January 2, 2011

Break Ends Monday with Visit from No. 6 BC

Bulldogs End Month-Long Hiatus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's ice hockey team must shake off the rust from a month-long break quickly, as the No. 6 team in the country pays a visit to Ingalls Rink Monday night. Boston College, which features a pair of U.S. Olympians on its roster, provides the Bulldogs with a huge test to start the second half of the season.

Yale (4-8-2, 3-4-1 ECAC Hockey) had some momentum going into the break, as the second "quarter" of the season proved much more productive than the first. The Bulldogs were 0-5-2 in their first seven games and scored only eight goals; in the next seven games they went 4-3 and scored 17 goals. The increased scoring came from a corresponding increase in shots on goal, as the Bulldogs averaged 26 shots per game in the second set of seven games after averaging fewer than 20 in the first seven games.

Senior forward Bray Ketchum (Greenwich, Conn.), Yale's leading scorer a year ago (12-11-23) enters the second half as the team's top scorer (5-5-10). She and her line mates, junior Aleca Hughes (Westwood, Mass.) (3-2-5) and sophomore Alyssa Zupon (Basking Ridge, N.J.) (4-2-6) account for three of the top four spots on Yale's scoring list. The other player in the top four is freshman forward Jackie Raines (London, Ont.), who is second with a 5-2-7 line.

Ketchum also starts the second half leading the team in +/- with a +4. Sophomore defenseman Jamie Gray (Calgary, Alta.) is second with a +2.

One of the most important things the Bulldogs accomplished right before the break was confirming that senior goalie Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.) was ready to resume her role between the pipes after missing seven games with an injury. Snikeris returned to play the last four games before the break and stopped 123 of 131 shots she saw in that span, a .939 save percentage.

Last year, Yale's 3-3 tie at BC featured a duel between junior goalie Genny Ladiges (Almonte, Ont.) (26 saves) and the Eagles' Corinne Boyles (28 saves). The game was highlighted by the first career goal for sophomore defenseman Tara Tomimoto (Calgary, Alta.).

This time around the Eagles also have the option of using Molly Schaus in goal. Schaus spent last season with the U.S. Olympic team, earning a silver medal, and she was away last week at USA Hockey's Women's Holiday Camp along with her BC teammates Blake Bolden, Meagan Mangene, Kelli Stack and Taylor Wasylk. Stack, who was also on the U.S. Olympic team, currently leads the country in goals with 21.

BC (11-3-4, 6-1-2 Hockey East) played without those five players last Friday and lost 3-0 at Princeton. The Eagles have been impressive in their other seven games against ECAC Hockey opponents, posting a 4-1-2 mark that includes wins over Brown (5-2), Colgate (4-0), Dartmouth (4-2) and Harvard (6-2).

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

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