Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Off the A-List

Yale Bulldogs goalie Alec Richards (Photo: Sam Rubin)

The Hartford Wolf Pack were on the road this past week, winning all three games on the schedule to extend their current streak to 7-0-1, during which they have risen from last place to sole possesion of second place in the Atlantic Division standings.

Without a Pack home game to go to, we thus made our once-yearly trip to Ingalls Rink in New Haven, to watch Quinnipiac knock off Yale, 6-2, in an ECAC match-up.

The inside of Ingalls Rink

As I've mentioned before, Ingalls Rink is an inconvenient architectural hodge-podge, but it's a mess that endears itself fairly quickly, much like a lot of the other buildings in and around New Haven (Yale Field, the Coliseum, the Yale Bowl, etc.). The arena roof is supported by a giant arch that extends end-to-end inside the building, which gives the feeling of being inside a ship that has somehow flipped upside-down (the concourse around the rink follows this same pattern, also). If you go to Ingalls expecting off-street parking and urinals in the men's room, well, you'll leave disappointed, but since the rink is pretty much near the center of New Haven, there are plenty of restaurants and other neat places to check out before and after the game.

As is usual for Yale hockey games, the rink (which seats 3486) was sold out, with a standing-room only crowd circling the concourse. Yale scored first but then gave up 5 unanswered goals right after that, as their goalie (Alec Richards, who came into the game with some decent stats-- .902 sv pct, 2.86 GAA) couldn't seem to stop anything. Because of the lopsidedness of the score, the game got pretty chippy at the end, which anyone who's familiar with college hockey can appreciate.

QU's Chris Myers getting tripped up in front of the Yale net (Sam Rubin photo)

Quinnipiac has three players who showed some impressive offensive skills in this game-- sophomores Mike Atkinson and David Marshall, and freshman Brandon Wong. Marshall especially showed some quick stick-handling moves, while Wong earned ECAC Rookie of the Week honors with two goals and an assist against Yale, to go with the two goals and an assist he had scored against Brown the night before. Wong also leads the country so far this season in goals scored by a freshman (16).

Brandon Wong (QU photo)

With their two victories over the weekend, Quinnipiac held onto first place in the ECAC standings, and moved up to #16 in the national Division I rankings.

One thing that I probably read once but then forgot about, is that former Rangers goalie Mike Richter is now a student at Yale, and is in his second season as the Yale goalies coach.

Another thing I noticed about Ingalls Rink is that the netting above the glass is white, instead of the black netting that's standard at pro hockey rinks. White netting is a heck of a lot less intrusive to watch a game through, since it practically disappears against the background; but from what I understand, white netting interferes with TV cameras more than black netting does, so that's why the black netting is more common.

It seems kinda crummy that the NHL and AHL are putting their miniscule TV audience ahead of the fans who are actually buying tickets, but there it is.