Thursday, January 31, 2013

Yale home games back on radio

Yale home games are back on traditional radio. WYBC-1340, the school's student station, has reached an agreement that will have games back on the air starting this weekend with Princeton (Friday) and Quinnipiac (Saturday).

Yale is leasing its station and air time to Sacred Heart University, but will partner up to get hockey back in the fold. Games, via WYBC's broadcast, are also available via live stream on the Internet on and on the TuneIn smartphone app and on at

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Quinnipiac, Yale ready for big game Saturday

A typical week during the season in New Haven includes a media session on Thursdays before a hockey weekend. This week both schools made themselves available today, so here's a few notes in advance of the big game on Saturday.

  • The buzz is back on campus at Quinnipiac. Students returned to classes from winter break last Tuesday but the team, save for a sold out non-league game against UConn, hasn't seen any game action the past two weekends. Plenty of talk about the national polls on Monday, with students obviously disappointed the Bobcats weren't able to overtake Minnesota for the top spot. "They were pretty excited, they thought we were going to be No. 1," senior defenseman Zach Davies said. "To us, it would be a very nice achievement. But we're more worried about finishing off the season strong." 
  • Media coverage has spiked at Quinnipiac as more television stations and news outlets are making their way to Hamden. Boston and New York papers have run stories and on Monday the Associated Press stopped by for a feature story to hit the national wire service. Coach Rand Pecknold is as media savvy and accommodating a coach as there is, always on an even keel. "I don't think we've ever had anything to this level, this is a whole different thing being No. 1 in the Pairwise for a while," Pecknold said. "It is a little overwhelming, but it's great for the university and the hockey program. It's why we went Division I in athletics, it's why we built this facility. We want this exposure. It's great for the school."
  • The three-week lull (no offense, UConn) in the schedule is a by-product of having Princeton as a travel partner. The Tigers academic schedule runs a little differently, and it affects their athletic program, and Quinnipiac. Pecknold said he has games to fill the void over the next couple of seasons, including a Friday-Sunday home-and-away series with Merrimack next year to help keep his team sharp.
  • Quinnipiac will open next season in Alaska, playing a game at Alaska-Anchorage and another at Alaska-Fairbanks the first weekend in October. Non-conference games played at the Alaska schools are considered exempt, even though they count in the official schedule, meaning the Bobcats will play two-games beyond the 34-game NCAA limit. 
  • Get the frequent flyer cards ready in Hamden. The Bobcats are also taking a summer trip to Austria and Italy.
  • Yale is healthy, aside from sophomore Bennett Carroccio, who is no longer on the roster and not believed to be enrolled in classes. Yale coach Keith Allain said it was a personal issue with Carroccio, though he believes his plan is to return to the team next season.
  • Yale had a pair of goals reviewed last weekend. One at Cornell, which NBC Sports cameras showed was a clear goal, was upheld despite a long delay as Big Red coach Mike Schafer bent a referee's ear. A night later at Colgate, a possible goal was disallowed because officials couldn't determine whether it went in the net before time expired in the second period. The video and the clock were not synched up together on the review. The ECAC office is looking into the matter.
  • While Saturday's game with Quinnipiac is sold out, a handful of tickets remain for the Friday game between Yale and Princeton.
  • Yale's student radio station, WYBC-1340, expects its broadcasts to air on AM radio soon -- possibly by Saturday. Broadcasts currently air on Internet only, but demand to return to the traditional airwaves has been high. Expect an official announcement by Wednesday.
  • CPTV Sports will broadcast Saturday's game live with Ron Vaccaro on play-by-play and Steve Conn doing color. Don Boyle will be the third man, conducting between period interviews.
  • Yale will play at least two games in an NHL arena next season, possibly three. The Ivy Shootout, a rotating annual tournament with Yale, Brown, Princeton and Dartmouth, was slated for Princeton's Hobey Baker Rink this October. But the Prudential Center in Newark, home to the New Jersey Devils, is interested in an annual tournament itself. The building offered to play host to the Shootout this year to get its feet wet, with the ultimate goal a showcase college hockey tournament featuring teams from various conferences.
  • The other NHL arena? Madison Square Garden. No contracts have been signed, but Yale and Harvard are in discussions to play a non-conference game at The World's Most Famous Arena this November.

Monday, January 28, 2013

No respect for Quinnipiac. Gophers still No. 1

Sadly, I'm not surprised that Minnesota remained atop the poll despite a weekend loss to Minnesota State. Strange things take place on a weekly basis in this poll. Fact is, Quinnipiac holding steady at No. 2 probably isn't even the most egregious abnormality this week. Northern Michigan is in 8th place in the CCHA, its conference record 5-11-4, yet someone voted it as the 20th-best team in the nation.

Yale also holds on to No. 8.

Here's the full poll, with my ballot below.

Team(First Place Votes)RecordPointsLast Poll
1Minnesota(28)18- 4-49751
2Quinnipiac(22)18- 3-39672
3New Hampshire
15- 6-28714
15- 6-58356
5Boston College
14- 7-27713
6Western Michigan
16- 6-47239
7North Dakota
13- 8-56335
12- 5-36058
9Notre Dame
13- 8-450610
11Boston University
13- 9-147911
12St. Cloud State
14- 7-241615
15- 9-240613
15Minnesota State
16- 9-339314
11- 7-230212
15- 4-518017
13- 8-415119
11- 8-512720
12- 8-469NR
Others receiving votes: Ferris State 42, Colgate 19, Providence 11, Cornell 5, Holy Cross 2, Merrimack 1, Northern Michigan 1.

 How I voted...
1. Quinnipiac
2. Minnesota
3. Western Michigan
4. New Hampshire
5. Miami
6. Yale
7. Boston College
8. St. Cloud State
9. North Dakota
10. Nebraska-Omaha
11. Notre Dame
12. UMass-Lowell
13. Denver
14. Dartmouth
15. Wisconsin
16. Minnesota State
17. Boston University
18. Ferris State
19. Niagara
20. Alaska

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Weekly Bracketology

The national polls come out tomorrow. Expect to see Quinnipiac as the new No. 1...they will get my vote. But the Bobcats have been atop the Pairwise Rankings for a while now. Yale hit No. 3 after beating Cornell Friday, but is back to fifth after last night's loss to Colgate.

Here's how the NCAA tournament field might look with the current Pairwise. Adjustments made to avoid first-round conference match-ups and we switched Dartmouth and Notre Dame to boost attendance in those regionals.

1. Quinnipiac vs. 16. Niagara
8. Western Michigan vs. 11. Boston University

3. New Hampshire (host) vs. 15. Dartmouth
6. Boston College vs. 9. St. Cloud State

4. Miami-Ohio vs. 13. Denver
5. Yale vs. 12. Alaska

2. Minnesota vs. 14. Notre Dame
7. UMass-Lowell vs. 10. North Dakota

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Will Quinnipiac be new No. 1?

Chip Malafronte ponders that question in this week's Sunday Gravy.

Here's what he wrote:

Minnesota’s loss to Minnesota State on Friday opens the door for the Quinnipiac men’s hockey team to become the new No. 1 team in the nation when polls are released on Monday.
Of course, voters can be a funny flock of birds. Especially when it comes to picking traditional powers versus the less-recognizable in college hockey. Minnesota, pending the outcome of its rematch at Minnesota State on Saturday night, may still get enough support to remain No. 1.

But losses by Boston College, New Hampshire and North Dakota on Friday — ranked three, four and five behind No. 2 Quinnipiac — should prevent biased pollsters from handing out undeserving first-place votes to a trio of old-guard teams.

Is Quinnipiac worthy of No. 1? Let us know what you think.

No. 8 Yale tops No. 18 Cornell in overtime

Stu Wilson scored twice, including the winning goal with 2 minutes, 32 seconds left in overtime to lead the eighth-ranked Yale men’s hockey team to a 3-2 win over No. 18 Cornell in an ECAC Hockey game at Ithaca, N.Y.

Ryan Obuchowski and Kenny Agostino assisted on the deciding goal for the Bulldogs (12-4-3, 8-3-1), who increased their unbeaten streak to six games. Agostino scored the tying goal with 1:14 left in regulation. Jeff Malcolm made 25 saves for Yale.

“It was a great character win for us. We battled back and battled back, and we had to kill some big penalties down the stretch,” Yale coach Keith Allain said. “Our guys just worked and worked. We gradually took the game over and deserved to win in overtime.”

Brian Ferlin and John Esposito scored for Cornell (8-8-2, 4-5-2). Andy Iles made 31 saves for the Big Red.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Yale, Josh Balch, prepared for ECAC weekend with Cornell, Colgate

NEW HAVEN — It’s a fairly safe assumption that nearly every Division I forward, at some point in their development, was a prolific scorer. Most, upon entering the world of major college hockey, must reshape themselves to adapt.

Josh Balch is no exception. As a Triple-A player he racked up points at such a delirious pace — over 1,600 in nine seasons — that the Chicago Young Americans retired his jersey. When he entered Yale four years ago, he found himself surrounded by elite goal-scorers.

“We had so many great offensive players,” Balch said. “Sean Backman. Mark Arcobello. Broc Little. I understood the only way I was going to find playing time was to change my role to that of a defensive player. I’ve adapted, and I love the role I’m playing right now.”

Thirteen players, including five defensemen, have more points than the three Balch has scored this season. But the senior from Wilmette, Ill., is indispensable for the No. 8 Bulldogs, who hit the road for a weekend ECAC Hockey series at No. 18 Cornell (tonight, 7:30, NBC Sports Network) and Colgate (Saturday, 7 p.m.).

Read more about Balch and Yale's weekend series with Cornell and Colgate in Chip's column.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Yale ready for Cornell, Colgate

Made it over to Ingalls Rink this afternoon. It was 16 degrees outside, and felt a good 10 degree colder in the rink. Yale had a quick skate before boarding the bus to Ithaca, where it faces No. 18 Cornell and Colgate this weekend. A few quick notes.
  • The Bulldogs are healthy. No major injuries.
  • Josh Balch has only three points this season, but he's emerged as one of the most valuable members of the team due to his defensive approach and relentless effort. "He's a true team guy," Keith Allain said. "He understands the value of that role for us to be a championship team." Quick on his skates, he's also the strongest pound-for-pound guy on the team, according to a team poll. Colin Dueck verified it. "He's like a tank," goalie Nick Maricic said. Look for more on Balch in the Register.
  • Stu Wilson has been equally valuable in a Balch-type role, though his four goals includes a power-play, the team's lone short-hander (at Denver) and a pair of ECAC rookie of the week awards. Allain said Balch has been a valuable mentor to Wilson, but while both are expected to contribute some offense, expectations are high for Wilson, the son of RIT coach Wayne Wilson. "He's definitely a thinker," Allain said. "But you talk about roles, (Wilson) is a guy who wasn't a prolific scorer in Juniors. But we think in time here, he'll develop that side of the game. We've got him on the power play. We expect both he and Josh to produce offense for us."
  • The Cornell game will be televised live on NBC Sports Network. Yale also announced that next Saturday's game with Quinnipiac at Ingalls Rink will be broadcast live on CPTV Sports.

Cornell's Bardreau out for season

The Ithaca Journal reported Cornell sophomore center Cole Bardreau suffered a season-ending neck injury.

Yale (11-4-3, 7-3-1 ECAC) plays at No. 18 Cornell (8-7-2, 4-4-2) Friday at 7:30 on NBC Sports Network.

Bardreau, who played for the U..S. in the World Junior Championships last month, was injured in a loss to RPI last weekend.

He had scored two goals and added five assists for the Big Red.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Quinnipiac up to No. 2; Yale 8th in latest poll

Two top 10 teams in Greater New about that?
Here's the latest poll, with how I voted below.
Team             (First Place)   Record   Pts  Last Week
 1 Minnesota                 (48)   17- 3-4   998     1
 2 Quinnipiac                ( 2)   17- 3-3   920     4
 3 Boston College                   14- 5-2   913     2
 4 New Hampshire                    14- 5-2   857     3
 5 North Dakota                     13- 7-4   746     6
 6 Miami                            13- 6-5   700     8
 7 Notre Dame                       15- 9-0   640     5
 8 Yale                             11- 4-3   619    12
 9 Western Michigan                 14- 6-4   577    10
10 Denver                           13- 8-4   545     7
11 Boston University                12- 9-0   479     9
12 Dartmouth                        10- 6-2   456    11
13 Nebraska-Omaha                   13- 9-2   358    13
14 Minnesota State                  15- 8-3   356    14
15 Massachusetts-Lowell             13- 7-1   346    18
16 St. Cloud State                  14-10-0   336    19
17 Niagara                          14- 4-4   183    15
18 Cornell                           8- 7-2   154    16
19 Union                            11- 8-4   120    17
20 Wisconsin                         9- 8-5    66    NR

Others receiving votes: Ferris State 39, Alaska 27,
Providence 24, Northern Michigan 22, Holy Cross 10, Colgate
6, Robert Morris 3.
My ballot...
1. Minnesota
2. Quinnipiac
3. Boston College
4. New Hampshire
5. Yale
6. North Dakota
7. Western Michigan
8. Miami
9. Notre Dame
10. St. Cloud State
11. Dartmouth
12. Denver
13. UMass-Lowell
14. Nebraska-Omaha
15. Minnesota State
16. Ferris State
17. Boston University
18. Providence
19. Niagara
20. Wisconsin

Monday, January 14, 2013

Quinnipiac up to No. 4, Yale 12th in poll

Quinnipiac is up from fifth to fourth in the latest poll, released today. It ties the highest ranking in the polls for the program, set four years ago when the Bobcats began the season 14-1. The two first-place votes are the same as last week.

This comes on the heels of a three-point home weekend against RPI and Union in which Quinnipiac extended its national-best unbeaten streak to 16 (14-0-2) and moved into a three-way tie for first in the Pairwise Rankings. As it stands, the Bobcats would have a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Yale is up to 12th, two spots better than last week.

Here's today's poll.

Team             (First Place)   Record   Pts  Last Week
 1 Minnesota                 (47)   16- 3-3   992     1
 2 Boston College                   13- 4-2   924     3
 3 New Hampshire             ( 1)   14- 4-2   875     4
 4 Quinnipiac                ( 2)   17- 3-3   847     5
 5 Notre Dame                       15- 6-0   829     2
 6 North Dakota                     13- 6-3   714     7
 7 Denver                           13- 6-4   667     9
 8 Miami                            12- 5-5   623     6
 9 Boston University                12- 7-0   617     8
10 Western Michigan                 13- 5-4   598    10
11 Dartmouth                         9- 5-2   477    12
12 Yale                              9- 4-3   432    14
13 Nebraska-Omaha                   13- 9-2   359    13
14 Minnesota State                  14- 8-2   348    11
15 Niagara                          13- 3-4   242    17
16 Cornell                           7- 6-2   220    15
17 Union                            10- 7-4   219    16
18 Massachusetts-Lowell             11- 7-1   175    20
19 St. Cloud State                  12-10-0   135    18
20 Colgate                          11- 7-2   118    19
Others receiving votes: Wisconsin 19, Providence 15, Robert
Morris 15, Ferris State 12, Lake Superior 12, Holy Cross 5,
Northern Michigan 5, Princeton 4, Colorado College 1,
Michigan Tech 1.
I'm one of the 50 voters. Here's what my ballot looked like:
1. Minnesota
2. Quinnipiac
3. Boston College
4. New Hampshire
5. North Dakota
6. Notre Dame
7. Denver
8. Western Michigan
9. Miami
10. Yale
11. Boston University
12. Dartmouth
13. Niagara
14. Nebraska-Omaha
15. Providence
16. Wisconsin
17. Ferris State
18. Cornell
19. St. Cloud State
20. Minnesota State