Monday, March 23, 2009

East #2: Yale

Yale University Bulldogs

Yale 2 seed vs. Vermont, East Regional (Bridgeport, CT)
6:30 EDT, Friday, March 27, ESPNU
ECAC Regular Season Champions
ECAC Tournament Champions
Record: 24-7-2
Coach: Keith Allain (27-31-7, .469)

Scoring Summary:
3.39 2.18 +1.21

Leading Scorers:
# Player G-A--Pts
26 Mark Arcobello 17-18--35
14 Broc Little 15-20--35
16 Sean Backman 20-13--33

# Player Sv % GAA W-L-T
31 Alec Richards 0.926 1.97 19-4-1

Stats via

Yale looked to build upon last year's winning season, their first since 2003, with a strong campaign this year.  Despite losing five forwards to graduation, the Bulldogs got off to a hot start in November (Ivy League game limits mean a later start for Ivy hockey teams), and lost just five  ECAC games all season, earning both the ECAC regular season and Ivy League titles.  Yale seems to have a touch of a team of destiny this season.  Their win over Saint Lawrence in the ECAC semifinals in Albany saw the Bulldogs/Elis come back from a 3-2 defecit, starting with a "garbage goal" (as described by CHN), and then the game winner 22 seconds later off a giveaway.  Yale put the icing on the cake in Albany with a 5-0 rout of Cornell to claim their first ECAC playoff title.  Yale will be hosting at the Bridgeport Regional.

Quick Hits:

  • It's been a while. Yale's #2 NCAA tournament seed is their highest ever and 2009 marks just Yale's third trip to the NCAA tournament.  Their first, in 1952, saw them fall to Colorado College at the old World Arena in Colorado Springs (CC would lose to Michigan in the final).  In their most recent trip, 1998, Yale fell to Ohio State 4-0 in a West Regional game at Yost.  (Not saying it's a causation thing, but as a Michigan fan, you have to like that Michigan is 2-for-2 in titles in years that Yale makes the tournament.)

  • Connecticut is famous for its hockey whalers. Ingalls Arena, the home of Yale hockey, was completed in the 1958 and was designed by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen, he of the Gateway Arch and  the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport in New York.  The nickname of the arena is "The Yale Whale", which is not merely clever rhyming, but the fact that the curved shape of the roof and the presents the appearance of a whale.  Named for a David Ingalls, Sr and David Ingalls, Jr, both Eli hockey captains, it currently is undergoing its second major renovation, which should be done by the beginning of next season. (In a another random connection to Ann Arbor, it was the size, shape, and design of the Yale Bowl that served as the primary influence on Fielding Yost when he first envisioned what he wanted Michigan Stadium to look like.)

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