Thursday, February 28, 2013

Yale ready for final regular season weekend

Spent some time at Ingalls Rink today prior to Yale's practice. Keith Allain talked about his team working though its recent rough patch and the emotional lift goaltender Jeff Malcolm provided with his return to the net last Saturday. Here's the story I wrote for the Register.

A couple of other notes:

  • Yale has some players who are working through injuries. Allain said as of today he thinks he'll have the same lineup from last Saturday at Princeton, but said he's hesitant to be definitive because the team had yet to take the ice for Thursday's practice. Of course Yale is playing to win both games, but Allain said he's pulling for a first-round bye so his banged-up team can heal. "I think a bye will be helpful," he said. "We're (also) in the middle of exams, so it would be better to have the bye. But we'll deal with whatever comes our way." Malcolm had no setbacks, and is set to start both games. 
  • Yale's non-conference for next season is set. Almost. The final edition of the Ivy League shootout will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., with Brown, Princeton and Dartmouth as the other participants. There will be a third game with Harvard, expected to take place at Madison Square Garden, though the contract hasn't been finalized. Holy Cross, Sacred Heart and Merrimack will play at Ingalls Rink; the Bulldogs will travel to Vermont.
  • Allain said he is always looking for interesting opponents when putting together his non-league schedule. Ivy League rules -- later start date, five fewer non-conference games than the rest of the ECAC -- makes it a challenge. "The schedules are made a couple of years ahead of time so if you're starting to think about (ratings percentage index) when you make it, which you do a little bit, teams are never where you think they're going to be. It becomes an exercise in futility if that's your plan," Allain said. "What's tough is to get (Western) teams to come here for a single game. You can always get them for two and go back for two, but we don't always have two to give. I think we could get pretty much any Western team we wanted to as long as we go back there, so it has to be two. The nice thing about our Denver trip (in November) was that it was two different opponents (Denver and Colorado College)."
  • Asked his opinion about the ECAC working as a partner with the Big 10 for non-conference games, Allain said, "Not necessarily. I love the ECAC. I think it's a competitive league. We've got great tradition. With all these other leagues folding and other leagues starting anew we've probably got the most tradition of any league in the nation. There's rivalries that have been around for a long, long time. As far as joint scheduling...on experience in college hockey those never work. I'm not sure I want the league dictating to me what to do with my non-conference schedule. I'd rather put it together with (associate AD) Wayne Dean and do what's right for our program."


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