WORCESTER, Mass. — Although Yale is disappointed with its 9-7 season-ending loss to Boston College on Sunday, the Bulldogs have a lot to be proud of. For starters, they never quit despite facing a four-goal deficit in the second and a five-goal deficit in the third.

Trailing 6-2 late in the second, Yale scored two goals just over a minute apart to pull within two heading into the third. After BC scored three goals early in the third to take a 9-4 lead, Yale again refused to go down without a fight. The Bulldogs tallied three scores in a five-minute span to give themselves a chance near the end.

"I can't tell you how proud I am of my guys," said head coach Keith Allain. "There were numerous occasions during the course of the game where they could've thrown in the towel, but they didn't. That's what I've come to expect from this program, and that’s what I've seen from this group."

Leading the way all night was senior forward Mark Arcobello, who put together what has to be one of the greatest performances in a loss you'll ever see. The Milford, Conn. native registered three goals and three assists to finish off his outstanding 116-point career.

Unfortunately for Arcobello, the individual success didn't ease the pain of the loss at all.

"If only I played as good on defense as on offense, I could have prevented a couple goals, so not really," he said when asked if his overall game provided any consolation.

As far as his coach is concerned, though, Arcobello has every reason to leave Worcester with his head held high.

"To me, the amazing thing is that he was absolutely great, and he sits up here and tells you he wasn't happy with his defensive play," Allain said. "That's what we want our hockey players to be like. … He saw where there was a need tonight and certainly did everything he could."

It's that kind of attitude and players that have enabled Allain to turn Yale from a perennial also-ran into a national power during his four seasons at the helm. The Bulldogs finished 11th in the ECAC the year before Allain and this year's seniors came in, but they've improved their standing each season since then, culminating in back-to-back regular-season titles.

"Four years seems like a long time," said senior defenseman Ryan Donald. "It flies by. Sometimes you take it for granted, getting to these big games on these big stages, but I can recall our freshman year when winning was kind of secondary. We were just happy to slip the jersey on that night.

"Coach has done a great job creating an environment the last four seasons. Now you're expected to win. You're expected to perform your best, whether it's practice or games. I think that bodes well for the future of the program."

Allain said the key to creating that winning atmosphere was just taking things one day at a time.

"When we came in here together, I think we had a vision of how we wanted to play," he said. "We approach things on a game-to-game basis as far as how we practice and how we carry ourselves. If you look back, we’ve made great strides that way."