April 11, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - For Yale hockey, the sting of not sending a team to the nation's capitol and the 2009 Frozen Four has yet to heal. Having two players represent the Bulldogs at the Frozen Four Skills Competition on Friday at the Verizon Center could aid in the process. Seniors Alec Richards (Robbinsdale, Minn.) and Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill.) helped the East beat the West 16-8 in the fourth annual skills event.
Both Bulldogs participated in two different events and spurned the East to even the overall series at 2-2 before a large crowd at the home of the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals.
Richards tied for the top spot in the rapid fire event by stopping seven of eight shots. He made saves on the first seven shots, and nearly won it outright until the last attempt slipped past him.
"This was a great opportunity to meet players from around the country. It was a lot of fun to be part of this night and a win for the East," said Richards, who later stopped two of three penalty shots with a unique, diving move.
"It was amazing and fun and Bauer has treated us so well," said Howser. "They treated us like superstars. It was fun to show kids in D.C. what college hockey is all about."
Howser tried the Alexander Ovechkin (Capitals star forward's spin, juggle and swat) move on her penalty shot attempt in the competition's last event. She was masterful with the juggling, but did not get enough of the puck on the swat and it trickled to the goal.
"The kids near the bench were chanting my name and saying go for the Ovechkin move," said Howser, who got a big cheer from the crowd on the attempt.
Howser, a forward on the Yale women's team, had other great moments tonight. She won the accuracy shot competition and notched a point for the East.
Both Elis were flown to D.C. from New Haven on Thursday and watched the two semifinals that night. They also were given a full set of Bauer equipment and more from the event's generous sponsor.
"Bauer did a great job to promote hockey here," said Richards. "It was great to see a lot of kids, and I'm sure we will enjoy the youth clinic tomorrow morning."
Report filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director