Team Dedicates Game vs. RPI to Mandi Schwartz' Battle with Cancer
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This weekend is about more than just a pair of games for the Yale women's ice hockey team, as the Bulldogs host RPI and Union at Ingalls Rink. Friday night's game vs. RPI will be the Bulldogs' "White Out for Mandi", a fundraiser for their teammate Mandi Schwartz as she battles cancer. No admission will be charged, and fans are asked to come wearing white or buy one of the "White Out" t-shirts that will be on sale at the game. Both games this weekend can be seen live on yalebulldogs.com.
Friday's event is the latest long-distance show of support for Mandi and her family, as she is currently in Seattle recovering from a life-saving stem cell transplant. She has been battling acute myeloid leukemia for nearly two years now. This past Saturday, the Yale Club of New Haven partnered with the Yale Athletics Department and the Quinnipiac Athletics Department for "Mandi's March", a 7.5-mile trek from Hamden to New Haven prior to the Yale-Quinnipiac men's game. The event raised $4,000 for Mandi and her family.
Friday's "White Out for Mandi" is designed to make it as easy as possible for fans to help. No admission will be charged, and -- in addition to accepting donations -- Mandi's Yale women's ice hockey teammates are lining up pledges from donors based on the attendance total. The goal is to get as many people as possible into Ingalls (capacity 3,500) that night, with all of them wearing white, as a show of support for Mandi and her family. There will also be an auction of sports memorabilia to raise funds.
Prior to the game Mandi's former Yale hockey classmates Alyssa Clarke '10 and Berit Johnson '10 will address the crowd. Her fellow native of Wilcox, Sask., and Notre Dame graduate, freshman forward Patricia McGauley, will sing the National Anthem.
The Bulldogs must also keep their focus on the game, as they look to make a move up in the ECAC Hockey standings. Yale (0-4-2, 0-1-1 ECAC Hockey) started conference play with a tie at No. 9 Harvard and a loss at Dartmouth two weeks ago.
With senior goaltender Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.) injured eight minutes into the Harvard game, sophomore goalie Erin Callahan (Kenilworth, Ill.) and junior goalie Genny Ladiges (Almonte, Ont.) have stepped up to fill the void. Callahan made 66 saves against Harvard and Dartmouth, and Ladiges has made 65 saves in the last two games against Providence and Northeastern.
A good chunk of Yale's scoring has come from five Canadian freshmen, as McGauley, forward Jenna Ciotti (Manotick, Ont.), defenseman Aurora Kennedy (Mississauga, Ont.), forward Jennifer Lawrence (Toronto, Ont.) and forward Jackie Raines (London, Ont.) have combined for four of the team's seven goals and four of the team's nine assists. Sophomore forward Alyssa Zupon (Basking Ridge, N.J.) has the team lead in points with a pair of goals and an assist.
Yale's last meeting with RPI (3-6-2, 2-2-0 ECAC Hockey) was a 4-3 Bulldogs win at Ingalls Jan. 16 in which senior defenseman Samantha MacLean (Mississauga, Ont.), Yale's captain, scored the game-winning goal with 33 seconds left -- just 57 seconds after RPI's Clare Padmore had tied the game. The Engineers have already suffered three one-goal losses this year, but are coming off a 2-0 shutout of Quinnipiac in which goalie Sonja van der Bliek made 25 saves. She has a .879 save percentage for the season. Forward Jill Vandegrift leads the team in scoring (2-5-7).
Union (1-9-0, 0-4-0 ECAC Hockey), which plays at Brown Friday night, is coming off a pair of one-goal losses to Quinnipiac and Princeton. Kate Gallagher had 81 saves in the two games. The Dutchwomen had been shutout for three straight games prior to that.
Friday, 7 p.m. vs. RPI and Saturday, 4 p.m. vs. Union:
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity