Monday, April 29, 2013

Jim Craig remembers Tim Taylor as a friend, mentor

Jim Craig was a 19-year-old student at Massasoit CC in 1976 when he met Tim Taylor for the first time. Taylor, then an assistant at Harvard, granted Craig permission to use the school's rink for extra work. It was a brief encounter, but spawned a life-long friendship between two future American hockey legends.

Taylor also offered a valuable life-lesson, one Craig never forgot.

“I was with my friend Randy Millen, who was playing for Harvard,” Craig said by phone Monday afternoon. “Here I am, this kid at Massasoit Community College with a dream of playing Division I hockey, looking for ice time at Harvard. Tim came over, looked at me and said ‘What’s your name?’ I said, ‘I’m Randy’s friend.’ He said ‘OK, Randy’s friend, how’re you doing?” He came back over to me later on and said ‘Tell people your name. Look them in the eye and always be proud of who you are.’ That was a small thing that I’ll remember forever.”

Later that year the two became ECAC adversaries. Taylor was the new coach at Yale; Craig the new goaltender at Boston University. But they also teamed up on occasion, Taylor coaching Craig in a few international tournaments, including the Hockey World Championships in Tokyo.

Of course, Taylor missed out on Craig’s finest hour. He declined Herb Brooks’ offer to serve as an assistant for the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” team, Taylor hesitant to leave Yale for a year when he felt the club was finally coming into its own.

Craig said Taylor was a great friend and influence on his life.

“He was in incredible mentor,” Craig said. “He loved hockey so much, he could never have enough hockey. He was distinguished, had a lot of class and always wanted to bring the best out of everybody he coached. They were all like sons to him. He was just a great man and a real friend.”

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Former Yale coach Tim Taylor passes away at 71

Sad day. Tim Taylor was a wonderful man and a great teacher. He will be missed.

Here's his obit from tonight's Register.

And his New Haven "200 at 200" series profile from last summer.

More to come.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Jones boys will be back at Quinnipiac

Junior forwards Kellen and Connor Jones have informed Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold they will return to school for their final season. Kellen, whose NHL rights are owned by Edmonton, and Connor, an undrafted free agent, said as much in the locker room after the national championship game loss to Yale in Pittsburgh. But Pecknold met with the pair. Both confirmed they'll be back, and that's important news to a Bobcat team losing plenty of seniors.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

NHL prospects on their way to Yale, Quinnipiac

The NHL Central Scouting Bureau released its final rankings for the June draft. A couple of players with New Haven ties could be in line for the first round, with some Quinnipiac recruits not too far behind.

Adam Erne of North Branford has played the past two seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. A left wing, he's rated as the 26th-best North American skater, though most mock drafts have him being taken in the top 15 picks.

John Hayden was born in the Midwest, but his family now lives in Greenwich. A forward with great size (6-3, 210), he played for the U.S. National Developmental program this season. He turned 18 on Feb. 14, and will take another year of seasoning before enrolling at Yale in the fall of 2014. He's ranked 29th on the CSB list.

Connor Clifton, a Quinnipiac recruit for this fall, is ranked 88th overall. He's a defenseman who skated with Hayden on the USNDP team. His size may not jump off the page (5-11, 175) put he's been lauded for his punishing physical play. The Matawan, N.J. resident committed along with his brother, Tim, three years older.

Peter Quenneville, a right winger for Dubuque of the USHL, is also headed to Quinnipiac in the fall. He was one of the league's top scorers, and ranked 130th by the CSB. Frank DiChiara, a teammate of Quenneville's in Dubuque, is a 6-2, 210-pound forward on his way to Yale this fall. He's rated 210th by the CSB.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Antoine Laganiere chooses Anaheim

Antoine Laganiere (No. 28 above) is on his way to Anaheim. The sought-after free agent from Yale made his decision Tuesday night, turning down multiple offers that included Vancouver and Nashville for a two-year, entry-level deal that will take him straight to the NHL this week.

Laganiere, who will be ineligible for the playoffs, will return to Yale for final exams later this month.

Vancouver was thought to be the front-runner, though Nashville has put a full-court press on Laganiere since the start of the season. Paul Fenton, the assistant general manager for the Predators, had practically set up a second home at Ingalls Rink, attending nearly every home game.

The Yale connection to the Ducks is Dave Baseggio, one of the great defensemen in program history and former head coach of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who is the director of professional scouting in Anaheim.Baseggio and Todd Marchant, also in the Ducks front office, were at several games this season.

Next up is Andrew Miller, expected to sign today with either the Blackhawks or Oilers.

More Quinnipiac players with NHL offers

Eric Hartzell, the big prize at Quinnipiac, signed Sunday night. He'll be with the Penguins tomorrow night for his NHL debut against Montreal.

Three of his teammates are mulling over NHL offers. Forward Jeremy Langlois and defensemen Zach Davies and Mike Dalhuisen are in negotiations.

"I've spent most of the past two days on the phone with scouts, GMs and anyone else," Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said.

There will be temptation for a few Quinnipiac underclassmen to leave early. Sophomore Matthew Peca and junior Kellen Jones said after the national championship game they would return. But Pecknold says he hasn't heard that from them yet.

Juniors Connor Jones and Jordan Samuels-Thomas may also decide to leave for the pro ranks early. Pecknold said the plan is to sit down with all four later this week to discuss their futures.

"They all had great NCAA tournaments," Pecknold said. "That's the biggest possible showcase they could have for themselves."

EDIT: Things move fast. About a minute after posting this, Mike Dalhuisen signed with the Islanders. He'll play in Bridgeport next season.

The NHL can wait for Kenny Agostino

Spoke with Kenny Agostino tonight. He said he spent a day home in New Jersey yesterday to discuss his situation with family, eventually deciding to finish his education and return to Yale next season rather than sign with the Calgary Flames.

"I've definitely put some serious thought into it the past month," Agostino said. "I'm a year away from a Yale diploma. I mean, I am at Yale. Anyone who comes here certainly values their education. Being at Yale (as opposed to another school) definitely makes it a harder choice. But a Yale degree is something I want to pursue and right now I'm 11 months away."

He's also excited to make a run at defending the Bulldogs' national championship.

"We lose some key guys, Andrew, Lags, Malcolm," Agostino said. "But as a whole, I think we'll be a great team."

Kenny Agostino staying; Andrew Miller and Antoine Laganiere close to deals

Expect the next several days to be busy with NHL signings here in New Haven.

Kenny Agostino said today that he plans to stay at Yale for his senior season. The junior forward, traded just before the NCAA regionals from Pittsburgh to Calgary as part of the Jarome Iginla trade, considered his pro options but will finish his education. It's huge for the Bulldogs, who certainly plan on being there to defend their NCAA title.

Seniors Andrew Miller and Antoine Laganiere are expected to sign NHL deals within the next 24 hours. Both have multiple offers and are close to a decision, having narrowed their choices down to a couple of teams each. Miller, according to a source, is down to two teams.

Goalie Jeff Malcolm may also get some NHL attention after his performance in the NCAA tournament, though, as of Tuesday morning, didn't have any offers. 

Also, Yale has been invited to throw out the first pitch at Saturday's Red Sox game at Fenway Park against the Royals.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Yale No. 1, Quinnipiac No. 2 in final poll

No real surprises as Yale is No. 1, and Quinnipiac No. 2, though the Bulldogs are not unanimous. Three rebels still voted Quinnipiac first. 
Team             (First Place)   Record   Pts  Last Week
 1 Yale                      (47)   22-12-3   993    15
 2 Quinnipiac                ( 3)   30- 8-5   951     1
 3 Massachusetts-Lowell             28-11-2   894     3
 4 St. Cloud State                  25-16-1   837     9
 5 Miami                            25-12-5   757     5
 6 Minnesota                        26- 9-5   752     2
 7 North Dakota                     22-13-7   647     7
 8 Notre Dame                       25-13-3   610     4
 9 Boston College                   22-12-4   579     6
10 Union                            22-13-5   567    13
11 New Hampshire                    20-12-7   539    10
12 Wisconsin                        22-13-7   430     8
13 Minnesota State                  24-14-3   418    11
14 Denver                           20-14-5   349    12
15 Niagara                          23-10-5   298    14
16 Western Michigan                 19-11-8   270    16
17 Boston University                21-16-2   180    17
18 Providence                       17-14-7   139    18
19 Canisius                         19-19-5    92    20
20 Michigan                         18-19-3    66    19

Others receiving votes: Rensselaer 57, Brown 32, Colorado
College 20, Nebraska-Omaha 13, Robert Morris 7, Ferris State
2, Ohio State 1.

The Poll consists of 50 voters, including 28 coaches
from the Division I conferences and 22 beat writers and sports
professionals from across the country. The poll, published weekly
by the Associated Press, is a production of, which
provides in-depth coverage of college hockey.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Eric Hartzell signs with Penguins

Eric Hartzell didn't win the Hobey Baker Award, and his Quinnipiac team lost the national championship game to Yale.

But he didn't come away from the Frozen Four empty-handed.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced they signed Hartzell to a one-year, entry-level contract on Sunday night. The deal runs through the end of the current season and has an annual value of $925,000.

Several NHL teams showed heavy interest in Hartzell, a senior goaltender who led the Bobcats to their most successful season in program history. Paul Holmgren, general manager of Philadelphia, and Mark Messier, a special assistant for the Rangers, had both scouted Hartzell at High Point Solutions Arena this winter. At 6-foot-4 and 187 pounds, Hartzell not only has desirable size for a goalie, but he's an outstanding natural athlete.

He won the Ken Dryden Award as the ECAC goaltender of the year, and was also that league's player of the year. He won a school-record 30 games this season, with a 1.57 goals-against average, five shutouts and a .933 save percentage. On Friday, he was named a first-team All-American, but as one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, lost out to St. Cloud State forward Drew LeBlanc. On Saturday, after beating Yale three times already this season, Quinnipiac lost to Yale 4-0 in the national title game. One of the Bulldogs goals was scored on an empty net.

Yale's national championship celebration set for Monday

Get ready to celebrate with the national champs. Yale will play host to championship party for students, faculty and fans on Monday at 5 p.m. at  Ingalls Rink.

There will be a 40-minute program followed by a photo opportunity for fans with the NCAA championship trophy. It is, obviously, open to the public.

Quinnipiac primed to maintain its success

A trailblazing season at Quinnipiac provided enough milestones and benchmark victories to redefine the program.
A school record 21-game unbeaten streak; the Whitelaw Cup; its first NCAA tournament win and first trip to the national semifinals. 

There would be no story book ending, however. Its historic trip to the Frozen Four ended Saturday night with a 4-0 loss to Yale in the national championship game at Consol Energy Center.

But there’s much to look forward to in Hamden, where a new standard of success has been established.

Quinnipiac is now a player on the national scene; a program capable of national accomplishments.

Eleven seniors graduate, including goaltender Eric Hartzell and four defensemen, while a handful of others may entertain professional offers.
Hartzell was among the three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award. He’ll sign an NHL contract soon, very likely in the coming days.

While he leaves a void in net, Hartzell’s status as a Hobey Baker candidate may well be filled by Matthew Peca. The sophomore forward, a draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning, said Saturday night he planned to return to Quinnipiac for his junior season.

That’s big news considering his performance on the big stage. Peca took his game to another level in the NCAA tournament, winning most outstanding player at the East Regional and proving to be a handful even in defeat.

Connor Jones, a draft pick of Edmonton, said he’d return for his senior season, meaning his twin brother Kellen Jones, an undrafted free agent, will surely be back, too. Winnipieg draft pick Jordan Samuels-Thomas may also have a decision to make.

The loss of leading scorer Jeremy Langlois, a senior who finished his career with 100 career points, fellow forwards Ben Arnt and Clay Harvey as well as defensemen Zack Currie, Zach Davies, Loren Barron and Mike Dalhuisen leave more holes in the lineup.

But one of the benefits of success and national media attention is more interest on the recruiting trail. Recruits are familiar with the program; phone calls are returned quicker.

Pecknold said next year's incoming class includes a handful of "studs" that Quinnipiac beat other top hockey schools for, a few of which, he says, have NHL potential.

Pecknold has also lined up the most difficult non-league schedule in program history, with eight Hockey East opponents and a season-opening trip to play Alaska-Anchorage and Alaska-Fairbanks in Anchorage.

There’s also a brand new NHL-caliber scoreboard on the way, complete with a massive, high-definition video board as well as ribbon boards to be installed around High Point Solutions Arena. More proof that the school administration is committed to maintaining Quinnipiac’s current level of success.

Welcome to the big time.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Yale wins the national championship

A picture tells a thousand words. Yale celebrates its first national championship after beating Quinnipiac 4-0 at the Consol Energy Center.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Eric Hartzell, Andrew Miler are All-Americans

The Hobey Baker Award announcement is coming shortly, but here are the All-America teams

First team
G: Eric Hartzell, Quinnipiac
D: Nick Bailen, RPI
D: Chad Ruhwedel, UMass Lowell
D: Trevor van Riemsdyk, New Hampshire
F: Kyle Flanagan, St. Lawrence
F: Johnny Gaudreau, Boston College
F: Steven Whitney, Boston College

Second team
G: Jon Gillies, Providence
D: Shayne Gostisbehere, Union
D: George Hughes, St. Lawrence
F: Greg Carey, St. Lawrence
F: Mike Collins, Merrimack
F: Andrew Miller, Yale

First team
G: Brady Hjelle, Ohio State
D: Nick Jensen, St. Cloud
D: Jacob Trouba, Michigan
F: Austin Czarnik, Miami
F: Danny Kristo, North Dakota
F: Drew LeBlanc, St. Cloud

Second team
G: Juho Olkinuora, Denver
D: Dan DeKeyser, Western Michigan
D: Nate Schmidt, Minnesota
F: Corban Knight, North Dakota
F: Anders Lee, Notre Dame
F: Ryan Walters, Nebraska-Omaha

Tons of quotes from Quinnipiac after win over St. Cloud State

 COACH PECKNOLD:  We're excited.  It's a proud moment for Quinnipiac University hockey program.  Just really proud of my guys tonight.  I don't think it was our best game of the year.  I don't think we played perfect.  But we battled and found a way to score goals and got that nice lead early.
 We had some struggles defensively, but Hartzell was great again.  I thought he was the best player on the ice tonight.  I thought we did a nice job in front of him.  We could have cleaned up a few things, but you saw why Eric Hartzell is in the Hobey Baker hat trick right now.
 I'm proud of my guys.  They compete hard, battle hard.  It's been a great group of guys, it's been a great ride, and we have to get one more.

 JORDAN SAMUELS THOMAS:  Yeah, we had the overtime in the game before.  Almost expected that there could be a little bit of a letdown.  So I just want to come out there and get to my game, strong around the net and kind of set the pace to get myself in the game and get my teammates in the game too.

 ZACH DAVIES:  Yeah, I mean, that was a huge break for us.  It sways the momentum back on our side from theirs after that kill, and scoring the goal just adds a little more momentum to the game.  3 0 in the first period is a pretty good lead, and gave us a lot to work with.

 JORDAN SAMUELS THOMAS:  For sure.  I felt like I had some good jump in the beginning.  A lot of guys won the battle, and Goody won the battle which allowed me to get the puck.  I jammed it, and the second goal was the same.  I got in there, and Arnt won a battle and allowed me to put the puck on net, and he cashed in on the goal.  Guys were there and winning battles.

 JEREMY LANGLOIS:  I think we're going to just keep doing what we've been doing.  I'm sure the coaching staff will do a good job of preparing us for Saturday.  If we played the way we would like to that will definitely benefit us, and I know everyone will be excited.  I think we just want to use those towards the game.
 ZACH DAVIES:  We've just got to focus on the game.  We're going to be nervous.  It's the largest crowd we've ever played in front of, and we've just got to use that excitement.  It's a little extra in our step, and hopefully it helps us in the game.
 JORDAN SAMUELS THOMAS:  Yeah, it's a great opportunity.  It's a blessing to have this opportunity, but in reality, it's the same game we've played since we were 6 or 7 years old.  So we keep that in mind, and I think the nerves will go away.

 JORDAN SAMUELS THOMAS:  I mean, this is my first year in the rivalry, and it's awesome.  It's something that the school really rallies around.  It's usually our biggest game all year.  They're a really good team.  I think we play a really entertaining game when we play them because we're so close.  So it's definitely really exciting to play them any time.

 ZACH DAVIES:  Well, you can see the stands tonight was fully yellow, which is awesome to see.  The buzz on campus the last few weeks has been incredible.  You walk around and everyone wants to talk to you.  Everyone's saying congratulations.  Teachers are talking about it in class.  It's been really incredible in our school.  It's huge after the past years where we didn't do as well and people have really rallied behind us this year.
 JEREMY LANGLOIS:  Yeah, I think it's great.  Our fan base has been amazing on the run that we've been on this year.  I know they're very excited for us to get to this point.  We want to win them one more game.
 JORDAN SAMUELS THOMAS:  Yeah, just kind of repeating what they said.  It's really exciting.  It's something that kind of rallies the student body together.  Obviously, it's exciting for us, but it was exciting for the teachers, the students, the administration, and everyone that is a part of Quinnipiac University.  It is definitely exciting for the whole Quinnipiac family.
 COACH PECKNOLD:  I think we're very opportunistic.  As I said, I'm very proud of my team.  I actually thought it was great when the first game went to overtime.  We had prepared for it.  We had talked about it during the week.  I thought we used it to our advantage.  We talked as soon as the game went into overtime.  I told the guys again.  I probably told them four times this week, but we talked about it.
 First thing I talked to them about in our pregame speech is this game could go into overtime.  I guess it was 6:10, so I don't know where the game would have been at that point.  But we need to prepare for that.  We're a veteran team.  We have great character, we handle adversity well, and we need to jump St. Cloud.
 We don't know how they're going to handle it.  I'm not saying that was the pivotal moment of the game, but I thought it was an advantage for us that we had been prepared for it.  Certainly, any time you can jump out to a 1 or 2, 3 0 lead, it's a big advantage.

 COACH PECKNOLD:  There are two ways to look at it.  We're 3 0 against Yale.  Some people might say that's great for Quinnipiac, and I would say that's really tough to beat somebody four times in a row.  I'm not going to waiver you away.  The one thing I've seen from Yale, I watched both of their games, Minnesota and North Dakota and I saw the game tonight, and this is a different team than when we beat them in Atlantic City.  They've got some new jam.  They're competing hard.  They're doing some things, and have some players that are on a different level than they were three or four weeks ago.
 Really, that 3 0 win in Atlantic City for us, we had nothing to play for, literally nothing.  We tried to motivate our guys, and we weren't very good.  Hartzell stole the game for us.  He was just an absolute stud.  I think we went 3 0, and we got a couple goals that were a little iffy.  We probably shouldn't have won that game.
 I think you can throw the 3 0 out the window.  It's going to be a battle.  They've got some great players.  We've got some great players, and we definitely play two different styles of game.  We'll have to go to war on Saturday.

 COACH PECKNOLD:  Again, I keep talking about the character in that locker room.  It is an awesome group of young men.  Just A plus across the board, on the ice, off the ice, and we need to use that to our advantage.  We've done it all year long, dealing with adversity.
 We're resilient.  We might not have the most talent in the country, but I think we are the best team, and now we need to go prove it.  We'll be nervous on Saturday, but so will Yale.  We've talked about this week with my team.  It's okay to be nervous, but we need to do little things well, pay attention to details.
 I think you see so many times in the Frozen Four players that forget assignments, miss face off coverage, and do things they don't do all year long because they get nervous on the big stage.  We've just got to stay the course.
 We have these lengthy TV timeouts, and it's really a different game than the regular season.  These are two minutes, 2:15s, they're long.  So you can re-coach your guys on the bench, and go through some things that you need to do.  So I think for us, we'll be nervous.  Yale will be nervous.  You can't avoid it.  We have to attack it head on, and that's what we've done all year with adversity.
 COACH PECKNOLD:  Yeah, he was dominant even outside of the goals and stuff.  He was rolling.  I think not only what we talk about a lot as a team is when you're going to have a big shift, not only is it important for that actual shift, but it gets our bench going.  Our guys are really close, they're real tight.
 He had a couple of shifts.  You've got Peca and the twins on the bench.  Now they're licking their chops because we want to go do that; and Langlois is ready to go.  That's something we've done all year long where one line has a great shift, and it will energize the next couple of lines, and it's fun to watch.  But I thought Jordan was a pivotal player in tonight's game.
 Then just before we wrap up, because I know we're going to end this, but so you know, in the back of the room, we have our President, John Lahey who is here; and he's the architect of everything.  And I have everything to thank for him for building me that nice arena and getting us rolling.  And we have Jack McDonald, our athletic director in the room if you guys want to talk to them.

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Yale players react after win over UMass Lowell

Semifinal Game 1
Postgame Quotes
#20 Jesse Root, Jr., C, Pittsburgh, Pa.

On showing perseverance in the final minutes of the game.
“We knew we had to be patient offensively. [UMASS Lowell] is a great defensive team and a great team all the way around. [The game-winning goal] wasn’t going to be the first shot that was going to go in. We were actually kind of surprised the first two went in on [Connor Hellebuyck]. We stayed with it, we stayed the course, they got two quick ones (goals), and we knew that if we just kept shooting it would come for us.”

On the bench’s mood when UMASS Lowell tied the score.
“It’s happened so much in hockey, we’ve all been a part of it for so long, playing the game for so long. We knew if we kept playing our game and just stuck to our game plan, the mood would never get real down.”

On returning to Pittsburgh to play in his hometown.
“Warm-ups were pretty surreal, just looking around and being in the [Pittsburgh] Penguins’ arena. As a huge Penguins fan still, it’s pretty incredible.”

#33 Jeff Malcolm, Sr., G, Lethbridge, Alberta

On trying to stay sharp during a slow first few periods
“Well I’ve been in a lot of situations like that this year so I just got into my routine in the game playing the next shot, the next play that comes my way so I’m just always ready for that next play.”

On whether or not he started to feel things slip during UMass’s comeback
“Absolutely not. I think we’ve done a pretty good job mentally throughout this season. We’ve battled back from those types of situations before, so like I said before we just have to focus on the next play and we got the balance again.”

On how to stay focused between now and the finals knowing what’s at hand
“Obviously we’re going to enjoy it for maybe ten minutes here and then get a meal in us, focus, have a good practice tomorrow and go into the championship game.”

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Yale beats UMass Lowell: Game notes

2013 NCAA Frozen Four
CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Yale (21-12-3) vs. UMass-Lowell (28-11-2)

•  Today’s game was the 12th all-time meeting between Yale and UMass-Lowell.  UML leads the all-time series by a 8-4 margin.  Before today, the most recent meeting between the teams came in January of 1999, and this is the first meeting of the teams at a neutral site.
• This is the first head-to-head meeting between the head coaches Keith Allain (Yale) and Norm Bazin (UML).
• Allain’s post-season coaching record is now 15-9 overall and 5-3 in the NCAA Tournament in his seven years at the helm of the Bulldogs.  Bazin is 8-4 in the post-season and 3-2 in the NCAA Tournament in two seasons. It is the first Frozen Four trip for both head coaches.
• UMass-Lowell entered the Frozen Four on a seven-game winning streak, the longest active streak in the nation. The River Hawks previously won nine straight earlier this season.
• This was the second game to go to overtime in the 2013 Division I hockey championship; the lone OT  game in this year’s regional rounds (Yale-Minnesota) matches the fewest in the regional rounds since 2003, the first  year to feature a 16-team field. 
• Yale is 6-0-3 in overtime this season; UML is 2-2-2.

YALE PLAYER NOTES:• Andrew Miller played the role of hero with the overtime game-winner at 6:39 of the extra period; the goal tied him for first on the team in goal scoring with Kenny Agostino (17).
• Miller recorded the secondary assist on Witek’s first-period goal; the helper moved Miller into a tie for the school’s career assist record (113), held by 1984 Olympian and NHL’er Bob Brooks (1979-83). He has at least one assist in each of Yale’s three NCAA Tournament games this season (1-4-4).
• Freshman defenseman Mitch Witek opened the scoring at 12:55 of the first period.  It was Witek’s first collegiate tally, and his first point since an assist on a Kenny Agostino goal Nov. 3 against Harvard.  His three points this season entering the Frozen Four came in games against Dartmouth and Harvard (Nov. 2-3) Yale’s third and fourth games of the season.  He went 17 games without a point; tonight was his 22nd career game (of 36 this season) for the Elis.
• Senior winger Antoine Laganiere was credited with Yale’s second goal at 19:08 of the opening frame to send the Bulldogs into the intermission with a 2-0 lead.  It was his 15th goal of the season, The goal came seconds after an Eli power play expired.
• Yale junior Jesse Root is a native of Pittsburgh, and played on the Mt. Lebanon state championship team in 2006.  He attended Taft (CT) prior to enrolling at Yale.

UMASS-LOWELL PLAYER NOTES: • UML posted a pair of goals 14 seconds apart in the second period to turn an early 2-0 deficit into a tie game.  Captain Riley Wetmore put UMass-Lowell on the board at 14:38 on the power play, then centerman Joseph Pendenza scored on the ensuring faceoff to tie the game.   Wetmore’s goal tied him for the team lead with Scott Wilson (16), and Pendenza’s was his 15th of the season.
• Wetmore and Pendenza’s goals 14 seconds apart are sixth fastest by one team in NCAA Frozen Four history.
• Wetmore had his first point since March 22 vs. Providence in the Hockey East semifinals.
• Scott Wilson extended his point-scoring streak to eight games with an assist on Wetmore’s goal.  He has five goals and six assists in that stretch.
• Freshman winger A. J. White has recorded an assist  in each of Lowell’s three NCAA Tournament games this season. 

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Quinnipiac and St. Cloud State rosters

Quinnipiac (29-7-5)
No.    Name    Pos.    Cl.
2    Mike Dalhuisen     D     Sr.
3    Zach Davies     D     Sr.
4    Loren Barron     D     Sr.
5    Matt Lemire     F     Fr.
6    Cory Hibbeler     D     Jr.
7    Ben Arnt     F     Sr.
8    Alex Barron     D     Fr.
9    Kevin Bui     F     Sr.
10    Connor Jones     F     Jr.
11    Russell Goodman     F     Sr.
12    Bryce Van Brabant     F     So.
13    Zach Luczyk     F     Fr.
14    Reese Rolheiser     F     Sr.
15    Kellen Jones     F     Jr.
16    Brooks Robinson     F     Jr.
17    Jeremy Langlois     F     Sr.
18    Soren Jonzzon     F     Fr.
19    Jordan Samuels-Thomas     F     So.
20    Matthew Peca     F     So.
22    Danny Federico     D     So.
23    Zack Currie     D     Sr.
24    Travis St. Denis     F     Fr.
25    Tom Hilbrich     D     Fr.
27    Zach Tolkinen     D     Jr.
33    Eric Hartzell     G     Sr.
34    Michael Garteig     G     Fr.
35    Jacob Meyers     G     Fr.
39    Clay Harvey     F     Sr.

St. Cloud State (25-15-1)
No.    Name    Pos.    Cl.
2     Jarrod Rabey     D    So.
4     Taylor Johnson     D     Sr.
7     Kevin Gravel      D    Jr.
8     Cory Thorson     F    Jr.
9     Joseph Benik     F    Fr.
10     Ben Hanowski     F     Sr.
11     Kalle Kossila     F    Fr.
12     Ethan Prow     D    Fr.
13     David Morley     F    Fr.
14     Nick Jensen     D    Jr.
16     Jimmy Murray     F    Fr.
17     Joey Holka     F    So.
18     Garrett Milan     F    So.
19     Drew LeBlanc     F    Sr.
20     Brandon Burrell     D    Jr.
21     Brooks Bertsch     F    So.
22     Jonny Brodzinski     F    Fr.
23     T.J. Belisle     F    Fr.
26     Nic Dowd      F    Jr.
27     Nick Oliver     F    So.
28     Andrew Prochno     D    So.
29     Ryan Faragher     G    So.
33     Joseph Phillippi     G    Fr.
35     Rasmus Reijola     G    Fr.
37     Joe Rehkamp     F    So.
40     Tim Daly     D    So.

Line charts: Yale vs. UMass Lowell

Here are the line charts




UMASS Lowell



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Betting the Frozen Four: Quinnipiac the favorite, Yale the underdog

UMass Lowell is -220 over Yale tomorrow. That means if you need to bet $220 on the River Hawks to win $100. On the other side, if you bet $100 on Yale you would win $180.

What does it all mean. Well, it means that UMass Lowell is a prohibitive favorite in the game and that's because it has won 14 of its last 15 games. Paced by sizzling goalie Connor Hellebuyck, the River Hawks rolled to the Hockey East title knocking off Boston University 1-0 in the title game.

While there's no way that Yale should be a big underdog in the game, I'm going with UMass Lowell 3-2 in the Thursday's opener.

Quinnipiac, the tourney's No. 1 overall seed and the top ranked team in the nation is -150 favorite in the nightcap. The Bobcats fizzled in the ECAC tourney but they probably lost a bit of their edge entering the game knowing they had an NCAA bid in hand.

Once in the tourney Quinnipiac started poorly against Canisius but never panicked and rallied for a 4-3 win.
The Bobcats then hammered Union. They seem to be hitting their best stride and should earn a spot in the title game.

My pick: Quinnipiac 4, St. Cloud State 2

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Rings of the Father

Quinnipiac’s Eric Hartzell and Yale’s Stu Wilson already have national championship rings in their households. Hartzell’s father, Kevin, was a member of Minnesota’s 1979 title team; Wilson’s father, Wayne, was a champ in 1984 with Bowling Green.

Kevin Hartzell scored 140 career points under legendary Gophers coach Herb Brooks.
Wayne Wilson was the senior captain for Bowling Green when it beat Minnesota-Duluth for the title. Stu Wilson said his father doesn’t talk a lot about the experience as a player, but, as coach of Rochester Institute of Technology, led his team to an improbable Frozen Four berth in 2010.

“He was a senior captain when he won it. I’m kind of on the opposite end of things coming here as a freshman,” Stu Wilson said. “The main thing he said to me was just enjoy it. You feel kind of spoiled as a freshman to be here so soon. At the same time you have to realize it doesn’t happen every year. So I really have to take advantage of it and enjoy it.”
Kevin Hartzell also went on to a coaching career in the United States Hockey League, where he coached Eric in Sioux Falls, S.D. Wayne Wilson has been head coach at RIT since 1999.
Following in his father’s footsteps and winning a title is something that’s always been on Stu Wilson’s mind.
“Your whole life, having your dad do something like that, you dream of doing the same thing,” Wilson said. “To be so close is unbelievable."
-- Chip Malafronte

Yale-UMass Lowell Rosters

Yale (20-12-3)
No.     Name     Pos.     Cl.
2     Gus Young     D     Jr.
4     Rob O'Gara     D     Fr.
6     Stu Wilson     F     Fr.
7     Matt Killian     D     So.
8     Josh Balch     F     Sr.
9     Carson Cooper     F     Fr.
10     Mitch Witek     D     Fr.
11     Trent Ruffolo     F     So.
12     Cody Learned     F     Fr.
13     Matthew Beattie     F     Fr.
14     Ryan Obuchowski     D     Fr.
15     Clinton Bourbonais     F     Jr.
16     Alex Ward     F     So.
17     Andrew Miller     F     Sr.
18     Kenny Agostino     F     Jr.
19     Anthony Day     F     So.
20     Jesse Root     F     Jr.
21     Colin Dueck     D     Sr.
22     Tommy Fallen     D     So.
26     Nicholas Weberg     F     So.
27     Charles Orzetti     F     Fr.
28     Antoine Laganiere     F     Sr.
29     Connor Wilson     G     So.
31     Nick Maricic     G     Sr.
33     Jeff Malcolm     G     Sr.

UMass Lowell (28-10-2)
No. Name    Pos. Class
2 Malcolm Lyles    F         Sr
3 Chad Ruhwedel    D         Jr.
4 Joe Houk    D         R-Jr.
5 Derek McCoy    F         Jr.
6 Daniel Furlong    D    Jr.
7 Shayne Thompson    F    Jr.
8 Colin Wright    F         Sr.
9 Terrence Wallin    F    So.
10 Ryan McGrath    F         Fr.
11 Stephen Buco    F    So.
12 Josh Holmstrom    F    Jr.
13 Adam Chapie    F    Fr.
14 Joseph Pendenza    F    Jr.
16 Riley Wetmore    F    Sr.
18 A.J. White    F    Fr.
20 Michael Fallon    F    Fr.
21 Dmitry Sinitsyn    D    R-Fr.
22 Gregory Amlong    D    Fr.
23 Scott Wilson    F    So.
24 Michael Colantone    F Fr.
26 Christian Folin    D    Fr.
27 Zack Kamrass    D    So.
28 Jake Suter    D    So.
29 Derek Arnold    F    Jr.
30 Brian Robbins    G     So.
31 Doug Carr    G    Jr.
37 Connor Hellebuyck    G    Fr.

Media Day updates

Follow our crew in Pittsburgh today for media day from the Frozen Four:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Welcome to Pittsburgh

A long day of travel, but the Register has arrived in the Steel City. Myself and colleagues Bill Cloutier, Mike Wollschlager and photographer Pete Casolino are here and ready for a full week of coverage. Check the blog and for comprehensive coverage of Yale and Quinnipiac at media day tomorrow and the games on Thursday.

Couple of interesting notes from our brief time here. Pittsburgh natives aren't ashamed of the Pirates. Who knew? We saw a couple of fans in T-shirts, cases of Pirates-labeled Budweiser and a guy with a Pirates tattoo. Thinking of buying an old-style gold-and-black Pirates batting helmet. We also discovered Pittsburgh is nuts about the Penguins. In retrospect, that's not a shock considering the team is 29-10. Still, our restaurant had the Penguins-Hurricanes game on every single TV. When I think of Pittsburgh, I think of Steelers country. But they are all about hockey, too. Pleasant surprise.

Our hotel has a basketball court. Got a ball to shoot around with Wollschlager, and discovered my vertical leap is now under 1-inch. I also have the basketball skills of a 70-year old man. Rather depressing. I'm never playing basketball again.

And in case you were wondering, it's against Pennsylvania state law to purchase a 12-pack of beer at a designated beer distributor. Only full cases. Just a little FYI for any Yale or Quinnipiac fans. We aren't above important public service announcements.

This much is clear. We're excited for some hockey! Go New Haven!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Quinnipiac chomping at the bit

Little different atmosphere at today's Quinnipiac press conference. Last week it was a sea of TV cameras and reporters. Today? Only me and Bob Mortali from WQUN-1220. No complaints on my end. It's been a small but dedicated group of media all season until recently. And today was the calm before the storm we'll see in Pittsburgh, starting with Wednesday's open practices and press conferences.

A couple of quick notes:
  • Proud new papa Rand Pecknold (and his wife, Nikki) have a bouncing baby boy, born Wednesday. Pecknold said Rex Thomas Pecknold is healthy, though dad is a bit sleep deprived.
  • Preparation for St. Cloud hasn't changed Quinnipiac's approach much. "What we'll focus on is what we've done all year long. Our system works, it's been proven over and over again. We will have some things we'll tweak and adjust for St. Cloud. The adjustments for St. Cloud might be similar to what we did for Nebraska-Omaha, for Yale, and some of the teams that rely on transition and high-powered offenses. It's not going to be completely foreign what we do with St. Cloud."
  • Quinnipiac players are no stranger to winning big games. Five players have won a combined seven Royal Bank Cups as Canadian Major Junior national champions (Connor and Kellen Jones won two each, Matthew Peca, Travis St. Denis and Mike Garteig one each.) Among the others are former USHL league champs Loren Barron (Indiana) and Ben Arnt (Omaha) and Bryce Van Brabant, who won two Alberta Junior league championships. "It's a big part of the reason we've had success this year," Pecknold said. "You have that kind of winning culture, it permeates through the locker room. When you recruit, you want talent, but you want character, you want captains and kids who know how to win."
  • Pecknold, as a member of the NCAA ice hockey selection committee, attended the Frozen Four in Tampa last season. So he can prepare his team for what to expect in terms of hoopla, hype and crowds: red carpet treatment, 100-foot posters, police escorts and capacity crowds pushing 20,000. "We've talked a couple times about not being overwhelmed," Pecknold said. "They treat you like a rock star. It's important our guys know that's coming and we deal with it appropriately. We need to be grounded and we need to be competitive."
  • Peca said the biggest and loudest crowds he's ever played in front of are the 4,500 or so at Quinnipiac who jam the place for Yale. He says the players won't be negatively affected by a crowd roughly five times that size on Thursday. "As players, you feed of it," Peca said. "If anything, it makes us better."
  • Senior defenseman Loren Barron says there's a noticeable difference in the style of play between Eastern and Western hockey teams. "Especially in the ECAC, its a lot more systematic and defensive-minded. The game is shut down a bit more, not as much flow. When you go to the Midwest teams its a lot more open with more room for individuals to shine, mostly because of the bigger ice, as opposed to more of a team game."
  • Pecknold, Peca and Barron all said practices over the past week have been excellent. Quinnipiac is feeling the magnitude of what lies ahead, and that energy has taken on a life of its own during practices. "To put closure on it, especially as a senior, we came to the same spot in the (ECAC) playoffs three years in a row," Barron said. "For us to finally not only break that spot but move ahead is an amazing way to recap four years. The freshmen might not realize how hard it is to get as far as we got. For the sophomores and juniors, they know how difficult it is. It's a fairy-tale way to end the season."
  • Quinnipiac will fly to Pittsburgh tomorrow via charter jet. Team Register will be hitting the highway in our custom whip tomorrow, too. We'll have full coverage from the Steel City starting with Wednesday's open practice and press conference.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Your Sunday links

Friday, April 5, 2013

Recruiting has come a long way at Quinnipiac

Entry into ECAC Hockey and the construction of the TD Bank Sports Center were major recruiting boons for Quinnipiac. The school has come a long way since a Hamden kid named Jonathan Quick sat in Pecknold's office a decade earlier.

"At that point, we were in Atlantic Hockey, we didn't have a rink," Pecknold said. "UMass, a Hockey East team, comes in and we were done. The next Jonathan Quick that comes through Hamden, we're going to get him at Quinnipiac. We're not going to lose him."

Over the past few years, Quinnipiac has gotten a few big-time recruits. Matthew Peca, the Jones boys, Jeremy Langlois. Even Eric Hartzell, who wasn't offered by North Dakota but had drawn interest in the school before Quinnipiac's scholarship came.

It's not easy, but the Bobcats are doing just fine on the recruiting trail. This year is making things easier. Recruits are familiar with the program; phone calls are returned quicker.

"It's hard to go head-to-head with Minnesota and win. Especially if it's a Minnesota kid. If it's a Minnesota kid, it's not going to happen," Pecknold said. "We have won some battles with the big boys. But you only have to win one out of 20, and you have your stud."

Pecknold said next year's incoming class includes a handful of "studs" that Quinnipiac beat out other schools for, a few of which, he says, have NHL potential.

Here's a look at who is coming to Quinnipiac next fall, according to the Chris Heisenberg data base:

Jason Stephanik, LW, New Jersey Hitmen (EJHL)
Peter Quenneville, RW, Dubuque (USHL)
Sam Anas, C, Youngstown (USHL)
Brayden Sherbinin, D, Salmon Arm (BCHL)
Tim Clifton, LW, New Jersey Hitmen
Connor Clifton, D, US U-18 team
Devon Toews, D, Surrey (BCHL)
Joe Fiala, D, Indiana Ice (USHL)
Brady Rouleau, G, Coquitlam (BCHL)
Tommy Schutt, RW, Lincoln (USHL)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Keith Allain's vision for Yale hockey now a reality

Yale had its media session today at the Schley Room inside Ingalls Rink. If you've never been inside, it's a cavernous room decked out wall-to-wall, up and down, with old Yale team photos and memorabilia dating back to the 1890s. It's 117 years of Yale hockey right there in black-and-white.

As coach Keith Allain and captain Andrew Miller answered questions about the team's upcoming trip to the Frozen Four, it wasn't hard to get swept up in the moment. Only twice since that first game in 1896 has a Yale hockey team been one of the last four teams in American still playing. The 1952 team and this one. Hundreds of Yale men have come through New Haven and played hockey, most moving on to become captains of industry, some playing in the NHL, one even running for President of the United States. A handful can say they've gotten this far. There's not much on this Earth that hasn't already been achieved by Yale graduates. Miller and his teammates have that opportunity.

The 1952 team, coached by original New York Ranger Murray Murdoch, went to a four-team tournament in Colorado Springs and lost, 4-3, to Colorado College. It came back a day later to beat St. Lawrence in the consolation game, the first NCAA win in team history (though the first NCAA win that meant something didn't come until 2010, when the Bulldogs beat North Dakota.)

Allain said by the time he returned to the locker room and looked at his phone after Yale beat the Fighting Sioux in Grand Rapids on Saturday, he already had 56 text messages awaiting. The number of texts, emails and phone calls of congratulations is well into the hundreds, he said. That includes well-wishers Larry Noble Jr. and Harry Havemeyer, members of Yale's 1952 team.

Allain has done wonders since arriving at Yale, needing just three years to reach the NCAA tournament for only the third time in school history. This season will make it four times in the last five years. This was his goal when he got here back in 2006.

Here's a quote that says it all.

"My vision was to have a program that had sustained excellence," Allain said. "I truly thought that at Yale you could have the best of both worlds. The best education in the world and compete in hockey at the highest levels there is in college hockey. And I wanted to do it on a regular basis. I didn't want to have a good year then four or five lean years. Our mission is to consistently compete for championships. I feel like we're doing that. Now we want to win a championship. We want to win the big one. I'm pleased with where the program in now and the people we have coming through our program."

Yale ticket info for Frozen Four

From Yale's ticket office:

Frozen Four Information
The Yale Department of Athletics is pleased to announce the following information for fans looking to support the Yale men's ice hockey team at next weekend's Frozen Four.

Frozen Four Ticket Information
All-session tickets (valid for admission to both Semifinal games on Thursday, April 11 and the Championship game on Saturday, April 13) cost $200 each. Tickets purchased through the Yale ticket office will be located in Section 109 or 110 at the Consol Energy Center.

Frozen Four tickets are currently available for purchase.

To place your order, please contact the Yale Athletics Ticket Office at:


Frozen Four Story Links

Pat Eaton-Robb of the Associated Press takes a look at how Greater New Haven is becoming the center of the college hockey universe this week. Pretty nice picture of Quinnipiac fans displayed with the story on the NCAA site as well.

It might be the only time we link to a story on a South Dakota television station (KELO-TV), but seven former members of the Sioux Fall Stampede will be competing in the Frozen Four, inlcuding Yale's Anthony Day and Quinnipiac's Eric Hartzell.

Mick Hatten of the St. Cloud Times speaks to SCSU sophomore Brooks Bertsch about the importance of winning to championships in juniors to his success in the regionals.

Hatten also gives a look into the personality of SCSU coach Bob Motzko, a finalist for national coach of the year, who isn't afraid to lineup during breakaway drills and take a shot on his goalies for fun.

The Yale Daily News spotlights the importance of freshman defenseman Ryan Obuchowski to the Bulldogs' Frozen Four run.

Bryan Lipiner and Gene Demaio from the Quinnipiac Chronicle check in with their thoughts on Quinnipiac advancing to the Frozen Four.

Forget March Madness - NCAA Frozen Four Has it All writes Huffington Post contributor Robert Waite.

This SBNation report on the Top 10 reasons Minnesota lost to Yale has Gopher fans a little irritate, but that seemed to be the intent.

St. Cloud freshman Joey Benik broke his leg 20 minutes into his first college hockey practice. He also scored four goals in the Regionals. Read his story by Roman Augostoviv of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. breaks down the success of St. Cloud State.

The Lowell Sun examines Rivers Hawks hockey fever.