, and having to think about moving on was brutal,” Martin said.

    The Reading regular season ended last Saturday, so Martin played three games in four days with the club before he returned to Yale and to classes. The rest of the Elis will all spend at least a full week with their new teams because the AHL regular season does not end until this weekend.

    For Matczak, Kearney, and Cahill, those extra games meant missing a full week of school.

    “Luckily, I have a lot of downtime,” Matczak said. “So I’ve been able to keep up with most of the work.”

    The five Elis have all signed amateur tryout contracts that expire at the end of their professional teams’ regular seasons this weekend. After that, they will return to Yale, graduate, and train over the summer.

    “My plan is to go back to school and hopefully my play will catch the interest of someone,” Kearney said. “I’m hoping I can parlay the opportunity to showcase my skills at this level into a contract for next year.”

    If Kearney and his former teammates become full-time athletes next year, they will compete against each other, former teammates such as Ryan Donald ’10 and Sean Backman ’10, and dozens of former NCAA opponents. Kearney, for one, is currently playing on a line alongside Cam Atkinson, whose Boston College team eliminated Yale from last year’s NCAA Tournament.

    “It’s an overwhelming situation,” Martin said. “Obviously, I’ve played with other teams before, but I’ve been with Yale for four years and the core group there had played together all season. It’s tough to move on.”

  12. M. HOCKEY | Controversial call overshadows game

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    Just eight seconds after Brian O’Neill ’12 had scored Yale’s first game of the night, he levelled Jake Hendrickson with a hard hit near center ice. Hendrickson was prone on his stomach after the hit and Brian O’Neill ’12 was escorted to the penalty box. And then, suddenly, Yale’s top scorer was skating off the ice and into the locker room. He had been ejected.

    When referees had whistled a penalty, everyone watching — from fans in the stands to ESPNU announcer Barry Melrose — imagined that the Yale star would receive a typical two-minute minor penalty at most. Instead, O’Neill received a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

    By the time Yale was back at full strength five minutes later, Duluth’s 3–1 lead had grown to 5–1 late in the second period. The game was all but over.

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    “I don’t agree with that call,” Melrose said on the telecast. “I thought O’Neill kept his elbows down. I thought he made contact with the chest, which he is able to do.”

    O’Neill’s infraction was not the only dubious call to go against Yale in the second period of its season-ending loss on Saturday. Duluth has made the score 2–0 during the power play that followed a controversial roughing the goaltender call against Chris Cahill ’11, in which the left wing appeared to make contact with Duluth netminder Kenny Reiter only because he had been tripped by an opposing player.

    Then, less than a minute into O’Neill’s penalty, defenseman Nick Jaskowiak ’12 was whistled for boarding. Duluth needed just 52 seconds to score on the ensuing two-man advantage.

    Between Cahill’s penalty and the end of O’Neill’s, Duluth scored three goals. The game transformed from a close 2–0 battle into a 5–1 blowout. Yale’s fans grew more and more disenchanted.

    “People started off humorous and rowdy, like a typical student section,” said Eric Caine ’14, who was at the game. “Then, as the game went on, frustration grew and grew until by the end everything had just become somber.”

    Students voiced their frustration with loud “F— you refs” chants that could be heard on the ESPN telecast. The referees left the ice at the end of the second period to raucous boos from the crowd, which only grew louder when the officials returned for the third. At least two Yale fans showed their anger over the Jaskowiak penalty by throwing water bottles onto the ice.

    “We weren’t acting like angels over there, that’s pretty obvious,” said Peter Jasinski ’12, who attended all but two Yale home games this season. “The student section was the maddest I’ve ever seen it.

    The anger did not die out after the game. Fans floated conspiracy theories that the NCAA wanted a local team to make the Frozen Four, which is being held in St. Paul, Minnesota this year. The Yale Precision Marching Band held an informal concert Sunday afternoon in which it flew a large “Go Bulldogs #1” banner and dedicated two renditions of a song by Cee-Lo Green sometimes called “Forget You” to the referees.

    The YPMB balanced its message to the referees with Yale fight songs, but the frustrated tone shined through. Drum major Kate Carter ’12 announced Green’s song as “a reprise of good sportsmanship” and saxophonist John Ela ’11 offered a sarcastic speech in praise of fairness and good officiating.

    “I’m a connoisseur of hockey referees,” Ela joked. “I follow many of them on Twitter. And last night’s game was positively the best-officiated one I have ever had the pleasure of watching. I really appreciate refs who are not bribed by either team.”

    Fan anger is not always justified. After the game, a flurry of comments on online college hockey message boards argued that outrage over the penalties was simply a distraction from a game in which Duluth outplayed Yale.

    Indeed, penalties or not, students were eager to celebrate the achievements of the hockey team rather than dwell on the merit of the officials’ calls. The student section, which remained mostly full until the final whistle, maintained a “Let’s go Yale” chant throughout the post-game handshakes.

    But even the fans most willing to move past questions about officials pointed to the fact that, if the two goals Duluth scored during the O’Neill major penalty were subtracted, the game would be tied 3–3. Such simple arithmetic cannot adequately measure the penalty’s impact. Nobody may ever know how the game would have finished if O’Neill had not ejected, but Melrose was certain of the call’s magnitude.

    “The O’Neill penalty was the game,” he said.