Crysti Howser ’09 and Helen Resor ’09 Selected for National Festival, in Contention for U.S. Olympic Spots

Crysti Howser and Helen Resor have been invited to the National Festival. (photo by dspics.com)

 Yale Alums Part of Group of 41 Vying to be on Team USA for 2010 Games in Vancouver

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The roster of players invited to USA Hockey's National Festival -- a major step in the process of selecting the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team -- was announced on Thursday, and two Yale Bulldogs are part of it. Forward Crysti Howser '09 (Wilmette, Ill.) and defenseman Helen Resor '09 (Greenwich, Conn.) are among the group of 41 elite players who will head to Blaine, Minn., Aug. 18-24 for a series of practices and games. After the National Festival 23 of those players will be chosen to go on the Qwest Tour as the U.S. Women's National Team, and 21 of those players then will be selected to play for Team USA in the 2010 Olympics. Resor is one of nine players on the National Festival roster who have played in the Olympics before.

Howser was a member of USA Hockey's Under-22 Select team each of the past two summers, playing in the annual three-game series against Team Canada. She scored a goal for the U.S. in 2008. Howser was tied for fifth in scoring at the 2007 National Festival and also was invited to USA Hockey's Holiday Camp in December of that year, training as part of a group of 56 of the top players in the country.

This past season, Howser became just the third player in Yale history to lead the team in scoring for four straight seasons. Her 24 points (13-11-24) gave her 116 for her career, placing her second on Yale's career points list behind Maria Dennis '88 (164). Howser is third on Yale's career goals list (57) and third on Yale's career assists list (59). She also has the third-best single-season goal total in school history (22, 2006-07) and the fourth-best single-season point total in school history (37, 2006-07). She was selected for the NCAA Frozen Four Skills Challenge this past April was an honorable mention All-Ivy League selection in 2007-08.

An ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team selection her senior year, Howser is also extremely active off the ice. She was a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award this past year, the fourth Yale women's ice hockey player to earn that honor - more than any other program, male or female, in the country. Howser volunteered at New Haven's Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, organized weekly health and fitness education sessions for residents at local homeless shelters as part of the Yale Sports Empowerment Program, worked on the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, volunteered with the annual AIDS Walk New Haven, organized a holiday gift-giving initiative for local families, traveled to a rural South African nature reserve to work on an environmental conservation project, and more.

Prior to coming to Yale Howser was a part of multiple USA Hockey player development camps. She played for Assabet Valley and attended New Trier.

Resor, who was the first Yale women's ice hockey player to make the Olympics when she played for Team USA and earned a bronze medal in Torino in 2006, has two gold medals (2005, 2009) and one silver (2007) with the U.S. at the IIHF World Championships. At Yale, she was among the nominees for the Kazmaier Award as the top women's college hockey player in the country this past season, and earned third team All-ECAC Hockey and second team All-Ivy League honors. Overall this past year, Resor led Yale in assists with 14 and was third in points with 21. She was eighth nationally in scoring by a defenseman (7-14-21 in 28 games).

Resor's 48 career assists place her tied for ninth on Yale's all-time list in that category, and she is also tied for 12th in career points (75) and tied for 20th in career goals (27). She made history as the first Yale women's hockey player selected to the U.S. Olympic Team roster when she was picked for the 2006 Torino Games. In addition to her Olympic and World Championship medals, she also has won silver medals at the Four Nations Cup three times.

Like Howser, Resor was an ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team selection. Prior to Yale, Resor played for Noble and Greenough and Assabet Valley. Her sister, Jane '01, played for Yale, as did her cousins -- Carry Resor '09 and Nina Resor '07. Her brother-in-law is Jeff Hamilton '00, the all-time leading scorer for the Yale men's hockey team, who has played in the NHL for Carolina, Chicago, the New York Islanders and Toronto.

Following the National Festival, a group of 23 will be selected for the National Team and will go on the Qwest Tour. That series of 10 exhibition games runs from Sept. 25, 2009, through Feb. 4, 2010, and includes stops in 10 different locations throughout the United States. One stop is a short drive up the road from Yale: the TD Banknorth Sports Center in Hamden, Conn., where the U.S. will play the ECAC Hockey All-Stars on Jan. 3. The final U.S. Olympic roster of 21 will be announced in mid-December, and the team is scheduled to start competition at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver against China on Feb. 14, 2010.

Yale has an extensive history with U.S. women's national teams. Forward Maria Dennis '88 was on the 1990 U.S. Women's National Team that earned silver at the first IIHF Women's World Championship, and goaltender Laurie Belliveau '98 was on the U.S. Women's National Team that earned silver at the 1999 IIHF Women's World Championship. Yale head coach Hilary Witt played on the U.S. National Team in 2000-01 and was an assistant coach for the U.S. team in 2006-07, earning a silver medal at the 2007 IIHF Women's World Championship along with Resor. Additionally, former Yale men's hockey assistant coach Ben Smith coached the U.S. women's team at the Olympics three times, winning a gold medal in 1998, and now serves as a national team advisor.

A number of current Bulldogs have been involved in other USA Hockey programs recently. Rising junior goalie Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.) participated in USA Hockey's Warren Strelow Goaltending Camp, where she was part of a group of 12 of the best goalies in the country. Four Bulldogs -- incoming freshman goalie Erin Callahan (Kenilworth, Ill.), rising sophomore forward Aleca Hughes (Westwood, Mass.), rising junior forward Bray Ketchum (Greenwich, Conn.) and incoming freshman defenseman/forward Natalie Wedell (Arden Hills, Minn.) -- participated in USA Hockey's Open Olympic Team Tryouts.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity