All-American skater Brian O'Neill honored for leading Blues to best years
All he did was lead the Yale hockey team in scoring the last three seasons — while serving as the emotional leader — and ignite the Bulldogs to their best four-year span in the history of the program. That’s why Brian O’Neill, who earned almost every league, conference and national honor available, has been named the winner of the 2012 William Neely Mallory Award, the most prestigious athletic award given to a senior male at Yale.
O’Neill, who led the Blue to 89 wins, including 14 in the post season, was a 2011-12 second-team CCM All-America pick by the American Hockey Coaches Association after leading the team with 21 goals and 46 points as the team captain.
The political science major and speedy forward was named first-team All-ECAC and Ivy League Player of the Year after ranking among the top 10 players in Division I for points and goals per game. He was also named ECAC Player of the Month for January and February last winter.
O’Neill, whose goal totals rose every year at Yale, was a three-time All-ECAC pick who helped the Elis win three Ivy League titles, two regular season ECAC Hockey championships, two ECAC Tournament titles and make three NCAA appearances. He scored 69 goals and had 163 points in 138 games.
O’Neill had a career-high four goals (most by a Bulldog since 2003) his senior campaign against Bentley, and they were consecutive tallies.
“As a total package, I could make the argument he’s the greatest player in the history of Yale hockey,” said Keith Allain ‘80, Yale’s Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach, when his captain was named all-conference. “In terms of what his teams have produced, and he has led the team in scoring three years in a row. He’s so much more than a scorer. I could go on and on about the contributions he’s made to the program.”
O’Neill’s contributions to the Yale program go beyond the ice and Ingalls Rink. The 2011-12 team captain has been active in community outreach activities, including the “Skate with the Bulldogs” program and speaking at local schools.
The Yardley, Pa., native, was signed by the Los Angeles Kings in March and helped their American Hockey League affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, qualify for the Calder Cup Playoffs in April.