Bulldogs rout Cornell for ECAC hockey championship

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Bulldogs rout Cornell for ECAC hockey championship

Associated Press

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. The game was over. The celebration was on. And the chants throughout the crowd on Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall were loud and obvious: "Ron-Deau!" ''Ron-Deau!"

It was the proud and passionate Yale faithful that were serenading the Bulldogs senior goaltender after a rousing 6-0 win over Cornell in the ECAC championship. Ryan Rondeau had just capped off the second of back-to-back shutouts in Atlantic City, and was the key cog in Yale's second league title in three years.

As he skated over to the podium, soaked in sweat, to pick up his trophy as the tournament's most outstanding player, his emotions did not get the best of him. After all, in six periods here, he never panicked in allowing no goals. Why would he start now?

"That's just him. He's been great for us," Yale captain Jimmy Martin said. "He's very steady. He's very calm. When another team has any sort of sustained shift, he just has that calming presence for us. We just know he's going to make the save."

Well, he made 22 on Saturday night, and Kevin Limbert scored two power-play goals in the first period, as Yale (27-6-1) all but cemented its status as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. In two days here, the Bulldogs outscored Colgate and Cornell 10-0, and they finished the league tournament at 4-1.

The NCAA field of 16 will be announced at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.

"They were very obviously the better team," Cornell coach Mike Schafer said. "They operated with poise and did a tremendous job offensively. Yale definitely played the kind of hockey it takes to win a championship."

The focus now shifts to the bigger championship, though, and does Yale have what it takes to continue this run on a national stage?

"This team is determined to get to the Frozen Four," Yale coach Keith Allain said, "and hopefully win the thing."

Rondeau will be front and center, either way. He preserved his latest shutout with a shoulder save off a slapshot by John Esposito with 8:02 left in the game. Esposito was alone in the slot, but Rondeau calmly shoved away Cornell's best opportunity of the night.

A day earlier, Rondeau blanked Colgate 4-0. He is now the career single-season shutout leader at Yale.

"The team played really well in front of me," he said. "They did a great job with limiting shots, and that's what has really made things easy on me."

Yale's Antoine Laganiere and Chris Cahill put the game out of reach in the second period with even-strength goals, the last of which was a one-timer in the slot off a feed from Brian O'Neill that beat Cornell goaltender Andy Iles on the stick side. One goal later, after Yale's Colin Dueck made it 5-0 on a slapshot at 8:37 of the second, Iles' night was finished. He was replaced by Michael Garman, who posted the Big Red's 3-0 semifinal shutout over Dartmouth on Friday.

Denny Kearney had three assists for Yale, and O'Neill, Martin and Andrew Miller had two each. Broc Little concluded the scoring with a power-play wristshot that beat Garman top shelf on his left side at 17:28 of the second.

"Everything was a problem for us today," Schafer said. "You make a mistake, and you turn around, and you're already down 2-0. Yale is a great transition team, and they really gave us a lot of problems."

The Big Red (16-15-3) finished the tournament at 3-2 and are not likely to land an NCAA bid. Union, the ECAC regular-season champions, figure to make the field, and RPI, the No. 5 seed, could also receive an at-large berth.

Yale placed five of the six players on the all-tournament team, including O'Neill, Cahill, Martin, Miller and Rondeau. Dartmouth's Connor Goggin rounded out the squad. His Big Green defeated Colgate 5-3 in the consolation game.

This was the first of a three-year deal with the league and Boardwalk Hall after playing the tournament in Albany, N.Y. from 1994-2010. Attendance, which was light for all four games in Atlantic City, was not published or announced on either day.

Yale and Cornell have combined for the last three ECAC titles, with the Big Red winning last year.

Patrick Towles throws for 2 TDs, Boston College beats Buffalo, 35-3

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Patrick Towles throws for 2 TDs, Boston College beats Buffalo, 35-3

BOSTON - Patrick Towles threw for two touchdowns, Davon Jones and Jon Hilliman each ran for one and Boston College coasted past Buffalo, 35-3 on Saturday afternoon.

It was the second straight win for the Eagles (3-2) after they beat FCS-school Wagner last week.

The Eagles, who entered with the nation's sixth ranked defense, dominated on the defensive side.

"I think it was a pretty clean performance," Eagles defensive end Harold Landry said. "It was expected. We were supposed to do that. We don't expect nothing less."

Towles, a graduate transfer from Kentucky, completed 14 of 25 passes for 234 yards with no interceptions. He also ran eight times for 18 yards, but fumbled it away twice.

Hilliman had 54 yards rushing and Jones 53 for the Eagles.

"Totally dominating performance," BC coach Steve Addazio said. "It's great to get a win and go out and do what we needed to do."

Buffalo (1-3) was held to just 67 total yards. Quarterback Tyree Jackson completed 9 of 21 for only 42 yards, and the Bulls had just 26 yards on the ground.

"Never had any semblance of any type of sustained drive or movement, so that's disappointing," Buffalo coach Lance Leipold said.

With a steady mist blowing most of the game on a cool day, the Eagles came out throwing the ball more than usual and opened a 21-3 lead at halftime.

BC redshirt freshman receiver Chris Garrison made an outstanding catch to set up the first TD, but was taken off the field on a stretcher after the play in the first quarter with a fractured left tibia.

Garrison made a leaping grab on 44-yard pass from Towles at the Bulls' 11-yard line, but he came down awkwardly on his leg. Trainers called for a stretcher and an air cast was put on before he was taken off.

Five plays later, Jones had a 1-yard scoring run to push the Eagles ahead 7-0.

Midway into the second quarter, Towles topped an 11-play, 54-yard drive with a 7-yard TD toss to Charlie Callinan.

After a 28-yard field goal by Buffalo's Adam Mitcheson, Towles connected on an 11-yard TD pass to receiver Michael Walker along the back line of the end zone - just over the outstretched hands of linebacker Jarrett Franklin - to make it 21-3 with 21 seconds left in the half.

Heinen coming up big with Bruins' roster openings on the wing

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Heinen coming up big with Bruins' roster openings on the wing

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Danton Heinen has to know he’s got a fair shot to win an NHL job out of B’s training camp if he plays with confidence and assertiveness. 

So far, that little Black and Gold carrot has served him well in the preseason. The 21-year-old winger has scored a goal in each of his first two preseason appearances for the Bruins. He will be pushed back into the lineup again vs. the Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night.

The difference this time around is Claude Julien will be behind the bench once again for the Bruins after his time with the World Cup of Hockey and the B’s lineup will start to take on more of a real NHL feel with David Pastrnak and David Backes entering the mix.

Julien has liked what he’s seen thus far out of the University of Denver product, and clearly he’ll keep getting looks as long as the production and good work ethic are there.

“I think he’s been a real good player. He’s a smart player that seems to be heady and sees the play well. He seems to be in the right place and understands the game,” said Julien. “The hockey sense is something that you either have or you don’t, and I think he has great hockey sense. It certainly makes a great hockey player. I’ve liked him so far and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him.”

One other thing is certain: wing positions are open on the roster with Frankie Vatrano out for three months and Jimmy Vesey sharpening his skates at Madison Square Garden as a New York Ranger.

“We have to keep an open mind.  Frank Vatrano is hurt, and we kind of felt that he was going to have a really good start to this year. His confidence seemed to be at its highest, and the World Championships were good for him,” said Julien. “We have to look at what we have for a replacement. We went after Jimmy Vesey and we didn’t get him. So there are some spots that are open, and there’s no doubt about it.

“I’m going to be looking at compete level and I’ll be watching for the next three games to see who can fit in those spots. There are open spots, so it’s not cut-and-dried like a lot of years when it has been.”

Clearly, the high-end offensive skill is there after posting 36 goals and 93 points in his first two years at the University of Denver prior to going pro, and Heinen has a dollop of pro experience after getting into three AHL games with Providence at the end of last season. 

The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder showed off the playmaking ability setting up his teammates for chances in Friday night’s win over the Red Wings, and then finally scoring at crunch time in the third period when the coaching staff moved Zach Senyshyn to his opposite wing.

Both of his goals in this preseason have been tying scores in the third that factored prominently in the game’s outcome. That’s been impressive for a young prospect in his very first NHL camp.

But Heinen claims there is still more to come in his game, and that’s encouraging. He’s just starting to get comfortable as a player that uses his vision, hockey IQ and passing to generate loads of scoring chances when he’s on the ice.

“I feel pretty good. I’ve felt better as things have gone on, and I felt better [on Friday against Detroit] than I did in the first game,” said Heinen, who finished just behind a couple of guys named Jack Eichel and Dylan Larkin for the NCAA scoring title as a freshman a couple of years ago. “I just need to keep getting better. I think I have a lot more to give. I’m just trying to put my best foot forward, and we’ll see what happens.

“I think I’ve rushed a few plays where I feel like I could hang onto [the puck] and make a smarter play. So it’s little things like that. As I play a little more then I get more comfortable hanging onto it, so I hope to do a little more than that.”

It will also be interesting to see how Heinen responds to again being in the B’s lineup on Saturday for back-to-back, physical preseason games when the NCAA schedule can be a bit more spaced with weekend games. 

There are other candidates like Jake DeBrusk and Zachary Senyshyn that have enjoyed solid training camps to date for the Bruins, but it feels like Heinen is starting to push ahead for one of those winger roster spots Julien has in mind as he watches these final four exhibition games leading into the regular season.