Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A few fast facts for Yale and Minnesota

I'll be at Ingalls Rink for Yale practice later this afternoon. But here are a few fast facts about the Bulldogs and their first-round opponent, Minnesota.

Yale hasn't played the Gophers since Keith Allain took over as coach in 2006. The last meeting between the schools was a 7-3 Minnesota win on Dec. 27, 2002. Minnesota leads the all-time series 13-6. This is the first postseason meeting.

The Gophers, like Yale, were shutout in their last game, a 2-0 setback to Colorado College in the WCHA semifinal. But they are still the nation's highest-scoring team at 3.51 goals per game, and boast the third-best scoring defense at 1.97. Yale had been averaging 3.00 goals per game prior to the ECAC semifinal and consolation, but dropped to 2.82.

Minnesota hasn't lost two consecutive games all season.

The Gophers have 15 players who've been drafted by NHL teams, including Erik Haula, the nation's second-leading scorer. Freshman goaltender Eric Wilcox, a draft pick of Tampa Bay, has a 1.85 goals-against average and .922 save percentage.

Yale has four NHL-drafted players: Kenny Agostino (Penguins), Gus Young (Avalanche), Rob O'Gara (Bruins) and Matthew Beattie (Canucks). Senior Antoine Laganiere is considered one of the more desired college free agents.

Minnesota has won five national championships (`74, '76, '79, '02, '03) and made 20 Frozen Four appearances, the last coming in 2012. No team in the field of 16 has more NCAA tournament wins than Minnesota's 52.

Yale reached the 1952 Frozen Four, losing to Colorado College, and didn't appear in the NCAA field again until 1998, losing to Ohio State. Since 2009, the Bulldogs have been to four tournaments in five years. 2009: lost to Vermont; 2010: defeated North Dakota, lost to Boston College; 2011: defeated Air Force, lost to Minnesota-Duluth

Minnesota coach Don Lucia won his 600th career game earlier this season; 344 have come at Minnesota. He's also coached at Alaska-Fairbanks and Colorado College prior to being named at Minnesota in 2000. He was recently selected to coach the 2014 U.S. Junior national team at the World Junior Championships in December and January in Sweden. Yale assistant Dan Muse will serve as video coordinator on that club.



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