Last Two Chances: Yale Visits Quinnipiac, Princeton

Berit Johnson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Tied with Dartmouth for Eighth and Final ECAC Hockey Playoff Spot

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Prior to the season, the Yale women's hockey team had "29 Chances" printed on the back of their warm-up t-shirts. After 27 regular-season games, the Bulldogs are now down to two chances, and a berth in the ECAC Hockey postseason hangs in the balance. Tied with Dartmouth for the eighth and final playoff spot, Yale visits Quinnipiac (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Princeton (Saturday, 4 p.m.).

Yale (10-14-3, 8-11-1 ECAC Hockey) will have to take care of its own two games this weekend, but the Bulldogs will also need some help from other teams in order to make the postseason. Dartmouth holds an edge on Yale in the first tiebreaker (head-to-head record), so the Bulldogs cannot afford to finish in a tie with the Big Green. They also must avoid getting passed by 10th-place Colgate, which is only a point behind Dartmouth and Yale.

Even being in contention for a playoff spot would have seemed unlikely after the first month of the season, when Yale was just 1-7-0 in conference games (outscored 28-6) and was mired in 11th place. But the Bulldogs have gone 7-4-1 in ECAC Hockey games since then (outscoring their opponents 30-22), passing Brown and Colgate in the standings and forging a tie with Dartmouth.

Junior forward Bray Ketchum (Greenwich, Conn.) continues to lead the Yale offense with 12 goals and 23 points, followed closely by her line mates, sophomore forward Aleca Hughes (Westwood, Mass.) (9-8-17) and freshman forward Alyssa Zupon (Basking Ridge, N.J.) (5-11-16). The Bulldogs have also benefited from senior forward Caroline Murphy (Woodstock, Conn.) posting a career-high eight goals, and sophomore forward Becky Mantell (Princeton, N.J.) emerging to contribute 10 points (3-7-10) in the last 21 games. Senior forward Berit Johnson (Wayzata, Minn.) has contributed a career-best three goals and added four assists while incurring only three penalties. A pair of freshmen, forward Danielle Moncion (Round Lake Center, Ont.) and defenseman Tara Tomimoto (Calgary, Alta.), are tied with Hughes for third on the team in assists with eight.

The Yale defense enjoys at least two more games with senior defenseman Alyssa Clarke (Donkin, N.S.), a finalist for the NCAA Frozen Four Skills Challenge who has three goals and an assist in the last eight games while also remaining one of the team's top penalty killers. Clarke's defensive pair mate is junior Samantha MacLean (Mississauga, Ont.), who leads the team in +/- with a +6 in addition to contributing a career-high four goals and nine points.

Anchoring the defense is junior goalie Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.), who matched her career high with 46 saves in her last game. She has a string of nine straight games with at least 30 saves and has lifted her save percentage to .928, 11th in the country. Ketchum and Snikeris were both announced as nominees for the Kazmaier Award as the top women's college hockey player Wednesday.

Quinnipiac (16-8-8, 9-4-7 ECAC Hockey) is one of the hottest teams in the country, with a 9-1-2 mark in its last 12 games. The Bobcats enter the weekend with the chance to earn a spot in the ECAC Hockey's top four, and the home-ice advantage that comes with it. They are one point behind Harvard and RPI, the two teams tied for third.

The Bobcats have transformed themselves into the best defensive team in the country (46 goals allowed in 32 games) in Rick Seeley's second year as head coach thanks in part to the addition of freshman goalie Victoria Vigilanti. Vigilanti is fourth in the country in save percentage (.946).

The Bobcats keep their games low-scoring and tightly contested. Exactly half (16) of their games have been decided by one goal, with Quinnipiac winning 10 of those, and they have also had eight ties. Ten of their games have gone to overtime.

The last two meetings between Yale and Quinnipiac have each been decided by one goal -- the Bobcats took a 2-1 game at Ingalls Rink earlier this season, while Yale won 2-1 at TD Bank Sports Center at the end of last season on a goal by Hughes with only three seconds left.

Princeton (12-11-4, 10-6-4 ECAC Hockey) is just one point behind Quinnipiac, so the Tigers also enter the weekend hoping to move into a home-ice spot in the standings. They have bounced back from a five-game losing streak in the middle of the season to go 5-3-3 in their last 11 games, and last weekend they swept Clarkson and St. Lawrence with one shutout from Cassie Seguin and one from Rachel Weber. Those two have split starts over the last two weekends, but for the season as a whole Weber has seen slightly more minutes. She has a .914 save percentage, while Seguin's is .903.

The Tigers' leading scorers are a pair of sophomore forwards, Danielle DiCesare (10-16-26) and Paula Romanchuk (8-15-23). Another sophomore forward, Heather Landry, is tied with DiCesare for the team lead in goals. The Tiger defense is led by six-footer Sasha Sherry, a first team All-ECAC Hockey selection last season and former U.S. Under-22 Team member. 

 

Marrow Donor Testing Drive Scheduled

The Yale football and women's hockey teams will once again collaborate on a marrow donor testing drive, similar to the one last year that registered more than 700 potential marrow donors. Yale forward Mandi Schwartz (Wilcox, Sask.) recently re-joined the team after a year spent overcoming leukemia, and Schwartz is still in need of a marrow donor. The drive will be held on Thursday, Apr. 22. Details will be available on yalebulldogs.com shortly.

 

ECAC Hockey Standings

 

Pts

ECAC

All

Clarkson

30

14-4-2

20-8-4

Cornell

30

12-2-6

13-8-6

Rensselaer

26

11-5-4

14-11-6

Harvard

26

12-6-2

17-6-4

Quinnipiac

25

9-4-7

16-8-8

Princeton

24

10-6-4

12-11-4

St. Lawrence

23

10-7-3

14-11-7

Dartmouth

17

8-11-1

11-13-2

Yale

17

8-11-1

10-14-3

Colgate

16

6-10-4

10-18-4

Union

3

1-18-1

5-26-1

Brown

3

0-17-3

2-20-4

 

 

ECAC Hockey Weekend Schedule

Feb. 19

Union

 

at Colgate

 

7:00 PM

Live stats   Video  

     

 

Dartmouth

 

at Clarkson

 

7:00 PM

Live stats   Video  

     

 

Brown

 

at Princeton

 

7:00 PM

Live stats   Video  

     

 

Harvard

 

at St. Lawrence

 

7:00 PM

Live stats   Video  

     

 

Yale

 

at Quinnipiac

 

7:00 PM

Live stats   Video  

     

 

Rensselaer

 

at Cornell

 

7:00 PM

Live stats   Video  

     

Feb. 20

Union

 

at Cornell

 

4:00 PM

Live stats   Video  

 
       

 

Yale

 

at Princeton

 

4:00 PM

Live stats   Video  

 
       

 

Harvard

 

at Clarkson

 

4:00 PM

Live stats   Video  

 
       

 

Rensselaer

 

at Colgate

 

4:00 PM

Live stats   Video  

 
       

 

Dartmouth

 

at St. Lawrence

 

4:00 PM

Live stats   Video  

 
       

 

Brown

 

at Quinnipiac

 

4:00 PM

Live stats   Video  

 

 

ECAC Hockey Tiebreakers

Seeding for championship competition is based on total points accumulated during league contests. In the event teams are tied in the final regular-season standings, the following tiebreakers (listed in order of application) shall be used to determine seeding:

  1. Comparison of game results between tied teams (head to head).
  2. Wins (League).
  3. Comparison of results of games against the top four teams.
  4. Comparison of results of games against the top eight teams.
  5. Goal differential in head-to-head competition.
  6. Goal differential in games against the top four teams.
  7. Goal differential in games against the top eight teams.

In the case of ties among three or more schools, the criteria will be used in order until a team, or teams, is separated from the pack. At that point, the process will begin anew to break the "new" tie. In other words, when a four-way tie becomes a three-way tie, the three-way tie is treated as a "new" tie and the process begins with the first criterion.