Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Yale bringing in seven recruits

While Yale's roster featured seven seniors this past winter, only three, Tommy Fallen, Matt Killian and Trent Ruffolo, were regulars in the lineup. A broken fibula sidelined Anthony Day until the ECAC playoffs. Nico Weberg and Alex Ward combined to play just 11 games before injuries ended their seasons. Goaltender Connor Wilson saw no action, stuck behind the best goaltender in the country.

The Bulldogs will replenish with seven recruits. Four forwards, two defensemen and a goalie will fill the holes left by the departed (Killian arrived as a defensemen, but transitioned to forward.)

Here's the new class.


Andrew Gaus, Wexford, Pa., 2/23/95 (age 20), 6-1, 180, RW, Cedar Rapids (USHL): Has 14 goals and 18 assists in 58 games for Cedar Rapids, now competing in the USHL playoffs. Prepped at Taft and led the team in scoring twice. Chose Yale over Harvard.

Joe Snively, Herndon, Va., 1/1/96 (age 19), 5-8, 160, C/LW, Sioux City (USHL): His 27 goals, 37 assists and 64 points was tied for fourth in the USHL this season. Extensive international experience. Won gold at the Under-19 Junior-A Challenge in Saskatoon in December; bronze at the Junior Club World Cup in Ufa, Russia last summer. Made the U.S. Under-18 Selects team that played in the Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 2013. Team MVP at South Kent in 2012. Chose Yale over Harvard, Providence, Boston College and New Hampshire.

Ted Hart, Cumberland, Maine, 2/20/96 (age 19), 5-11, 172, C/RW, Phillips Exeter Academy: All-New England pick after scoring 24 goals and 24 assists this season. Exeter went 24-4-2 and were the top-seed heading into the playoffs before being upset. Older brother Brian played at Harvard this season and was a second-round pick of Tampa Bay. Another brother, Kevin, played at Providence and is currently in the ECHL. Ted was originally committed to Providence. Maine and New Hampshire had also shown interest.

J.M. Piotrowski, Naperville, Ill., 5/1/95 (age 20), 6-2, 180, Sioux Falls (USHL): Well-traveled Junior career includes stops with the Chicago Fury, Dallas Junior Stars, Wichita Wildcats and Fargo Force prior to this winter. Began the season in Bismarck. Combined for 14 goals, 10 assists in 58 games, with 120 penalty minutes.


Anthony Walsh, Burr Ridge, Ill., 9/21/95 (age 20), 5-10, 180, Sioux City (USHL): Two goals and nine assists between Green Bay and Sioux City this season.

Charlie Curti, Mound, Minn., 5/24/95 (age 20), 5-11, 192, Cedar Rapids (USHL): Five goals, 19 assists this season. Won gold at Under-19 World Junior-A Challenge in Saskatoon in December.


Sam Tucker, Wilton, Conn., 4/16/96 (age 19), 6-2, 175, Choate: Four year starter put up impressive numbers during his prep school career. Named all-league. Led Choate in wins and trip to New England semifinals. Won USA Hockey U-18 national championship with Hartford Junior Wolfpack earlier this month in Buffalo, a team coached by ex-Quinnipiac skater Scott Robson and Doug Messier, father of Mark Messier.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Alex Lyon, Rob O'Gara to return next season

The Bruins wanted Rob O'Gara now. Alex Lyon is still receiving interest. Both will be back in New Haven next season. The story:

NEW HAVEN >> Alex Lyon’s numbers were second to none, yet he lost out on the Mike Richter Award as the nation’s top goaltender earlier Friday. But Yale’s rising star would get his due later in the afternoon, named an All-American along with teammate Rob O’Gara.

Perhaps the best news of the day for Yale? Their coach, Keith Allain, confirmed both will put off the NHL and return to school in the fall.

Lyon, a sophomore, and O’Gara, a junior defenseman, were named first-team All-Americans by the American Hockey Coaches Association. The announcement came during a ceremony at Matthews Arena in Boston, part of the Frozen Four weekend’s festivities.

Lyon is Yale’s first first-team All-American goalie since Mike O’Neill in 1989. Alex Westlund was the last Yale goalie to be so honored, as a second-team pick in 1998. O’Gara is the first Bulldog All-American defenseman since Ray Giroux was selected to the first team in 1998.

North Dakota goaltender Zane McIntyre won the Richter Award, and was also a first-team All-American, despite Lyon leading the country in goals-against average (1.62), save percentage (.939) and shutouts (7). That wasn’t surprising, if only because McIntyre was the lone goaltender named Hobey Baker finalist last month.

Still, it’s hard to argue another goalie more valuable to their team than Lyon, who’d already won the Ken Dryden Award winner as the ECAC’s most outstanding goalie.

“The big thing was his consistency,” Allain said. “You knew what you were going to get every day at practice, every weekend going into games. He has the right combination of physical ability, mental toughness and hockey sense. To me, that’s why he’s a really good goalie.”

O’Gara, the ECAC’s top defensive defenseman, was also Yale’s second-leading scorer with 21 points. He entered the year with 18 career points over two seasons.

“Rob epitomizes what we want to be about as a program, and that’s growth,” Allain said. “He was a contributor as a freshman, was much better as a sophomore, and during the last half of this year was a dominant player. He was better in every aspect of the game.”

Both players opened the eyes of NHL suitors this winter. O’Gara, a fifth-round draft pick of the Boston Bruins in 2011, certainly appeared ready for the next level, something Allain sensed by Christmas break.

“We sat down and I just wanted to get him ready for the fact that Boston would probably try to sign him,” Allain said. “We talked about a lot of things. He wants to get his degree; his parents want him to get his degree. I said that’s good, put you have to be in position to say no to something you want, so you have to get your mind ready for that. Boston was good about it. They approached him. But they like the situation he’s in; he’s getting better. The opportunity was there if he wanted to leave, but there was never any pressure put on him to do so.”

Lyon, an undrafted free agent, has received interest from multiple clubs. He’s committed to Yale next season, but may face a difficult choice at this time next year.

Allain spent the week conducting year-end individual meetings and evaluations with his team. Yale returns nearly its entire roster from a team that led the country in scoring defense and nearly beat Boston University in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

With O’Gara and Lyon in tow, the Bulldogs should be early favorites to win the ECAC and in the conversation for national championship honors.

“I’m really pleased for both of those guys,” Allain said. “They’re great players and great people who work extremely hard at their sport. They’ve earned the right to be All-Americans. It’s fantastic.”

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Quinnipiac twins Jonah and Nathan Renouf to transfer

Jonah and Nathan Renouf, freshman forwards at Quinnipiac, will transfer to Alaska-Anchorage this fall, the Register has confirmed. Over the Boards first reported the news via Twitter.

The identical twin brothers, listed at 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, were productive in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League last winter and the Ontario Junior Hockey League before that, but neither cracked the lineup for the Bobcats this season.

Quinnipiac, which had planned to bring in six freshmen next season, will likely expand its recruiting class to fill the two additional full scholarship roster spots.