Monday, October 28, 2013

Quinnipiac seventh; Yale 11th in USCHO poll Division I Men's Poll
Minneapolis, Minn./October 28, 2013

Team             (First Place)   Record   Pts  Last Week
 1 Minnesota                 (50)    5- 0-1  1000     1
 2 Notre Dame                        5- 1-0   890     2
 3 Providence                        4- 0-1   844     8
 4 Michigan                          4- 1-1   810     4
 5 North Dakota                      2- 1-1   777     6
 6 Miami                             3- 2-1   743     3
 7 Quinnipiac                        6- 1-0   671     9
 8 Boston College                    2- 2-1   670     5
 9 St. Cloud State                   3- 0-1   643    10
10 Rensselaer                        4- 1-0   529    12
11 Yale                              1- 1-0   457     7
12 Lake Superior                     4- 0-0   383    15
13 Wisconsin                         2- 2-0   380    11
14 Cornell                           2- 0-0   285    19
15 Massachusetts-Lowell              3- 3-0   262    18
16 Minnesota State                   2- 2-0   195    16
17 Clarkson                          6- 1-1   184    NR
18 Boston University                 3- 3-0   168    13
19 Northeastern                      5- 1-0   154    20
20 Minnesota-Duluth                  3- 2-1   108    NR

Others receiving votes: New Hampshire 106, Brown 54, Denver
47, Alaska-Anchorage 36, St. Lawrence 32, Air Force 16,
Ferris State 15, Harvard 13, Alaska 12, Maine 4, Bowling
Green 2.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Yale lines for today's game with Princeton

The personnel is almost the same, but Keith Allain has shaken up his forward lines for today. Charles Orzetti is out. Freshman Chris Izmirlian is in. Kenny Agostino will skate with Stu Wilson and John Hayden. A few other switches. Goaltender is still TBA. My guess is we see Alex Lyon again.






No word on the goalie.

Liberty Hockey Invitational, Day 2

We're back for another day of the Liberty Hockey Invitational. I'd heard conflicting reports about how many tickets had been sold for this event. Some were saying 5,000; others said sales were poor. Uh, we'll go with the latter. Announced attendance on Friday was 1,201. Looks like there won't be much more tonight. Now, Princeton and Yale are on board to co-host this thing for at least three more seasons here at the 18,000-seat Prudential Center. How they aren't taking a bath on this is beyond me. There is some scuttle butt that the Prudential Center is interested in playing host to an NCAA Frozen Four. Once the NCAA lifts its silly ban on the state of New Jersey playing host to its tournaments. Anyway, the facility is perfect. The location not so much. Yes, New York City is a short drive. But the city of Newark, even the area around the arena, is fairly frightening.

Here are fields for future Liberty Hockey Invitationals. Dartmouth and Brown are getting the boot, to be replaced by Hockey East teams. The format will see Yale and Princeton play on Friday, with the Hockey East teams in the other game, with a championship and consolation game on Saturday.

2014: Princeton, Yale, UConn, Merrimack
2015: Princeton, Yale, Maine, Massachusetts
2016: Princeton, Yale, UMass-Lowell, Vermont

It's a nice idea in a beautiful NHL building. But it would be nice to have a little atmosphere to go with it.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Yale lines for Brown at LHI

First trip to the Prudential Center. It's a beautiful building. Yale, for certain, can get used to playing in these amazing NHL facilities. The Liberty Mutual Invitational, formerly known as the Ivy Shootout, will switch formats next season and invite at least one Hockey East opponent.

Here are the lines for Yale today. Clinton Bourbonais a notable scratch. Keith Allain hasn't disclosed his starting goalie yet. We'll find out when they take the ice for pregame warmups.




For Brown: Keep an eye on Milford's Matt Naclerio, coming off a strong freshman season. Brown also has Tyler Wood, a freshman, starting on defense. Yale fans might know him better as the son of alum Randy Wood.




Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Quinnipiac looks to avoid Bentley trap

A Tuesday  night game against a middling Atlantic Hockey opponent. Should be an easy night for Quinnipiac. Then again, the Bobcats lost 2-1 to AIC at this time last season. That loss turned the whole season around. After an impressive sweep of UMass Lowell over the weekend, a loss tonight could have the opposite effect.

Here are the starting lines for Quinnipiac

St. Dennis-Peca-Anas
Van Brabant-Clifton-JST



Monday, October 21, 2013

Yale 7th; Quinnipiac 9th in latest USCHO poll

Two top 10 teams in Greater New Haven once again. Division I Men's Poll
Minneapolis, Minn./October 21, 2013

Team             (First Place)   Record   Pts  Last Week
 1 Minnesota                 (31)    4- 0-0   972     3
 2 Notre Dame                (11)    4- 0-0   928     4
 3 Miami                     ( 5)    3- 1-0   874     1
 4 Michigan                          3- 0-1   844     5
 5 Boston College                    2- 1-0   769     7
 6 North Dakota                      2- 1-1   720     6
 7 Yale                      ( 3)    0- 0-0   676     7
 8 Providence                        3- 0-0   668    10
 9 Quinnipiac                        3- 1-0   536    14
10 St. Cloud State                   1- 0-1   516    11
11 Wisconsin                         2- 2-0   509     2
12 Rensselaer                        3- 1-0   412    17
13 Boston University                 3- 1-0   346    15
14 New Hampshire                     1- 2-1   338    13
15 Lake Superior                     4- 0-0   237    NR
16 Minnesota State                   2- 2-0   212    18
17 Denver                            2- 2-0   187    12
18 Massachusetts-Lowell              1- 3-0   186     9
19 Cornell                           0- 0-0   113    19
20 Northeastern                      4- 0-0    99    NR

Others receiving votes: Minnesota-Duluth 79, St. Lawrence
61, Alaska-Anchorage 50, Clarkson 50, Union 27, Colorado
College 16, Ferris State 16, Harvard 11, Air Force 10,
Alaska 10, Bowling Green 10, Western Michigan 8, Ohio State
5, Niagara 3, Canisius 1, Dartmouth 1.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Quinnipiac, UMass Lowell do it again

Student section here nice and early for Quinnipiac's Frozen Four banner ceremony. New scoreboard and ribbon boards around the arena also in place. Unsure if it will be fully operational. We'll see.

Here are the lines tonight:


St. Denis-Peca-Anas
Van Brabant-Hibbeler-JST







Friday, October 18, 2013

Final tuneup for Yale

We got over to Yale to chat with Keith Allain and a few players Thursday afternoon. The Bulldogs will play host to Ontario Tech in an exhibition Saturday night, the final tuneup before they officially begin defense of their national championship next weekend at the Liberty Hockey Invitational.

Here's the story I wrote for the Register previewing the weekend for Yale and Quinnipiac. 

A couple of additional notes:

* All games will again be broadcast on WYBC-1340, good news for weirdos like me that still enjoy radio.

** Allain will dress everyone, and then let the game dictate who plays and when. If special teams gets a ton of work early, Allain said he may send a line of forwards to the showers so younger players can get more experience. All three goalies will play.

** Tickets are still available for banner-raising night on Nov. 1, but not many. According to Steve Conn at Yale, only the Quinnipiac game is sold out right now, but it's standing-room only for most of the remaining ECAC games.

** No one has to remind Yale hockey fans how fortunate they are to have the program under the direction of a man like Keith Allain. That said, here’s one more reason to appreciate a true coach:
Asked Thursday if he took some time to let his guard down and celebrate in the weeks after Yale’s national title, Allain said, “To be perfectly honest, for me it wasn’t about that. It was about getting a group, having a goal, working toward that goal, and accomplishing the goal. Being in that room after the game, and seeing the look on their faces, that was enough for me.”
Then, a short pause.
“So I want to do it again. Damn straight.”

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Quinnipiac shaking the jet lag

There was media availability today at Quinnipiac in anticipation of this weekend's series with UMass-Lowell. A few notes and quotes:
  • The series, and home-and-away that begins Friday night in Lowell, lost a bit of luster. Sacred Heart stunned UML last weekend, and the RiverHawks dropped from No. 1 in the nation to ninth. Quinnipiac's loss at Alaska-Anchorage sent it from 10th to 14th. So, while technically no longer a match-up of top 10 schools, these are still two talented teams coming off Frozen Four berths.
  • I've heard conflicting reports about whether Quinnipiac will raise its Frozen Four banner on Saturday night. There will be a meeting Wednesday to make a final determination. The new scoreboards still aren't a full-go, and the video board may not be ready in time for puck drop.
  • The home-and-away contract with UMass Lowell is a two-year deal, so the team's will do it again next season. Rand Pecknold is working on extending the agreement.
  • The trip to Alaska is taxing on a body. I woke up at 3:15 a.m. (Alaska time) to catch a 5:45 a.m. flight. After a three-hour layover in Minneapolis, I was at LaGuardia by 9 p.m. and home just before 11. Quinnipiac took the red-eye after its Saturday win over Alaska Fairbanks, leaving at 11:45 p.m., through Denver, and reaching LaGuardia at 2:20 p.m. before a bus ride back to Hamden. The team had a light, 75-minute practice Monday to refresh before a full practice Tuesday. "We didn't get to sleep in a bed Saturday night, we were on the plane," Quinnipiac captain Cory Hibbeler said. "So it was a good way to shake off the jet lag. We were tired (Monday) but we looked pretty sharp."
  • Rand Pecknold, channeling his inner Paul Pasqualoni, referred to the Bobcats' freshman class as "a work in progress." The young players are talented and smart, but at times looked completely lost in Alaska. "They still have to learn to play at this level," Pecknold said.

Yale, it was just announced, plans to have media availability on Thursday. I'll be there.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Quinnipiac tries to regroup for Alaska-Fairbanks

Not the most inspired effort last night from Quinnipiac, which looked very much like a team playing its first game after losing 11 seniors. Captain Cory Hibbeler acknowledged the preparation and effort of the veterans needs to be better tonight against an Alaska-Fairbanks team that should be a tougher opponent than Anchorage.

Here are tonight's lines for the Bobcats. Zach Luczyk replaces Brooks Robinson on the fourth line. Derek Smith is in at defenseman for Devon Toews. Both are healthy scratches.

Van Brabant-Hibbeler-Samuels-Thomas
St. Denis-Peca-Anas
Jonzzon-T. Clifton-Luczyk

Federico-C. Clifton


Friday, October 11, 2013

Quinnipiac lines for Alaska-Anchorage....and why does this place look so familiar?

This is Sullivan Arena, home of the Alaska-Anchorage hockey team. And I need to keep reminding myself of where I am because this place looks almost exactly like the old New Haven Coliseum. Where's Don Perry and Tom Colley?

Alaska-Fairbanks is beating up on Air Force right now.

Here are the lines for Quinnipiac

Van Brabant-Hibbeler-SamuelsThomas
St. Denis-Peca-Anas
Jonzzon-T. Clifton-Robinson



Grizzly weather in Anchorage, but it's finally hockey time

Took a stroll off the beaten path yesterday afternoon and came face-to-face with this guy. Was able to snap a few photos before the situation got hairy. Luckily, I was able to divert his attention with a Zagnut bar and, using my cat-like agility, make a clean escape.

Good story, isn't it? Wish it was true. But this was taken at the Alaska zoo. My plan to explore a bit of the Alaska wilderness was ruined by rain. So this was the next best option. How is it I've lived this long without seeing a bear? Fascinating creatures. Reminded me a little of Tony Siragusa, only a lot more tolerable, as long as you watch from a distance.

Weather remains dreary in Anchorage today. More rain and temperatures topping out in the upper 30s. But no worries. We have hockey tonight. Here's my story on new Quinnipiac goalie Michael Garteig, who takes over for graduated star Eric Hartzell. Garteig has quite a resume, which includes two BCHL goalie of the year titles, being part of a team that won 42 straight games and a Royal Bank Cup crown as Canadian national champs. He's confident, and talented. 

Game time is midnight EST. Follow me on Twitter @ChipMalafronte for updates tonight.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Welcome to Anchorage

Going into this, I fully understood the trip from Connecticut to Anchorage would be long. After making the journey yesterday I can say with conviction that it has lived up to expectations. From New Haven to LaGuardia to Chicago to Anchorage was 15 hours all told. It was dusk upon arrival, but we saw snow on the mountains from the air. Was dead asleep 10 minutes after checking into the hotel, and it's still pitch black here at 7:30 a.m. Sunrise isn't for another hour. Makes for a great sleep environment, but how does anyone ever get up for work on time around here?

The forecast is for rain today, tomorrow and Saturday, so my hope of finding a few hours to explore some of the last frontier and spot a grizzly, moose or bald eagle might be challenging.

Quinnipiac has arrived safe and sound. I know because I was on the same flights. The team is excited and ready to open the season. One thing to note is last season's run hasn't made them a household name just yet. They answered plenty of questions from fellow travelers in airports and on the plane, most starting with "what is Quinnipiac?" Doubtful Michigan or Boston College get those queries. The players are used to it by now.

Atlantic Hockey sent out a press release yesterday confirming Air Force has been cleared to fly out here, so the Kendall Hockey Classic will continue as scheduled. Air Force plays Alaska-Fairbanks Friday at 5 p.m. (9 p.m. EST) and Quinnipiac takes on the host Alaska-Anchorage at 8:07 p.m. (12:07 a.m. EST). That's good news for the Bobcats. Alaska-Anchorage, with a new coach, is coming off a four-win season. Alaska-Fairbanks should be a much tougher test, which would have been much stiffer had it been able to rest up for their Saturday game. Now, Air Force can soften them up a bit first.

In case you missed it, here's my season preview for Quinnipiac that ran in the Register today. I have a column on new goalie Michael Garteig set to run tonight. Check back all weekend for updates.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New format for Liberty Hockey Invitational

I spent the morning at Quinnipiac to get information for a season preview later this week. The Bobcats open the season this weekend in Anchorage, Alaska. I'll be making the trip as well, so be sure to check the blog for news, notes and photos. Quinnipiac flies out Wednesday. It's about 13 hours from LaGuardia to Anchorage, with a stopover in Chicago.

Yale opens practice Friday, with the season opener in two weeks at the Liberty Hockey Invitational. Here's a quick note on future non-conference schedules for the Bulldogs.

The Ivy Shootout, in it's current format, will end after this season. Princeton has proposed a preseason tournament at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. which Yale would co-host. So Yale will open with the Tigers on the Friday, with two other teams playing a second game. UConn, UMass and Vermont are lined up for future tournaments. If it's something that works, the Bulldogs will continue to participate. But there are pros and cons, Yale coach Keith Allain said.

"We like the idea of playing in an NHL building," Allain said. "We like the idea of opening with an Ivy. We don't like the idea of two non-conference games on the road to start every year."

Yale and Harvard will play in Madison Square Garden in January, and do it again the following season. Merrimack and Vermont are on future schedules. There's no Western trip for 2014-15.

Friday, October 4, 2013

A closer look at AHL opening day rosters

More than a few locals will be playing in the AHL this season. Here's the full list:

Mike Dalhuisen (Quinnipiac), D, Bridgeport
Lee Moffie (Wallingford/Michigan), D, Lake Erie
Sean Backman (Greenwich/Yale), F, Manchester
Brian O'Neill (Yale), F, Manchester
Antoine Laganiere (Yale), F, Norfolk
Andrew Miller (Yale), F, Oklahoma City
Pat Mullane (Wallingford/Boston College), F, Rockford
Broc Little (Yale), F, Springfield
Jeremy Langlois (Quinnipiac), F, Springfield
Eric Hartzell (Quinnipiac), G, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Tickets selling fast, other notes

A few notes and things of interest for a Friday:

* Tickets for the Yale-Quinnipiac game in Hamden sold out even before they were available for the public. Season ticket holders had first crack to purchase extras, and they're all gone. Look for them on secondary markets.

* Quinnipiac says its season ticket holder base is at 1,600 for this season, a jump of about 450 from a year ago. Numbers for Yale were unavailable Friday, but all signs point to increased numbers of season tickets and single-game tickets.

* Quinnipiac's home game against Holy Cross on Oct. 26 (parent's weekend) is also sold out. A few tickets still remain for the home-opener against preseason No. 1 UMass-Lowell on Oct. 19. Games with Harvard (Nov. 15) and Cornell (Feb. 21) are also selling fast.

* Yale will raise its national championship banner on Nov. 1, the home-opener with St. Lawrence. Quinnipiac is also raising banners for its ECAC title and Frozen Four runner-up on Oct. 19 against UMass-Lowell.

* Quinnipiac's new scoreboard won't be running for this Sunday's exhibition against St. Mary's. It will be officially unveiled for the UMass-Lowell game.

* Lots of feedback from the report of Quinnipiac and the MAAC submitting a bid to host the Frozen Four in Orlando for the upcoming four-year bid cycle. Jack McDonald says Orlando is attractive because it's a destination city and the MAAC has a strong relationship with Disney. Why not somewhere closer? Madison Square Garden is simply too expensive; other buildings in the region are tied-in with other schools, McDonald said. The best option, the XL Center, falls just short of the number of seats to reach the NCAA's required $2.5 million guarantee.

* In case you missed it, here's my story on Yale looking ahead to this season on the heels of its title.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mark Arcobello gets first NHL point

Mark Arcobello, the former Fairfield Prep and Yale star, scored his first NHL point on Tuesday during the Edmonton Oilers loss to Winnepeg. Filling in on the second line, where he will be while Sam Gagner recovers from injury, Arco had the second assist on Jesse Joensuu's goal that gave Edmonton a 4-2 lead. With the Oilers down 5-4, Arcobello had a chance to tie it late in the third, but was denied.

Arcobello really came into his own last year, leading Oklahoma City of the AHL in scoring (and weathering the occasional OKC tornado) and made a one-game pit stop in Edmonton. Looks like he could be with the Oilers for the long haul. He and Chris Higgins of Vancouver are the only Yale alums to make NHL opening day rosters.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Quinnipiac, MAAC submit Frozen Four bid

Quinnipiac and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference have partnered up and submitted a bid to host the men's Frozen Four at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., according to Rich Ensor, the MAAC commissioner, and Quinnipiac AD Jack McDonald.

The NCAA accepted bids for its four-year cycle for the years 2015-18. Ensor said he expects the selection committee to whittle a list of finalists with in the next few weeks, with an official announcement to follow. The MAAC has also submitted a bid to play host to the event in Buffalo, N.Y.

Philadelphia, which will host the 2014 Frozen Four, is among the cities confirmed to be in the next bidding cycle, Ensor said. Pittsburgh, Boston, Detroit and St. Paul are among those also involved.

A dozen years ago, Quinnipiac and the MAAC submitted a bid for Orlando at its old arena, McDonald said. The Amway Center, which opened in 2010, is state-of-the art. Built for $480 million as part of a $1 billion downtown plan that includes expansion of the Citrus Bowl, the arena serves as home of the NBA's Orlando Magic and the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL. Seating for hockey is 17,353.

"It's a gorgeous building," Ensor said. "It has all the bells and whistles. It's state-of-the-art everything. They didn't skimp on anything, that's for sure."

The MAAC also has a bid in to host the men's wrestling championships in Orlando. Quinnipiac will play host to the women's Frozen Four at the TD Bank Sports Center this March.