Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yale gets ready for Saints

A few notes from Yale's practice this afternoon -- a 1 p.m. session since there are no classes this week. Every seat is sold but Yale is still selling standing room only tickets for this weekend's series with St. Lawrence. They didn't have an exact number for me right away, but they can be purchased through the Yale ticket office.

Keith Allain gave the Bulldogs a couple of days off during the bye week, but that practices were a little longer and more intense. Last season, Allain kept the sessions lighter and, obviously, wasn't totally pleased with the results. Yale dropped the quarterfinal series to Brown last March, though Allain said the effort and intensity were there for most of that series. "If you go back and analyze those games, we played nine period of hockey. I would defy anyone to tell me we didn't dominate seven of those nine periods. Sometimes you don't get the results you want. Maybe our sense of urgency wasn't what it needed to be from the drop of the puck on Friday night. That was the bad experience, from my perspective."

Yale was also hurt by losing Sean Backman to injury in rather shocking fashion, and something the Bulldogs had to adjust to both on and off the ice.

St. Lawrence, like Brown last year, enters Ingalls as the 11th seed and coming off an impressive upset at Princeton. The Saints gave Yale a fight both games in the regular season, including a 3-2 win at St. Lawrence where they clogged the neutral zone and made things difficult for the Bulldogs transition game.

"They're a very good team. One of the things they did well in that game they beat us was they kept a third guy back all night long, which made it tough for us to get anything off the rush. They were pretty opportunistic on the few scoring chances they were able to generate. We're going to have to work hard to get the puck through the neutral zone against this team and create some offense."

Yale senior Jeff Anderson (leg) won't be back this weekend, but Allain said, "he's doing really, really well."

More on the series in the Register.


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