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February 7, 2013

Men's Ice Hockey Update - 4

Photo courtesy of Yale Sports Publicity

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Coming down the stretch of the regular season, a hot Yale team has taken the top spot in the Ivy League standings and is in control of its own destiny. 

The Bulldogs are 6-1-0 in the Ivy standings and hold a three-point lead over Dartmouth with three League games to play. In search of its fourth Ivy title in the last five years, Yale is slated to play Brown on Saturday night in Providence and has remaining league games at Princeton (Feb. 23) and at home against Cornell to close out the regular season (March 2). 

Dartmouth (4-2-1) visits Harvard on Saturday night and has home games with Cornell (Feb. 15) and Princeton (March 1) remaining. 

With five games left to play in the Ivy slate, Princeton (3-2-0) can't be counted out of the race, either. But the Tigers dropped a pair on the road last weekend and need to rebound at Cornell on Saturday night to get back into the race. 

In the Polls: USCHO.com | USA TODAY/USA Hockey 
Yale is the highest-ranked Ivy school this week in the polls. The Bulldogs are No. 10 in the USCHO.com poll and No. 9 in USA Today/USA Hockey. Dartmouth is No. 17 in the USA Today/USA Hockey rankings. The Big Green got votes, but did not make the Top 15 in USA Today/USA Hockey. 

Team-by-Team:

Brown (8-9-5, 3-4-0) is unbeaten in its last three (2-0-1). The Bears shutout Cornell on the road, 3-0, then had a nice weekend at home last week with a 1-1 tie against Quinnipiac followed by a 5-1 win over Princeton. Matt Lorito leads the team in scoring with 25 points on 14 goals and 11 assists. He is third in the nation in goals per game at 0.64. Senior netminder Anthony Borelli is tops in the Ivy fourth in the nation in goals against average at 1.54. His League-best .945 save percentage is second in the nation.  He had 38 saves in the tie with Quinnipiac last Friday night. Brown hosts Yale on Saturday night before beginning a four-game road trip. 

Cornell (8-11-2, 0-4-1) has lost five in a row for the first since since 1999. The Big Red has lost eight of its last nine, something that hasn't happened since the end of the 1992-93 season. Senior Greg Miller leads Cornell in scoring with 18 points on seven goals and 11 assists. He has 13 points in his last 13 games. Goaltender Andy Iles continues to be an ironman between the pipes. Iles has made 57 consecutive starts for Cornell. He has a 2.61 GAA thus far this season. The Big Red fell out of the national polls this week after being ranked in 14 out of 16 weeks. Despite its record, Cornell remains a dangerous teams. The Big Red are 5-4-1 against ranked teams this season and faces second-ranked Quinnipiac on Friday night. 

Dartmouth (11-8-3, 4-2-1) has been a team of night-day this season from being at home versus on the road. The Big Green are 9-2-0 at home, but just 2-6-2 as the visitors and that has led to some struggles as of late. Dartmouth is just 3-6-1 in its last 10 games, but is still in the hunt for the Ivy League title. Tyler Sikura (9-17-26) and Matt Lindblad (9-14-23) continue to be a strong 1-2 punch offensively for Dartmouth, sitting in the Top 5 in the League in points per game. Cab Morris is second in the league in goals against average with a 2.05 mark. He is 8-4-2 on the year and has a 9.21 save percentage. The Big Green are slated to face Harvard on Saturday night in their lone game of the weekend. The game will be televised by Fox College Sports.  

Harvard (5-15-1, 2-5-0) suffered its eighth-straight setback on Monday night in the 61st Beanpot. The Crimson dropped a 4-1 decision to fifth-ranked Boston College. Danny Biega scored the lone goal for Harvard, his first of the season. Freshman Jimmy Vesey (10-4-14) has been a bright spot. He leads the Crimson with 10 goals on the year. His 0.56 goals per game has him ranked 10th nationally. Vesey is a semifinalist for the 2013 Walter Brown Award, presented annually by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston to the best United States-born college hockey player in New England. Harvard hosts Dartmouth in an Ivy League clash on Saturday night in a game televised locally by WBIN-TV and nationally on Fox College Sports. 

Princeton (7-10-4, 3-2-0) stumbled last weekend after a recent surge. The Tigers had won four of five games in January, but dropped a pair of Ivy League contests last weekend at Yale and Brown. With five Ivy League games left on their slate still (including the last four of the regular season), the Tigers are still in contention for the League crown at this point. Junior Andrew Calof is tops in the League and fifth in the nation in points per game at 1.38. He has 29 points on 10 goals and 19 assists for the Tigers. He is also tops in the Ivy and fifth in the nation in assists per contest at 0.90. Princeton's power play is fifth-best in the nation at 23.6 percent (17-of-72), while killing off 86 percent of the shorthanded opportunities (86-of-100; 11th-best in the nation). Mike Condon has a 2.62 GAA and a .918 save percentage between the pipes for the Tigers. Princeton visits Colgate and Cornell this weekend looking to get back on track. 

Yale (13-6-3, 6-1-0) despite a 6-2 setback at home to Quinnipiac last Saturday night, the Bulldogs are the Ivy's hottest team. Yale had been 6-1-1 in its last eight outings before falling to the nation's No. 2 team. Offense has been plentiful for Yale during that stretch. Yale scored 27 goals in those eight games (which has helped them to the 13th-best scoring offense in the nation at 3.18). The trio of Kenny Agostino (12-15-27), Antoine Laganiere (12-11-23) and Andrew Miller (10-13-23) have provided a good chunk of the Yale offense this season. Agostino and Laganiere are tied for second in the League in goals scored and tied for third in goals per game in the Ivy. Six of Laganiere's goals have come on the power play, eighth-best in the nation and tops in the Ivy. As a team, Yale is 11th in the nation on the power play (24-of-111; 21.6 percent). Senior Jeff Malcolm has a 2.48 GAA in net while compiling an 11-4-2 mark.