Monday, February 28, 2011

Yale still No. 3, Union up to No. 4

Here's the latest poll

Team (First Place) Record Pts Last Week
1 North Dakota (42) 24- 8-3 989 1
2 Boston College ( 6) 24- 7-1 948 2
3 Yale ( 1) 23- 5-1 887 3
4 Union ( 1) 25- 7-4 837 5
5 Denver 20- 9-5 726 6
5 Michigan 23- 9-4 726 10
7 New Hampshire 19- 7-6 659 9
8 Miami 19- 9-6 628 11
9 Merrimack 21- 7-4 620 4
10 Notre Dame 21-10-5 608 8
11 Minnesota-Duluth 19- 8-6 569 7
12 Nebraska-Omaha 20-12-2 457 12
13 Boston University 17- 9-8 365 15
14 Maine 16-10-6 342 16
15 Western Michigan 16-10-10 248 17
16 Rensselaer 19-10-5 227 14
17 Colorado College 18-15-3 182 19
18 Wisconsin 19-13-4 177 13
19 Minnesota 15-12-5 148 20
20 Dartmouth 16-10-3 114 18

Others Receiving Votes: Princeton 18, Ferris State 8,
RIT 6, St. Cloud State 5, Cornell 3, Robert Morris 2,
Air Force 1

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wrapping up Yale-Cornell

A few quick notes to wrap up tonight's game.

Yale missed out on becoming the first ECAC team to win three straight regular season titles since Harvard from 1992-94, but the Bulldogs weren't exactly shedding any tears. They were proud with their performance against Cornell, and have their sights set on bigger things.

"We didn't want to finish second," Yale captain Jimmy Martin said. "But ultimately, we're going to move on. We had a pretty good weekend, we're playing good hockey, we're excited about the playoffs and we're ready to move forward."

Asked if he was disappointed Union won to clinch the Cleary Cup Saturday, Allain said, "Completely out of my control. I'm thrilled we beat Cornell tonight. That's my emotion."

Andrew Miller had three goals on the weekend. If he wasn't a dangerous enough, the threat of him as a legitimate goal scorer makes him positively lethal. Allain is always on Miller -- albeit gently -- to shoot more. Miller has a rifle shot, but can be ultra precise, as displayed this weekend.

"I think a guy like Andrew becomes so much harder to defend when the threat of a shot is thrown into the mix, and he's got a terrific shot as well," Allain said. "We'd like to see him shoot the puck more."

Yale has won seven straight over Cornell, and is unbeaten in the last eight. Wins over the Big Red were few and very far between, at least since I took over the beat in 1999. Broc Little, who had a breakaway goal, said the Bulldogs match up well against Cornell.

"It’s been a while since we put a full game together,” Little said. “I think for the full 60 minutes we were on our game, just skating. That’s been effective against (Cornell) my whole career, just skating. They usually have bigger guys; we’re the smaller quicker guys and use that to our advantage."

I was unable to get over to the Cornell locker room -- Yale's seniors spent considerable time taking the traditional Senior Day photos on the ice, and my newspaper deadline prevented getting over to the other side of the rink -- so I didn't get an update on injured Cornell defenseman Nick D'Agostino. Early in the second period, D'Agostino was checked cleanly into the boards by Chris Cahill, and went down writhing in pain. Still in apparent agony on the bench, trainers checked his shoulder or collar bone area before taking him to the locker room. He did not return.

ECAC playoff pairings set

FIRST-ROUND (Friday, March 4 - Sunday, March 6 - Best-of-three)
No. 12 Colgate at No. 5 Rensselaer
No. 11 St. Lawrence at No. 6 Princeton
No. 10 Harvard at No. 7 Clarkson
No. 9 Brown at No. 8 Quinnipiac

QUARTERFINALS (Friday, March 11 - Sunday, March 13 - Best-of-three)
TBD at No. 1 Union
TBD at No. 2 Yale
TBD at No. 3 Dartmouth
TBD at No. 4 Cornell

Semifinal No. 1 - 4:30 p.m.; Semifinal No. 2 - 7:30 p.m.

Third-Place Game - 4:30 p.m.
Championship Game - 7:30 p.m.

Yale-Cornell pregame

One line change for Yale tonight. Jesse Root is out, and Clinton Bourbonais will center the line with Kenny Agostino and Chad Ziegler. The rest is the same as Friday.

Here are the lines for both teams





Goalie TBA

Playoff scenarios

Not the best of ties for Yale, which skated well and generated its share of shots but seemed to be slightly off tempo all night. Tremendous defensive effort, and Ryan Rondeau was outstanding. Here's the link to my story in the Register.

As it turned out, the tie was costly. Quinnipiac helped the Bulldogs a bit with a 2-2 tie in Schenectady, N.Y., but Union was able to maintain the one-point lead in the standings. So, for Yale to win the Cleary Cup it must find a way to get even or pass Union tonight. Princeton has been playing quite well of late, but Yale needs to take care of Cornell first.

As for Quinnipiac, the fight for home ice in next week's first-round is still in doubt. But the Bobcats are in a position of options. A win or a tie will clinch a spot, as will a loss by Clarkson or a loss or tie by Brown. Since the Bobcats won't own tiebreakers with Brown or Clarkson, they'll be the odd men out and on the road should all three wind up tied.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Yale-Colgate pregame notes

Another night at Ingalls Rink, another sellout. Tomorrow's game with Cornell is already sold out, so Yale will finish the regular season with 12 successive sellouts. It will also look to run the table at home, entering the weekend a perfect 14-0 here.

Here's a link to the game preview that ran in today's Register.

The one lineup change of note is Colin Dueck will play left defense, with freshman Gus Young out of the lineup. Keith Allain has said that spot could go back and forth, and I expect Young will be there tomorrow night.

Couple of Yale record book notes. Ryan Rondeau set the single-season record for wins (21) in beating Princeton on Sunday, passing Alex Westlund's 20 wins in the 1997-98 season. Westlund's mark for career wins (42) is safe, as Rondeau has 27. There is no listing for winning percentage in a season or career, but would have to think Rondeau has both in hand at 21-4 this season and 27-8 for his career.

Rondeau is also going to challenge Alec Richards' single-season mark of .923 save percentage as well as his .910 career save percentage. Impressive for Rondeau, a guy who had almost no playing time to speak of in his first three years at Yale.

Tonight's lines






Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yale would love to see Cleary this weekend

Apologies for letting the blog slip this week. Been battling the flu for the second time in six weeks along with my 3-year old, and it ain't pretty.

I did get over to Ingalls Rink this afternoon, where Yale is practicing for its final regular-season home weekend. Union stands in the way of a third-straight Cleary Cup for Yale, but the Bulldogs say they won't be scoreboard watching.

"In an ideal world, it all works out," Senior defenseman Mike Matczak said. "I think most guys in the locker room would say we have bigger aspirations. Hopefully, in a couple weeks the Cleary Cup is an afterthought. At this point, we’re worried about winning as many games as possible and getting ready for the playoffs."

Jimmy Martin said the Bulldogs will be disappointed with a second-place finish in the standings, but since it's out of their control all they can do is try to win both games. The fact that no team has won three straight regular season titles in the ECAC since Harvard from 1992-94 (back when Trumbull's Ted Drury was with the Crimson, at least for two of those crowns) makes it that much more intriguing for Yale.

Typically, 33 points is enough for a title. Yale did it with 32 the past two seasons, and the last that needed more than 33 was Cornell (38) in 2004-05.

Yale at Ingalls Rink in two weeks to host a best-of-3 quarterfinal playoff series. But it will honor its senior class prior to Saturday’s game, an annual tradition at the last regular season home game. The class is already the winningest in program history with 83 wins, surpassing the 72 set by the class of 2010.

Forwards Broc Little, Denny Kearney, Brandon Mason and Chris Cahill, defensemen Martin, Matczak and Ken Trentowski and goalie Ryan Rondeau will all be in the lineup. Forward Jeff Anderson, out since early December with a leg injury, isn’t quite ready to return. But he is skating again, and has made "amazing progress" according to Allain.

Quinnipiac is in its own fight. The Bobcats can help Yale by knocking off Union on Friday, and clinch home ice for the first round themselves. Since it owns no tiebreakers with the other teams in contention for the top eight spots, Quinnipiac will need at least two points at Union and RPI (Saturday).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pregame from Hobey Baker Rink

If only driving through New York, over the GW Bridge and through New Jersey were always as simple as it is on a Sunday morning. Got from New Haven to Princeton in two hours flat, without a sniff of traffic. Getting home may be another story, but I'll worry about that later this afternoon.

Hobey Baker Rink is one of the cooler rinks in the country, not just because of its aesthetic beauty (from the outside, at least) and throwback feel. It's always freezing in here. But with the 1 p.m. start, the sun through the greenhouse-style windows of the concourse adds a little brightness and warmth.

Barry Melrose is in the house, serving as color man for E.J. Hradek on the live ESPNU broadcast today. He's dressed rather conservatively, just a regular pinstriped suit and royal blue tie. I feel gypped. At least he's wearing a pocket square and scarf.

One lineup change for Yale. Gus Young getting the start at left defense alongside Kevin Peel in place of Colin Dueck. Sounds like Dueck is just a healthy scratch. He's a big physical presence on the blue line for Yale, but all reports are Young will be a mainstay and key contributor for the next four years in New Haven. Injuries have limited him to just three games this season, but he started the season-opener before suffering a shoulder injury, and it's possible he's back in the lineup for good as long as he remains healthy.

Here are the full lines:






Saturday, February 19, 2011

Brown-Quinnipiac post game

Quinnipiac was disappointed with the tie, mainly because it blew a 2-0 lead and missed some other chances that could have made it a three or four goal advantage. Brown was impressive in coming back to tie the game, especially without key cogs Jack Maclellan and Jeff Buvinow out with injuries. But the Bears, Harry Zolnierczyk in particular, were taking the tie hard.

Zolnierczyk, stoned by Quinnipiac goalie Eric Hartzell on a shorthanded breakaway in the first period, was awarded a penalty shot in overtime. But he sent his shot directly into the mid-section of Hartzell, making things easier than it should have on the Bobcats goaltender.

"“I wanted to shoot five-hole and make a good shot there, but it kind of flopped on me and I shot it right into his stomach,” Zolnierczyk said. “He made a good save, too. But it’s a tough stop right there. Destiny is in our own hands right now and we definitely needed those two points.”

Hartzell said the toughest part was waiting for the actual shot.

"They called the penalty, and it was like another three minutes,” Hartzell said. “I was just trying to stay in my net and trying to stay focused. Fortunately, the kid shot it right into my chest, so it turned out pretty well.”

The two points could have helped both teams greatly in the fight for eighth place. Brown has an extra game Tuesday against Harvard where it can make up ground on the Bobcats and Clarkson, tied with 17 points heading into their final weekends.

Brown will be shorthanded. Jack Maclellan was cut by a skate blade very early in Friday's loss at Princeton. It was a fluke play, Brown coach Brendan Whittet said. The top of Maclellan's foot was sliced open, leaving a horrific gash that severed muscle, tendon and nerve. He was sent back to Providence Friday night, and will be operated on Sunday. Whittet, who was nice enough to show me a cell phone photo of Maclellan's gnarled foot, said it's possible Maclellan could be back, depending on how far the Bears advance in the postseason. Just hoping I don't have nightmares about the picture of Maclellan's foot.

Defenseman Jeff Buvinow is battling a high ankle sprain, suffered in practice earlier this week. He'll likely be out Tuesday, Whittet said, but has a chance to play next weekend.

Quinnipiac-Brown pregame

Little different atmosphere here at the TD Bank Sports Center for tonight's Quinnipiac game against Brown. Last night, the student section was packed 90 minutes before faceoff. Right now, as the teams take the ice for warm ups, there's about 75 people in the entire building.

This is a huge game in the standings for both teams, who are fighting for a top eight spot and home ice for the opening round of the playoffs. Brown has caught the injury bug. Jack Maclellan was injured last night at Princeton, and may be done for the season. He was sliced by a skate blade just a few shifts in, and was sent home for treatment. Defenseman Jeff Buvinow is also out with an injury, and the Bears are using Jeff Ryan as an extra forward tonight. Those are two big losses for Brown.

Here are the lineups for both teams





Russell-Ryan (extra forward)


Friday, February 18, 2011

Yale-Quinnipiac postgame

First off, I'm told our office got a ton of phone calls from people wanting to know why the game wasn't being broadcast on CPTV. No one at Quinnipiac seems to know. Comcast New England, who produced and broadcast the game, had no issue. The game was on all the TVs at the TD Bank Center. Quinnipiac AD Jack McDonald was trying to track down the issue, and haven't heard back from him yet.

As for the game, Yale came out strong and poised. Quinnipiac was scattered and undisciplined.

"The first period, we (allowed) four power plays and it could have been six. We were running around, we didn't play our system. We know how good Yale is, we know how good their power play is, you can't expend that kind of energy. That was probably our worst period of the year."

The Bank was pack to the rafters with a massive student turnout and was deafening for the introductions. But the Bobcats couldn't rise to the occasion. Pecknold mentioned in the post-game interview how young his team is, and later said the crowd may have affected his team negatively.

"Some of our players had awful games tonight," Pecknold said. "Maybe they got a little too emotional and we got out of our game plan."

Yale coach Keith Allain was happy with the overall effort, from special teams to goaltending. The Bulldogs have had trouble winning away from home, and had issues with slow starts. But tonight's win, and last Saturday's 6-3 triumph over Clarkson seems to have solved the problem.

Kevin Limbert's shorty with 14 seconds left in the first was a huge goal, and the video review goal likely took more wind out of the Bobcats sail. Jimmy Martin's shot caused the net to flutter, but the goal light never went on and play continued. On the bench, the Yale players said the puck went through the net, and during the TV timeout that was brought to the referees attention. Chip McDonald decided to review the goal, and ruled it had indeed ripped through the net for a goal.

Crucial games coming up for both teams. Quinnipiac caught a break with Brown and Clarkson both losing. In the hunt for home ice, Saturday's game with the Bears could put Quinnipiac in prime position to seal a home series for the first round for the sixth time in six years since joining the ECAC.

Yale remains a point behind Union for first place, and gets today off (though there is a practice at Ingalls Rink before the bus leaves for Princeton) before Sunday's game at Hobey Baker Rink. Union is at St. Lawrence Saturday, and then finishes at home with Princeton and Quinnipiac in what should be an outstanding race for the Cleary Cup.

Yale-Quinnipiac pregame

In anticipation of the large crowd at the TD Bank Sports Center tonight, Quinnipiac opened the doors to the arena 30 minutes early. So, an hour and a half before the puck drops, several hundred students decked out in bright gold T-shirts burst through the doors and ran to get prime seating behind the visiting goal.

And it wasn't just the students here early. The parking lot was getting close to capacity at 6:30.

Perhaps the 8 p.m. start helps allow fans to get to the rink early. Getting out may well be a headache. At any rate, should be a fun atmosphere here. Don't forget it's being broadcast on CPTV by Bill Schweizer and Rich Copola.
Here are the lines for tonight.



Thursday, February 17, 2011

Time for another Whitney War

There's no denying the biannual Yale vs. Quinnipiac games are can't miss events in Greater New Haven. Since the long-awaited series finally began in 2006 with the Bobcats admission to ECAC Hockey, the crowds have been huge, the energy palpable and the games, for the most part, outstanding.

Friday's game at the TD Bank Sports Center has been sold out for over a week, and will be broadcast to the state on CPTV. The size of the crowd will actually be a little smaller than in years past because Quinnipiac has cut back the number of standing-room tickets to around 500 to make things more comfortable for fans in all aspects -- from parking to bathroom lines to actually being able to see the game. A crowd of around 3,800 will be announced, down from the mid-4,000 numbers we've seen in Hamden the last few years.

Both teams are excited, of course.

"We're definitely excited to play that game," Yale junior defenseman Nick Jaskowiak. "It's always fun to play in that building."

"There's definitely a buzz around campus," Quinnipiac senior defenseman Zach Hansen said. "You go into class and kids are asking 'are you going to win Friday?' I think our school and students take pride in something like beating Yale."

The Quinnipiac Chronicle, the school's newspaper, went the extra mile this week. Aside from the typical game preview, it used a two-word back page -- "Beat Yale" -- for fans to bring to the rink and flash as a handy sign. It also printed up seven chants, complete with explanations, the student section might want to use Friday. The chants range from the basic: "Beat Yale", "Rondeau, Rondeau" to the tasteless, "No means yes, yes means anal." That last chant is in reference to one used by a Yale fraternity in a You Tube video that caused controversy in October, but that doesn't make it any less offensive and classless.

In case you were wondering, the above photo was from the first Yale-Quinnipiac game at Ingalls Rink in 2006. Reid Cashman, pictured, took a crushing blow into the boards from Yale's Jean-Francois Boucher. Blood poured from the wound and literally puddled on the ice. It was like a crime scene. Gruesome. Cashman had four cuts around his eye, but only missed a shift or two after getting eight quickie stitches in the locker room. It was right around that moment that most realized this series was going to be intense.

Photo credit: Quinnipiac athletics

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ECAC fines, reprimands Stewart

Paul Stewart, the ECAC Hockey league's director of officials, was reprimanded and fined by the by the league for his conduct last weekend, the ECAC announced today via press release.

According to the press release, the actions are the result of Stewart's conduct and comments while interacting with the media in the press box at Messa Rink in Schenectady, N.Y. during Saturday's Union-Colgate game.

Ken Schott, who covers Union hockey for the Schenectady Daily Gazette, witnessed the incident and referred to it as "ugly" while reporting it for his blog. He wrote that Stewart berated Jason Klump, a reporter for the website "College Hockey News" who had interviewed Stewart earlier in the day about officiating at the RPI-Cornell game that afternoon.

"I feared that (the confrontation) was going to get physical," Schott wrote.

The ECAC did not release the amount of the fine levied against Stewart, 56, who played and later refereed in the NHL until his retirement in 2003. He has worked as director of officials for the ECAC since 2007.

Hartzell, Little, Kearney and Cahill up for Walter Brown Award

Quinnipiac sophomore goalie Eric Hartzell and Yale senior forwards Denny Kearney, Broc Little and Chris Cahill are among the 15 semifinalists for the Walter Brown Award, presented to the best American-born college hockey player in New England.

Here's the full list of nominees:
Dartmouth junior goaltender James Mello
Boston College senior center Brian Gibbons (Braintree, MA)
Boston University junior defenseman David Warsofsky (Marshfield, MA)
New Hampshire junior defenseman Blake Kessel (Verona, WI)
Yale senior forward Broc Little (Rindge, NH)
Boston College senior goaltender John Muse (East Falmouth, MA)
Merrimack junior goaltender Joe Cannata (Wakefield, MA)
Quinnipiac sophomore goalie Eric Hartzell (White Bear Lake, MN)
New Hampshire senior forward Paul Thompson (Derry, NH)
Boston College junior forward Cam Atkinson (Greenwich, CT)
Boston University junior forward Chris Connolly (Duluth, MN)
Providence College senior forward Kyle MacKinnon (Walnut, CA)
Yale senior forward Denny Kearney (Hanover, NH)
Yale senior forward Chris Cahill (North Andover, MA)
Holy Cross sophomore forward Rob Linsmayer (Winnetka, IL)

The Gridiron Club will announce the finalists and winner of the 59th Walter Brown Award in March, following league playoffs and before the start of NCAA Tournament play. The award will be presented to the winner at the New England College Hockey Writers' Dinner in April.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Looking ahead to '11-'12

Yale and Quinnipiac have their non-conference schedules just about set for next winter. The Bulldogs have six of their seven dates set; Quinnipiac has all 12 games ready but aren't set to release the dates just yet. Here they are:

Ivy Shootout at Dartmouth with Brown and Princeton, Oct. 28-29. Matchups to be determined
vs. UConn, Nov. 19
vs. Sacred Heart at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Nov. 22
vs. Boston College, Nov. 26
at Massachusetts, Dec. 7
one regular season game open
one exhibition game TBA

(Next year is the end of the rotating cycle of the Ivy Shootout, and Yale may look into finding true non-conference opponents again)

at Nebraska-Omaha (2)
at Ohio State (2)
at Robert Morris (2)
vs. Canisius (2)
vs. Holy Cross
vs. Sacred Heart
vs. Bentley
vs. Massachusetts

Look for more info in my weekly college hockey column tomorrow.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Outdoor hockey today

Here at Rentschler Field for today's outdoor game between UConn and Sacred Heart. The set-up is terrific. They carved through a couple of feet of snow and ice on the turf to install the rink, which runs width-wise from the 50-yard line to just across the sideline where the visiting team stands for football. Rentschler is small enough that it makes for a great view for everyone. It's too bad there's only a handful of people on hand to watch the game. Too bad they couldn't get Yale and Quinnipiac to play here on Friday instead of the TD Bank Sports Center. Not sure if they could sell 40,000 tickets for it, but I bet they could come close. Should be fun, none the less.

Here is the story on the game from today's Register.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mason sets strong example

Here's the link to a feature on Brendan Mason that ran in today's Register. Mason's offensive output is down since losing friend and four-year linemate Jeff Anderson to injury in December. But Mason is extremely hard-working and disciplined, a quality he's had since he was a kid in Nainamo, B.C., and is a fitness fanatic. He plans to join the army sometime after graduation with an eye on a special forces unit.

On a side note, Anderson is working hard to return to the ice this season but is still several weeks away. It's possible he could be ready for the ECAC playoffs.

Yale is at St. Lawrence and Clarkson this weekend; Quinnipiac at Dartmouth tonight only.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Despite famous "Uncle Dan", Root a tried and true Steelers fan

Yale freshman Jesse Root is related to one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever lived -- Dan Marino -- but the lifelong Pittsburgh resident's allegiance lies firmly with the Steelers. So it was kind of a tough Super Bowl Sunday for the promising forward.

"I'm taking it day-by-day after that loss," Root said Tuesday shortly before Yale's practice session at Ingalls Rink.

Marino, also a Pittsburgh native, is Root's cousin, though Root refers to him as "Uncle Dan". It's not hard to see the facial resemblance in Root, who looks like a young Marino. Root doesn't get to see him much due to hectic schedules -- Marino resides in Florida with his wife and six children and, among other things, is an NFL analyst for CBS Sports.

"I was at his sister's house for Christmas Eve dinner," Root said. "We thought he was coming, but he's so busy. I wish we could see him more. He's such a great guy."

Root said Marino is a hockey fan whose attended Penguins and Florida Panthers games. "I'm trying to get him to come up here and see a game. We'll see how that goes," Root said.

Young will start Friday

Freshman defenseman Gus Young will start at defenseman for No. 2 Yale when it plays at St. Lawrence Friday night, coach Keith Allain said Tuesday. Young will fill the void left by Nick Jaskowiak, who must serve a mandatory one-game suspension for a game disqualification on Saturday against Dartmouth.

Young, a draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche last June, has played in just two games this season. He started Yale's opener, but suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for several weeks. Another shoulder injury in December kept him from practicing until last week.

Jaskowiak is expected to return to the lineup Saturday at Clarkson.

Monday, February 7, 2011

My top 20 poll this week

Here's the poll I just sent to USCHO for this week's top 20.

Team (record) Where I ranked them last week
1. New Hampshire (17-5-4) 2
2. Boston College (19-6) 3
3. Yale (19-4) 4
4. Denver (17-6-5) 1
5. Minnesota-Duluth (18-5-4) 5
6. Merrimack (17-5-4) 9
7. Wisconsin (19-8-3) 7
8. North Dakota (19-8-2) 8
9. Notre Dame (16-9-5) 10
10. Michigan (17-9-4) 6
11. Boston University (13-7-7) 11
12. Union (20-7-3) 13
13. Miami-Ohio (16-9-5) 16
14. Western Michigan (15-6-9) 12
15. RPI (18-6-4) 15
16. Nebraska-Omaha (16-10-2) 19
17. Maine (11-9-6) 14
18. Dartmouth (13-7-3) 17
19. Colorado College (16-13-1) 20
20. Cornell (11-9-3) 23

Yale's Nick Jaskowiak and Dartmouth's Doug Jones, who both were issued game disqualifications on Saturday, must miss their next game. With Jaskowiak out for Friday's game at St. Lawrence, Yale must scramble to fill his slot. Gus Young has been out most of the season with an injury, but he has returned to practice and could be an option as long as he's healthy. No media access today at Yale, so we'll have to wait until Tuesday for an answer (and even at that, not sure if we'll get one).

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Roars starting early at the Yale Whale tonight

Here at Ingalls Rink press box about 90 minutes prior to the opening faceoff before tonight's Yale-Dartmouth game. There was a loud rumbling that went on for several seconds, and the corner of the arched roof appeared to shake a bit. I thought the roof was coming down for a brief moment, but apparently it was a massive sheet of ice that slid down the back of the "Whale" and into a parking lot. That'll get the blood flowing and the ol' heart pumping. Yowzers. (Hold more deep breath...and we're back).

Some minor lineup changes for Yale tonight. Josh Balch is out and Antoine Laganiere is in at left wing on the Brendan Mason-Charles Brockett line. Chad Ziegler remains on the line with Kenny Agostino and Jesse Root, a move made Friday night against Harvard that worked well. Ziegler brought some great energy.

And a couple of notes: last night's win was the first 1-0 victory for the Bulldogs since an overtime game against Cornell on Feb. 10, 2001 at the New Haven Coliseum. I recall that game well. There was a problem with the ice at Ingalls that evening, and officials made a last minute switch to the Coliseum (now a lovely parking lot alongside the route 34 connector. Thanks, Mr. Mayor!). Nick Deschenes, a Paul Bunyon-type forward who actually competed in arm wrestling tournaments and lumberjack competitions in Alberta, Canada, scored the winner for the Bulldogs in a thriller of a game.

It was also the first 1-0 win for Yale over Harvard since March 9, 1929. Wasn't there for that one; think I was having dinner at the White House with Herbert Hoover that night.

Here are the Dartmouth lines for tonight.

N. Walsh-Jones-Robinson
D. Walsh-Lindblad-Mattila


Friday, February 4, 2011

Yale-Harvard pregame

If you have tickets to Ingalls Rink this weekend, best leave yourself an extra 45 minutes. New Haven streets are an absolute mess. Snow has trimmed most side roads from two lanes to one, causing gridlock just about everywhere downtown. There's also little to no parking on the street because of the massive mounds of snow, so the garage and small surrounding lots are the only real option. Parking wasn't ideal to begin with.

It's alumni weekend at Ingalls, both games are sold out and it should be a fun weekend of hockey. One minor change to the Yale lines: Chad Ziegler is skating with Kenny Agostino and Jesse Root; Josh Balch was moved from the Agostino line to work with Brendan Mason and Charles Brockett.

Ryan Rondeau is back in net.

By the way, Agostino was named the national rookie of the month for January.