Archive for NCAA – Yale

That Was Then, And This Is Now


========================================================================
A Howitzer, 8 Inch, M115 cannon is fired by members of Battery A, 17th Field Artillery Battalion, 45th United States Infantry Division, in the area north of Yonchon, Korea, on the 27th of May, 1952. (olive-drab.com photo)
========================================================================

Now that two leading senior players on the 2012/13 edition of the YALE BULLDOGS have landed professional contracts with National Hockey League clubs, it is interesting to have one more look back at the Ivy League school’s very first team to ever reach the NCAA Frozen Four a little more than six decades ago.

Although Yale head coach MURRAY MURDOCH had enjoyed a long career in the crack NHL during his own playing days, the former New York Rangers left wing never did graduate any of his own Bulldog proteges to North America’s elite professional circuit in 27 seasons at the helm in New Haven. Then again, it should be remembered that there were only six teams in the entire NHL, as compared to the 30 clubs which crowd the NHL ranks today. During the early 1950s (and on into the next decade), opportunities for collegiate players in the United States with NHL clubs were practically non-existent.

These days, it would not be unreasonable for a National Hockey League club to sign a player such as Yale’s 1951/52 captain HARRY HAVEMEYER, the classic stay-at-home defenseman with a winning career track record, to an entry level contract. The same could be said for left wing TED SHAY, the Bulldogs’ leading goal-scorer in his sophomore and junior seasons whose father had already skated a few seasons in the NHL. But, alas, not just the hockey world but the entire planet, itself, was an entirely different place at that point in time.

Indeed, well before the first puck could be dropped to commence the 1952/53 hockey season, both Havemeyer and Shay had already been inducted into the United States Army, accordingly trained and immediately deployed to the Far East. This because the Korean War, a bloody conflict that began in 1950 and, technically speaking, remains unresolved to this very day as no formal peace treaty has ever been signed between the two sides, beckoned. And so the two Yale Bulldogs, after three years of battling Ivy League opposition on the ice, made the rapid transition from college hockey players to combat artillery officers on the front lines facing the full military might of combined Chinese and North Korean forces.

Captain Shay earned a Bronze Star for his battlefield heroics on behalf of the United States of America while 2nd Lieutenant Havemeyer also fought with distinction and would command a field artillery battery in a divided, post-war Korea for two years before finally returning home.

================================================================================

================================================================================
Yale captain ANDREW MILLER (17), the playmaking right wing from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, who was never drafted by a National Hockey League club, recently inked an entry level contract with the Edmonton Oilers as a free agent on the open market but will not report for duty to the NHL club until training camp for rookies starts later this summer. Miller concluded his four-year career at Yale having totaled 114 helpers and, in doing so, established a new school by a solitary assist. The old standard had been set by Bob Brooke, the First Team (East) All-America in 1983 who, after representing the United States at the XIV Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, became the first Yale player to ever appear in the NHL after debuting for the New York Rangers in early March of 1984.

Leave a Comment

Flashback 1952 – Yale Fashion Third Place Trophy At NCAA Frozen Four


===============================================================

Who is to say what might have been had YALE UNIVERSITY not been skating at an altitude six thousand feet above sea level? After all, the Bulldogs were leading depleted Colorado College by the seemingly comfortable margin of three goals to none with only twenty more minutes remaining to be played in the semifinal of the 1952 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament a the Broadmoor Ice Palace in Colorado Springs. But serious fatigue set upon the Yale players, some of whom were forced to take oxygen on the bench between shifts, while an acclimated Tigers squad was busy scoring four unanswered goals in the third and final period.

Still, the 4-1 triumph over regional rival St. Lawrence University was very satisfying and the consolation trophy earned at the annual NCAA tournament in 1952 symbolized what would stand for the next seven decades plus as the greatest achievement by a Yale team in the school’s long history of ice hockey … (it would, in fact, take the Bulldogs almost half a century to even make it back to the expanded NCAA tournament, itself!)

Certainly, the third place finish at the 1952 NCAA tournament was the high water mark in the 27-year coaching career of Yale’s chain-smoking bench boss MURRAY MURDOCH, the former “Iron Man” of the New York Rangers who lifted the coveted Stanley Cup twice (in 1928 and again in 1933) while setting a record by skating in 508 consecutive National Hockey League contests. The Bulldogs had been snubbed by the NCAA tournament selection committee the season before in 1951 despite having compiled a most distinguishable slate of 15 wins against just a pair of losses with one draw. A damaging 4-0 loss to eternal arch-enemy Harvard (who were now coached by former Boston Bruins star and NHL scoring champion RALPH “COONEY” WEILAND) in the third-last game on the 1950/51 schedule cost the Bulldogs dearly, then, because Yale were passed over for one of the two Eastern bids in favor of their fellow Ivy Leaguers from Brown University (17 wins, 5 losses) as well as Boston University (15 wins, 4 losses).

Yale split their two games with the 1951 NCAA tournament’s eventual beaten finalist Brown having lost 4-1 at home in New Haven before winning 3-2 in overtime on the road in Providence, Rhode Island, but the thing that was most frustrating of all for Murdoch and his unfortunate troops was the fact that Yale had defeated Boston University 5-4 in the one and only head-to-head confrontation between the two teams that season.

=============================================================

=============================================================
A page from the 1952 NCAA TOURNAMENT PROGRAM featuring the game-by-game record and scoring statistics for the 1950/51 YALE UNIVERSITY ice hockey team captained by HARRY HAVEMEYER, a quintessential stay-at-home defenseman whose Bulldog teams registered an impressive record of 45 wins against 16 losses with one draw during his three-year varsity career in New Haven, Connecticut.
=============================================================

The tables would be turned, or so it would seem, when the time came to hand out invitations to the upcoming 1952 NCAA tournament. The official selection committee just could not decide which of the four teams among Boston College (17 wins, 3 losses), Boston University (15 wins, 3 losses, 1 tie), St. Lawrence (15 wins, 3 losses) and Yale (16 wins, 7 losses) should be chosen as the pair to represent the Eastern region in the annual national collegiate playoffs at Colorado Springs. A quick playoff competition would be the fairest solution to all its problems, or so thought the selection committee.

The record of Yale University was, indeed, a bit misleading. One of the seven losses came at the hands of the United States national team training ahead of the 1952 Winter Olympic Games in Oslo, Norway. Three of the other losses (at the hands of Colorado College and Denver University) had come on a grueling road trip the Bulldogs undertook during the Christmas holidays. Yale did manage to defeat Boston University but lost both its contests opposite Boston College and St. Lawrence, respectively, as far as the head-to-head meetings back East went during the 1951/52 regular season.

The two Boston schools basically balked at the idea of a mini-playoff, so the official selection committee simply decided to tap St. Lawrence and Yale, under the condition that the Bulldogs actually triumph over its ultimate rival Harvard in its final contest on the schedule (which it did, as we shall soon see).

The 1951/52 edition of the Yale varsity squad had been strengthened by the addition of creative sophomore center WALLY KILREA, whose father, Wally Sr., skated in 329 National Hockey League games (35 goals, 93 points) over the course of nine seasons while hoisting the Stanley Cup twice (with the Detroit Red Wings in 1936 and 1937). Wally Jr., who was destined to establish Yale career benchmarks for both assists (66) and points (115), was immediately placed on a forward line with yet another Bulldogs attacker whose father had competed at the elite NHL level. TED SHAY, the local boy from Hamden who became the most lethal goal-scorer at Yale in more than twenty years, was the son of Canadian journeyman NORM SHAY, the versatile defenseman / right wing who contested 53 games (five goals, eight points) for the Boston Bruins and Toronto St. Patricks during the mid-1920s before eventually becoming a linesman in what is known today as the American Hockey League.

The younger Shay had been Yale’s leading marksman in both his sophomore and junior terms while the left winger’s haul of 23 goals during the unlucky 1950/51 campaign was the highest total for a Bulldogs skater since the incomparable DING PALMER scored 27 goals during the 1928/29 season … (only a year earlier, Palmer set a record which stands to his very day by netting an astonishing 52 goals in just 18 games).

======================================

======================================
Yale University’s 1951/52 captain HARRY HAVEMEYER (left) and the Bulldogs’ leading goal-scorer LARRY NOBLE flank influential head coach MURRAY MURDOCH, the former indestructible New York Rangers veteran of countless bloody National Hockey League battles, behind the third-place trophy awarded at the 1952 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
======================================

Shay’s goal-scoring declined somewhat in his senior season but only because the overall depth and quality of the Yale attack, itself, had increased. Sophomore right wing LEIGH QUINN, who, along with Kilrea had scored two goals in the Bulldogs’ 8-5 win over Yale in the last of the 1951/52 regular season, was another newcomer to the varsity who could put the puck in the net regularly. A New Englander like all the other recruits on this Yale team, Quinn had honed his skills at the Belmont Hill School in Massachusetts.

Another local product and noteworthy legacy, junior left wing LARRY NOBLE from Guilford, really came into his own during the history-making march to the 1952 NCAA tournament. LAWRENCE NOBLE, SR., had been a distinguished ice hockey player for Yale before steering the Bulldogs varsity, himself, to a sparkling record of 33 wins against just two losses with one tie over a two-year period concluding with the 1929/30 campaign. The younger Noble, who had earned a regular place in the Yale line-up as a sophomore by scoring a hat trick against Northeastern University in the fourth game of the 1950/51 schedule, developed into the Bulldogs’ leading goal-scorer in each of his last two years at Yale and was later described by the Boston Herald in 1953 as being “one of the Ivy League’s finest players the last two seasons.”

Murdoch’s charges did very well to rebound from the disappointing collapse against Colorado College in the semifinals and triumph over St. Lawrence, who were trained by OLAV KOLLEVOLL, the Norwegian immigrant who had been a standout defenseman on Colgate University’s undefeated squad of 1941/42 before representing the United States at the 1947 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships in Czechoslovakia, in the third-place consolation game at the 1952 NCAA tournament.

Yale goaltender PAUL CRUICKSHANK, in particular, demonstrated tremendous poise and resilency in the third-place match with St. Lawrence, who had already downed the Bulldogs 5-3 earlier in the season. The homegrown senior netminder from Watertown had two teeth knocked out courtesy a Colorado College stick in the semifinals (ice hockey shot-stoppers of that era did not wear masks or any other form of facial protection, it should be remembered) but still managed block that pain as well as 41 of the Saints’ shots in the final. Only a goal roughly halfway through the third period from CLIFF OLSEN prevented Cruickshank, who was credited with 31 victories during his two seasons as the Yale first choice, from becoming the first goaltender in history to ever record a shutout at the annual NCAA tournament.

Kilrea and Noble, along with DAN LUFKIN and CHARLES SMITH, all scored goals for the Bulldogs against St. Lawrence at the Broadmoor Ice Palace as Yale capped off what must stand forever as the signature season of Murray Murdoch’s meritorious coaching career in New Haven. The unshakable Cruickshank might have deserved more than a 2nd Team selection on the official NCAA All-Tournament squad. Kilrea, who went on to earn All-Ivy League honors in each of his last two years at Yale, was also designated as a second team all-star at Colorado Springs in 1952.

=====================================================================

=====================================================================
A regular member of the very first New York Rangers squad to hit National Hockey League ice in mid-November of 1926, hard-nosed left winger MURRAY MURDOCH went on to skate eleven seasons in the NHL before serving as the captain (and assistant coach) of the old Philadelphia Ramblers in what is now known as the American Hockey League for one final season as a player. Fortified by the influential recommendation of Madison Square Garden president John Reed Kilpatrick, who just so happened to be a Yale graduate, the 34-year-old NHL veteran was appointed as the new Yale ice hockey coach prior to the 1938/39 collegiate campaign. The uncompromising Murdoch went on to compile a career record of 271 wins against 234 losses with 20 ties while leading the Bulldogs to 14 winning seasons in New Haven before retiring at the conclusion of the 1964/65 season.

Leave a Comment

Ivy League In The NHL


===============================================================
LORD STANLEY’s CHAMPION DEFENSE CORPS, CIRCA 1929 — the blueliners on the BOSTON BRUINS’ very first Stanley Cup title-winning squad, from left to right, are the reliable veteran LIONEL HITCHMAN, the rookies MYLES LANE (Dartmouth College) and GEORGE OWEN (Harvard University) as well as the irrepressible future Hall of Famer EDDIE SHORE.
===============================================================

Although to this very day the sight of an IVY LEAGUE player performing in the vaunted NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE is still a relatively rare occurrence, the fact of the matter is that Ivy Leaguers have been skating in the storied NHL since the puck was dropped for the very first time back in December of 1917.

Indeed, 21-year-old forward GERRY GERAN had left the picturesque DARTMOUTH COLLEGE campus in New England behind and signed a professional contract with the ill-fated Montreal Wanderers, a club that had already lifted the Stanley Cup four times in the trophy’s then-brief history. The native of Holyoke, Massachusetts, went on to participate in four of the Wanderers’ first six games before a fire completely destroyed the Montreal Arena and led directly to the folding of the team. Nevertheless, it was Geran, then, who became the very first American to ever skate in the fledgling NHL.

Following a seven-year hiatus, Geran returned to contest the 1925/26 campaign with the expansion Boston Bruins club. Late that same season, the second American to ever compete in the crack NHL also appeared when the New York Americans added forward BOB HALL from the New York Athletic Association. Hall, who had skated three varsity seasons at Dartmouth College from 1920 until 1922, had been a teammate of the American pioneer Geran on the Boston Athletic Association Unicorns in the United States Amateur Hockey Association for two seasons before relocating to the Big Apple.

=================================================================

=================================================================
HAT TRICK OF DARTMOUTH HEROES, CIRCA 1928 (left to right) — the remarkable MYLES LANE, the All-America halfback who led the Indians the national collegiate football championship as a sophomore in 1925 and piled up 50 goals in only 17 career games while skating on defense for the varsity ice hockey squad, the versatile EDDIE JEREMIAH, who, after his professional playing career was over, returned to Dartmouth and successfully held the position of varsity ice hockey coach for three decades, along with teammate ED ARMSTRONG.
=================================================================

The Boston Bruins made hockey history a few seasons later and still another pair of Ivy Leaguers were right of the middle of it all, then. Boston defensemen MYLES LANE and GEORGE OWEN had both been star halfbacks on the college football gridiron for Dartmouth College and Harvard University, respectively, before embarking on their travels as professional ice hockey players. It was this unique pair who both became the very first pucksters born in the United States to celebrate a Stanley Cup championship after skating in all five playoff games for the Bruins in the spring of 1929.

Lane had actually made hockey history all by himself earlier that fall. The native of Melrose, Massachusetts, signed a professional contract with the New York Americans one day shy of his 23rd birthday and soon became the very first player to graduate straight from a U.S. college hockey program to a regular place the NHL without skating so much as one game in the minor leagues. After appearing in all but one of New York’s first 25 contests on the 1928/29 schedule, Lane was sold by the Americans to the Boston Bruins for the price of $ 7,500 dollars in early February.

Yet one more Dartmouth College product briefly joined the proud ranks of the NHL professionals during the 1931/32 season when EDDIE JEREMIAH, a versatile sort who could be deployed in the defense or up on the right wing with equal effect, was promoted by the New York Americans from the New Haven Eagles of the old Canadian-American League.

=====================================================

=====================================================
Cornell University goaltender KEN DRYDEN backstopped the Big Red to the coveted NCAA national championship title as a sophomore in 1967 and, two seasons later, appeared in two games for the national team of Canada at the 1969 IIHF World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden.
=====================================================

After the Second World War ended, the National Hockey League entered into a long era during which time the elite, six-team circuit was almost completely devoid of American-born and / or U.S. college-trained players. Things began to change in earnest when the NHL implemented its ambitious expansion program prior to the beginning of the 1967/68 campaign. With the number of NHL teams having been doubled to twelve, more than twice as many job openings for players had instantly been created and the subsequent emergence of the rival World Hockey Association five years later opened still more new opportunities, particularly for those at the top of the American collegiate talent pool.

A wave of would-be All-Star Game participants hailing from a whole new set of Ivy League institutions of higher learning suddenly appeared on the NHL scene at the start of the 1970s. Cornell University’s Canadian legionnaire KEN DRYDEN had been honored as the First Team (East) All-America goaltender three times in as many terms before going on to amass six Stanley Cup titles in only eight seasons guarding the cage for the fabled Montreal Canadiens. CURT BENNETT, who later skated for the United States at the inaugural Canada Cup international ice hockey tournament in 1976, starred for Brown University and was named First Team (East) All-America in 1970 as a defenseman before being shifted to center after turning professional with the St. Louis Blues organization.

IVY LEAGUE TRAILBLAZERS (first NHL season)
======================================

DARTMOUTH …… 1917/18 … Gerry GERAN, Montreal Wanderers
HARVARD ……….. 1928/29 … George OWEN, Boston Bruins
PRINCETON …….. 1970/71 … Syl APPS, JR., New York Rangers
CORNELL ……….. 1970/71 … Ken DRYDEN, Montreal Canadiens
BROWN ………….. 1970/71 … Curt BENNETT, St. Louis Blues
PENN * ……………. 1979/80 … Paul STEWART, Quebec Nordiques
YALE ……………… 1983/84 … Bob BROOKE, New York Rangers

Note — the University of Pennsylvania Quakers had a long history of playing ice hockey and also competed in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Association from 1966 until 1978 before scrapping its NCAA varsity program entirely; the one other Ivy League school, Columbia University in New York City, has never had the requisite courage to send a varsity squad out onto NCAA ice.

===============================================================

===============================================================
Brown University defenseman CURT BENNETT, who was born in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan but moved to the United States as a youngster and played high school hockey in Cranston, Rhode Island, before going off to college, twice topped the 30-goal mark and appeared in the annual NHL All-Star Game on two occasions while skating as a center for the Atlanta Flames in the mid-1970s.

Leave a Comment

Yale Leaves It Late To Dispatch North Dakota


==============================================================
North Dakota captain ANDREW MACWILLIAM (2), the senior defenseman from Calgary, Alberta, who led the former Fighting Sioux with 118 penalty minutes this season, tangles with Yale University defenseman RYAN OBUCHOWSKI (14), the 20-year-old freshman from Canton, Michigan, during the West Regional Final of the 2013 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
==============================================================

Four unanswered strikes in the latter half of the final period spoiled what had been a splendid goaltending performance and highlighted a remarkable rally as # 15 YALE UNIVERSITY toppled seven-time national champion NORTH DAKOTA 4-1 and earned a ticket to the Frozen Four phase of the 2013 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament in the process.

The Bulldogs, who had been blanked by both Union College (5-0) and Quinnipiac University (3-0) in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference’s final tournament at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, only a week earlier, celebrated its second consecutive deserved triumph over a traditional national powerhouse from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association after upending # 2 Minnesota a day earlier.

North Dakota had entered this critical match with Yale sporting the proud record of 44 wins against 22 losses in this, its 28th all-time appearance at the annual NCAA tournament. But the former Fighting Sioux struggled to score goals against Niagara University in its opening round contest with Niagara University the night before in Grand Rapids and this trend would continue in the West Regional Final, as well. North Dakota, who featured a baker’s dozen skaters in uniform who have already been drafted by National Hockey League clubs, did seem to have no difficulty finding the back of the Bulldogs’ net at the start, however.

===================================================================================

===================================================================================

North Dakota fourth line center CONNOR GAARDER, the undrafted sophomore from Edina, Minnesota, appeared to have scored only two and half minutes into the NCAA clash with Yale but, after a lengthy review by officials, the goal was disallowed after it was determined that the former Fighting Sioux’s Canadian legionnaire DEREK RODWELL, the junior left wing from Taber, Alberta, who was selected in the fifth round (# 144 overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils, had barged into the Bulldogs’ Canadian legionnaire goaltender JEFF MALCOLM.

North Dakota managed to put another puck past Malcolm, the reliable senior from Lethbridge, Alberta, and in between the pipes a little less than five minutes later. This time, there was no reprieve from the referees on behalf of Yale because Canadian legionnaire CORBAN KNIGHT, the senior from High River, Alberta, who led the former Fighting Sioux with 33 assists this term, had broken no rules when netting his 16th goal of the season on a wrist shot. But then, much like the traditional logo on the North Dakota hockey sweater, the attacking power of the former Fighting Sioux disappeared all of a sudden.

Yale applied relentless forechecking pressure throughout the entire contest and outshot their opponents 25-16 thru the first two periods but had nothing to show for its efforts. Even past the halfway point of the final period, it looked as if North Dakota goaltender CLAKE SAUNDERS, the Canadian legionnaire from Brockville, Ontario, would be the star of the game. Saunders, who tended the nets at the University of Alabama – Huntsville before joining the former Fighting Sioux this season, ultimately turned aside 35 Yale shots.

===================================================================================

===================================================================================
Yale University center JESSE ROOT (20), the undrafted junior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who, only a day earlier, scored the lighting-fast overtime goal to eliminate # 2 Minnesota in the opening game of this year’s NCAA tournament, battles for the puck with North Dakota’s Canadian legionnaire CORBAN KNIGHT (10), the talented senior center who was chosen by the Florida Panthers in the fifth round (# 139 overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft, during the West Regional Final at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
===================================================================================

Yale were able to remain diligent all throughout and this paid off when center STU WILSON, the freshman from Pittsford, New York, stole the puck just outside the North Dakota blue line and started a three-way passing play that left wing JOSH BALCH, the hard-working senior from Wilmette, Illinois, finished off with aplomb to notch just his third goal of this season at the 12:25 mark of the third period. Indeed, the blue-collar Balch has scored only ten times in his entire four years skating for the Bulldogs. But the last strike could hardly have been any bigger and provided Yale a brand new life with time dwindling rapidly on its 2012/13 campaign.

North Dakota left wing MARK MACMILLAN took a fateful hooking penalty with a little more than six minutes to play and this was all the invitation that the Bulldogs required. Yale winger ANDREW MILLER, the senior from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, who is the second leading scorer with both 16 goals and 39 points this season, led a rush down the right and squared the puck for linemate JESSE ROOT. The junior center from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, promptly netted his second goal in as many games at the NCAA tournament this year and, ultimately, earned himself a trip back to his hometown for the 2013 Frozen Four at the Consol Energy Center.

Yale right wing ANTHONY DAY, who had also been involved in the Bulldogs’ first goal of the game, led a three-on-one charge into the zone and sealed North Dakota’s doom shortly thereafter. A fierce wrist shot by the sophomore from Elma, New York, who has scored just one goal in 35 games for Yale this term was, in fact, blocked by the former Fighting Sioux netminder Saunders. But the rebound popped straight up into the air while the ambitious Wilson was on hand to whack the puck home baseball-style and give Yale an insurmountable 3-1 advantage.

Yale left wing KENNY AGOSTINO, the junior from Flanders, New Jersey, who was tabbed by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fifth round (# 140 overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft, netted an empty net goal with exactly one minute remaining; Agostino, who leads Yale with both 17 goals and 40 points after 35 games this season, had also tallied the first goal for the Bulldogs in the monster win over Minnesota a day earlier, it will be noted.

==============================================================================

==============================================================================
Yale right wing ANTHONY DAY (29) and center STU WILSON (6) raise their sticks to celebrate a third goal against seven-time national champion North Dakota late in the third period at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, during the West Regional Final of the 2013 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament.
==============================================================================

NCAA West Regional Final
Van Andel Arena – Grand Rapids, Michigan
YALE 4 – NORTH DAKOTA 1

07:22 … ND – Knight 16 (MacWilliam, Forbort)
52:25 … YU – Balch 3 (Day, Wilson)
55:04 … YU – Root 11 (Miller, Fallen) – ppg
57:39 … YU – Wilson 9 (Day)
59:00 … YU – Agostino 17 (unassisted) – eng

NORTH DAKOTA : Saunders – MacWilliam, Simpson ; Forbort, Schmaltz ; Mattson, Gleason – Grimaldi, Knight, Kristo ; MacMillan, Rowney, Parks ; Caggiula, Pattyn, St. Clair ; O’Donnell, Gaarder, Rodwell

YALE : Malcolm – Young, O’Gara ; Fallen, Obuchowski ; Dueck, Witek – Agostino, Root, Miller ; Orzetti, Bourbonais, Laganiere ; Balch, Wilson, Day ; Ruffolo, Cooper, Killian

===================================================================================

Leave a Comment

Yale Bulldogs Chomp Minnesota Gophers In Epic NCAA Clash


====================================================================================================
Yale University defenseman GUS YOUNG (2), the junior out of Dedham, Massachusetts, who was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the seventh round (# 184 overall) of the 2010 National Hockey League Draft, stretches to poke check the puck away from Minnesota captain ZACH BUDISH (24), the homegrown senior right wing from Edina who was chosen by the Nashville Predators in the second round (# 41 overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft, during the NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament first round contest watched by the paltry crowd of 2,289 spectators at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
====================================================================================================

A carelessly-played puck that was cleverly intercepted behind the net led directly to a lightining-quick goal just nine seconds into the overtime session as # 15 YALE UNIVERSITY pulled off a shocking 3-2 upset over the five-time national champion UNIVERSITY of MINNESOTA to open the 2013 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament in sensational fashion.

On paper, the West Regional semifinal contest between the upstart Bulldogs, who had been blanked in both of their games at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference final tournament in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and the # 2 ranked Gophers appeared to be a bit of a mismatch in both contemporary and historical terms. Whereas Yale had three skaters who have been drafted by National Hockey League clubs in uniform for the NCAA first round clash in Grand Rapids, Michigan, no fewer than 14 players plus the starting goaltender for Minnesota have already been reserved by NHL teams. Furthermore, no college hockey program on the planet has more NCAA tournament victories under its belt than the mighty proud Gophers.

Indeed, the traditional powerhouse from the Land of 10,000 Lakes has produced 25 First Team (West) All-America players, four of whom also won the coveted Hobey Baker Award presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate ice hockey player, while no less than 93 University of Minnesota players, to date, have gone on to skate at least one professional contest in the world-class NHL after leaving the Minneapolis campus.

===================================================================

===================================================================
Yale University’s uncompromising defenseman GUS YOUNG (2) lands a solid blow to the chin of Minnesota center NICK BJUGSTAD (27), the homegrown junior from Blaine who was the first round pick (# 19 overall) of the Florida Panthers at the 2010 NHL Draft, during the surprising opening contest of this year’s 2013 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament.
===================================================================

Yale University, meanwhile, qualified for its first NCAA tournament more than six decades ago back in 1952 and proudly points to eight First Team (East) All-America selections in school history but actually only won its very first game at the annual NCAA tournament as recently as 2010. Since head coach KEITH ALLAIN was brought on board ahead of the 2006/07 campaign, the Bulldogs have undoubtedly been enjoying the Ivy League institution’s most successful era on ice ever. Four NCAA tournament appearances in the past five seasons by Yale, who have graduated a total of 14 players to the NHL through the years, serve as testament to that fact.

Yale, to review, has now skated at the annual NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament a grand total of six times in school history.

Allain is actually a product of the Yale program, himself, having been a goaltender for four seasons in the late 1970s under long-time Bulldog bench boss TIM TAYLOR. After graduating from Yale in the spring of 1980, the 54-year-old native of Worcester, Massachusetts, eventually went on to work with a pair of NHL clubs, serving as an assistant coach of the Washington Capitals for four seasons and as the goaltending coach of the St. Louis Blues for three years. Under the astute direction of Allain, Yale set a new school record for wins (24) during the 2008/09 season and then re-set that same mark yet again (28) only two years later.

=============================================================

=============================================================
Minnesota left wing KYLE RAU (7), the homegrown sophomore from Eden Prairie who was the third round pick (# 91 overall) of the Florida Panthers at the 2011 NHL Draft, is stopped at close range by Yale University’s senior Canadian legionnaire JEFF MALCOLM (33) as Bulldog defensemen THOMAS FALLEN (22), the sophomore from Plymouth, Minnesota, and RYAN OBUCHOWSKI (14), the freshman from Canton, Michigan, look to clear the rebound during the West Regional semifinal contest at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
=============================================================

Minnesota, who will, in part, always be known for having supplied head coach Herb Brooks and seven Gopher players to the United States national team that famously won the Olympic gold medal at the Lake Placid Games in 1980, started off well enough against Yale in the 2013 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament opener and quickly generated the contest’s first three shots on goal.

Yale, however, had the next half dozen as the undisciplined Gophers had two different players skate to the penalty box within the game’s first four minutes. The Bulldogs did not capitalize on either of the power play opportunities, although Yale did come extremely close. A fierce one-timer from Bulldogs right wing ANDREW MILLER, the undrafted senior from Bloomfield Hills in Michigan, slammed into the goalpost before bouncing harmlessly away.

Minnesota had its chance with the man-advantage when Yale defenseman RYAN OBUCHOWSKI was dispatched to the sin bin for interference in the first period but the Gophers were ineffective. Head coach DON LUCIA’s charges were also a bit unlucky, as well, when a shot caromed off the pads of Yale senior netminder JEFF MALCOLM, the Canadian legionnaire from Lethbridge, Alberta, and then onto the goalpipe. Nevertheless, it would be the Ivy Leaguers who led their WCHA counterparts 11-7 in the shots-on-goal department when the first period of play was completed.

========================================================

========================================================

Yale killed off another penalty early in the second period before finally scoring the team’s first goal in more than 132 minutes of post-season playoff hockey this spring.

Bulldogs defenseman ROB O’GARA, the freshman from Massapequa, New York, who was tabbed in the fifth round (# 151 overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft by the Boston Bruins, headmanned the puck to Miller streaking up the right side of the ice. Once inside the offensive zone, the second leading scorer for Yale with 36 points in 34 NCAA games this season patiently waited for KENNY AGOSTINO, the fifth round (# 140 overall) pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2010 NHL Draft, to come free late in the slot. A clinical top-shelf finish by the junior from Flanders, New Jersey, left Minnesota backstop ADAM WILCOX absolutely no chance whatsoever.

Agostino’s 16th goal of the season tied Miller for the leadership on the Yale squad this term while snapping the scoreless deadlock at the 7:08 mark of the middle period.

In another 16 seconds, though, the Bulldogs would be shorthanded again as a result of Canadian legionnaire ANTOINE LAGANIERE being caught for hooking a Minnesota player. And, not so long after that penalty expired, the Yale parade to the penalty box continued as Canadian legionnaire COLIN DUECK, the senior defenseman by way of Calgary, Alberta, received two minutes for holding. But the Gophers power play was just not in synch as Minnesota remained scoreless despite four cracks at skating with the extra attacker.

==============================================================

==============================================================
Yale University defenseman GUS YOUNG (2) wrists a puck goalward bound …
==============================================================

In what was developing into the quintessential low-scoring struggle, the Bulldogs struck for what appeared to be a massive insurance goal with a little over four and half minutes remaining in the second period.

Yale defenseman MATT KILLIAN, the 19-year-old sophomore from Basking Ridge, New Jersey, who has missed a considerable amount of time this season on account of injury, had his shot at the point snuffed out by the Minnesota defense but Bulldogs center CLINTON BOURBONAIS, the homegrown junior from Colchester, gained possession of the loose puck near the blue line. A little pass back to the point enabled stay-at-home Yale defenseman GUS YOUNG to wrist a seeing-eye puck through a maze of players and past the Gophers netminder Wilcox. Young’s second goal of this 2012/13 term (and fifth, overall, in three seasons skating for the Bulldogs) seemingly left the Gophers with a genuine mountain to climb.

After all, # 15 Yale did outshoot # 2 Minnesota by the not-so-close count of 20-15 over the course of the first two periods of play at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids.

====================================================================

====================================================================
Minnesota defenseman SETH HELGESON (4), the homegrown senior from Fairbault who was the fourth round selection (# 114 overall) of the New Jersey Devils at the 2009 National Hockey League Draft, hammers Yale University’s Canadian legionnaire ANTOINE LAGANIERE (28), the undrafted senior right wing from Ile Cadieux, Quebec, who has scored 33 goals for the Bulldogs the past two seasons combined, during the NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament opener at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
====================================================================

By the time the puck dropped for the third and final period of play in the NCAA tournament opener with Yale, the punchless Gophers had now gone more than 109 minutes of post-season playoff hockey without having scored a goal, themselves. Minnesota, of course, had been blanked by Colorado College at the semifinal stage of the WCHA tournament before arriving in Grand Rapids. But once the Bulldogs defenseman Dueck was boxed for his second minor infraction of the contest, the Gophers were finally able put a puck in the back of the net at the Van Andel Arena.

Minnesota defenseman NATE SCHMIDT, the homegrown junior from St. Cloud who led all Gopher blueliners with nine goals this season, floated a dipping wrist shot from the point on the power play that handcuffed the Yale netminder Malcolm and halved the Bulldogs’ lead at the 8:12 mark of the last period.

Sufficently energized and awoken from the long goal-scoring slumber, the Gophers continued to press their attack. Indeed, Minnesota would go on to double-up Yale 12-6 in the shots-on-goal category over the final twenty minutes of play as the Bulldogs were definitely now back on their heels. The Gophers pulled level with only 6:20 remaining after Finnish import ERIK HAULA, the junior center who was tabbed by the in-state Minnesota Wild in the seventh round (# 182 overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft and was soon to be joining the ranks of the professionals in North America, sent a precise pass from behind the to net out in front for linemate ZACH BUDISH.

The smooth re-direction from Budish, one of five different Gophers to top double-digits in goal-scoring this season, saw to it that overtime in Grand Rapids would be required to settle this particular matter.

================================================================================

================================================================================
Yale University center JESSE ROOT (20), the undrafted junior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who finished as the fifth leading scorer with 24 points (seven goals) for the Bulldogs as a sophomore last season, chases after Minnesota’s homegrown defenseman NATE SCHMIDT (29), the undrafted junior from St. Cloud who would sign a professional contract with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League shortly after the Gophers’ elimination from the NCAA tournament, during the West Regional semifinal contest at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
================================================================================

And so it was time for a moment of Minnesota Gophers’ ice hockey history that will forever live in infamy.

After the Gophers had won the opening face-off of the overtime session, Minnesota defenseman BEN MARSHALL controlled the puck and routinely skated backwards into his own zone on the right. Nearing the goal line, the homegrown sophomore from Mahtomedi who was taken by the Detroit Red Wings in the seventh round (# 201 overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft then attempted to bank the puck off the boards behind the net for his defense partner. But the pass lacked sufficient pace off the bounce and the enterprising Agostino darted in for Yale to steal the puck behind the cage. A quick feed out front for Bulldog center JESSE ROOT allowed the junior from Pittsburgh to pot what was, perhaps, the most important goal ever scored in the history of Yale ice hockey.

Many experts believe Root’s tally to be the fastest overtime goal ever recorded in the entire 65-year history of the NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament.

==============================================================================

==============================================================================
Minnesota netminder ADAM WILCOX (32), the workhorse freshman from South St. Paul who appeared in all but one of the Gophers’ forty collegiate contests this season (39 ga, 1.88 avg, .921 svpct), rests dejectedly on one knee as Yale University players excitedly rush to congratulate the not-pictured overtime goal-scoring hero Jesse Root after the undrafted native of Pittsburgh tallied to knock the five-time national champion out of this year’s 2013 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament.
==============================================================================

NCAA West Regional Semifinal
Van Andel Arena – Grand Rapids, Michigan
YALE 3 – MINNESOTA 2 … (overtime)

27:08 … YALE – Agostino 16 (Miller, O’Gara)
35:28 … YALE – Young 2 (Bourbonais, S. Wilson) – ppg
48:12 … MINN – Schmidt 9 (Haula, Rau) – ppg
53:40 … MINN – Budish 14 (Haula)
60:09 … YALE – Root 10 (Agostino)

MINNESOTA : Wilcox – Helgeson, Marshall ; Reilly, Alt ; Skjei, Schmidt – Rau, Bjugstad, Condon ; Warning, Haula, Budish ; Serratore, Boyd, Ambroz ; Parenteau, Isackson, Holl

YALE : Malcolm – Young, O’Gara ; Fallen, Obuchowski ; Dueck, Witek – Agostino, Root, Miller ; Orzetti, Bourbonais, Laganiere ; Balch, S. Wilson, Day ; Ruffolo, Cooper, Killian

==============================================================================

Leave a Comment