By Marc Sorel
After Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute extended the men’s ice hockey team’s losing streak to six games Feb. 16, head coach Tim Taylor wondered if his player’s efforts on the ice would ever translate into positive results.
One four-game winning streak later, the Bulldogs are in the playoffs and winger Chris Higgins ’05, captain Luke Earl ’02 and defenseman Jeff Dwyer ’04 have received All-Ivy honors.
Higgins was a unanimous selection for Ivy League Rookie of the Year and first team All-Ivy, while Earl was named to the second team and Dwyer was an honorable mention.
In his first year with the Bulldogs, Higgins has exceeded the expectations of his coaches and his fellow players. The freshman from Smithtown, N.Y., tops the offensive charts for the Bulldogs with 29 points and is third in the ECAC with 27 points in conference play.
Rated as high as fifth among American college prospects for the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Higgins was named ECAC Player of the Week March 3 after he had five points in the Bulldogs’ wins over Harvard and Brown last weekend.
Higgins’s success this year marks the second consecutive season that a Yale hockey player has laid claim to Rookie of the Year honors. Last year, Dwyer split the honor with Harvard forward Tim Pettit.
Two weeks ago, Earl provided the offensive fireworks for the Elis. The first-line center was instrumental in the Elis’ weekend sweep of the University of Vermont and Dartmouth on the road Feb. 23. Earl had two goals, including the game-winner, against Dartmouth.
With a playoff berth on the line March 2 against Brown, Dwyer delivered for the Elis with a goal in the first period and an assist in the second to give Yale a lead it would hold onto for the rest of the night. Dwyer leads all Yale defensemen with 15 points on the season.