Weekend Includes Ingalls Dedication and Visits from Union, RPI

Mandi Schwartz is back at Ingalls Rink after a year spent battling leukemia. Friday night will be her first chance to watch her team play in person, and Saturday the dedication ceremonies will be held to mark the end of the rink's renovation. (photos by Michael Marsland and David Silverman)

Bulldogs Return to Conference Play

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - It has been 40 days since the Yale women's hockey team last played an ECAC Hockey game. The Bulldogs shut out Colgate Dec. 5 to conclude a three-point weekend, and -- with exams, winter break and four non-league games in between now and then -- they have not had a chance to add to their point total since. That changes this weekend, as Union (Friday, 7 p.m.) and RPI (Saturday, 4 p.m.) come to town. Both games will be broadcast live via Yale All-Access on yalebulldogs.com.

Saturday's game is part of a doubleheader with the men's team that also includes the dedication ceremony for the newly renovated Ingalls Rink. In 2008 and 2009, Yale undertook the complete renovation of the beloved "Yale Whale" designed by Eero Saarinen. The renovation preserved the distinctive architecture while adding substantial capacity for Yale's hockey programs and the many other teams and programs that use the rink. The facility has been expanded underground, adding space to support the coaching and training of Yale's varsity student-athletes. Highlights of the renovation include:

  • A new rink surface and dehumidification system
  • Addition of new men's and women's varsity locker rooms
  • Offices for coaches of both programs
  • New training and strength & conditioning rooms
  • A student-athlete study area
  • Renovated and expanded press facilities
  • A lower level hockey heritage area
  • Improved lighting
  •  A new sound system

There has also been a big addition to the Yale women's hockey team over break. Senior forward Mandi Schwartz (Wilcox, Sask.) is back in school for the spring semester after spending a year battling leukemia. Schwartz, who is now in remission, has returned to practice with the team and intends to play the 2010-11 season.

Yale (4-10-3, 2-7-1 ECAC Hockey) enters the weekend four points out of the eighth and final ECAC Hockey playoff spot. Since ECAC Hockey expanded to 12 teams in 2006-07, no team has made the playoffs with fewer than 17 points, and the average point total for the eighth-place team has been 19 points. Yale would need 14 points in the final 12 games to reach that mark.

The Bulldogs will need to surge past two teams to make it into the playoffs. With the team directly ahead of them -- ninth-place Colgate -- making the always-tough trip to Dartmouth and No. 6 Harvard this weekend, this could be Yale's chance to start making a move in the standings. Union (4-17-1, 0-9-1 ECAC Hockey) has lost 14 of its last 17 games. That includes a 2-1 loss to the Bulldogs Nov. 14 in which senior forward Caroline Murphy (Woodstock, Conn.), Yale's captain, scored both Bulldog goals.

Dutchwomen goalie Alana Marcinko is fourth in ECAC Hockey in save percentage and is coming off a 77-save weekend. She held No. 4 Clarkson scoreless for 38:20 on Friday before the Golden Knights pulled away with two goals in a span of 62 seconds, finishing with a 3-1 win. Union was within one goal of both Clarkson and St. Lawrence until allowing empty-net goals in the final minute.

RPI (7-9-5, 4-3-3 ECAC Hockey) went nearly a month without a win in late October, posting an 0-5-2 mark in that span. But since then the Engineers have gone 5-4-2 and outscored their opponents 34-22. Forward Whitney Naslund, an ECAC Hockey All-Star selection, is tied for fourth in the conference in goals and tied for eighth in points (11-7-18). Five of her goals have come on the power play, placing her tied for second in the conference in that category. Defenseman Laura Gersten is second among conference blueliners in scoring (3-9-12).

There will be events throughout the day on Saturday commemorating Ingalls Rink and Yale's alums, starting with the alumni game in the morning. There will be an on-ice ceremony prior to the Yale-Brown men's game Saturday night, which is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start.

More on Mandi Schwartz:

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