February 15, 2011

Final Week of Play at Ingalls Starts Tuesday

Senior Day Saturday

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's ice hockey team ends the regular season with three games in five days at Ingalls Rink, starting Tuesday night with a visit from Brown. The weekend brings Quinnipiac on Friday night and Princeton on Saturday afternoon, Senior Day.

While Yale (7-16-3, 6-11-2 ECAC Hockey, 10th) cannot finish high enough in the ECAC Hockey standings to earn a home playoff series, the Bulldogs are still within reach of a playoff spot that would put them on the road for a best-of-three quarterfinal series starting Feb. 25. With 14 points, Yale trails ninth-place St. Lawrence by two points, and the Bulldogs trail the two teams tied for seventh (Colgate and RPI) by four points. Sixth-place Clarkson has 20 points. Yale must pass two of those teams in the standings to earn one of the league's eight playoff spots. Clarkson plays at St. Lawrence Tuesday night, and those two teams then host RPI and Union this weekend. Colgate travels to Dartmouth and Harvard.

The Bulldogs had a three-game unbeaten streak snapped this past weekend with a 1-0 loss at Colgate Friday in which senior goalie Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.) stopped 35 of 36 shots. That raised her season save percentage to .941, putting her fifth in the country and keeping her on pace to break the school single-season record in that category (.937, June Mendoza '80 in 1978-79). Snikeris' 1.98 goals-against average for the season ranks her third, behind her own 1.67 mark from 2008-09 and Mendoza's 1.98 in 1978-79.

Snikeris is also about to secure her spot as Yale's career leader in save percentage and goals-against average. Her .931 career save percentage is 16 points higher than the next-best figure, Sarah Love '06's .915. Snikeris' 2.12 career goals-against average is nearly half a goal better than the next-best figure, Shivon Zilis '08's 2.61.

Junior forward Aleca Hughes (Westwood, Mass.) scored Yale's lone goal last weekend, assisted by senior forward Bray Ketchum (Greenwich, Conn.). The point moved Ketchum into the team lead in points (7-11-18), one ahead of freshman forward Jackie Raines (London, Ont.) (8-9-17). This would be Ketchum's second straight season leading the team in points, and she enters the week seventh on Yale's career goals list (41, three behind Deanna McDevitt '03 for sixth). She is also 11th on Yale's career points list (84, four behind Jenna Spring '07 for 10th) and 12th on Yale's career assists list (43, two behind McDevitt for 11th).

Ketchum and Snikeris will be honored on Saturday, along with defenseman Samantha MacLean (Mississauga, Ont.) and forward Lili Rudis (Chicago, Ill.) as part of Senior Day ceremonies after the game vs. Princeton. MacLean, Yale's captain, has been one of Yale's defensive leaders ever since she arrived on campus, and has played in 115 straight games while contributing 25 points. The most memorable of those was the goal she scored in the regular-season finale vs. RPI three years ago, the game-winner in the third period that clinched a playoff spot for the Bulldogs. Rudis had her career ended early by injury, but she did play in 55 games, scoring three goals, and has remained a part of the team throughout this season.

Tuesday's game was initially scheduled to be played Jan. 12 but was postponed due to inclement weather. Yale beat Brown (2-21-3, 1-15-3 ECAC Hockey, 11th) 4-0 when the two teams met earlier this month in Providence. Raines scored a pair of goals, Ketchum had one, and freshman forward Jenna Ciotti (Manotick, Ont.) added another. Snikeris made 32 saves for her 14th career shutout, and she extended her school record in that category to 15 the next game by blanking Union.

The Bears feature a young lineup; 26 of their 31 goals this year have been scored by freshmen and sophomores. Forward Alena Polenska leads the team in points (7-6-13). Goalie Katie Jamieson has a .909 save percentage and a 3.29 goals-against average.

Quinnipiac (20-10-2, 12-8-0 ECAC Hockey, 4th) is fighting for one of the four home ice spots in the ECAC Hockey playoffs. The Bobcats beat the Bulldogs 2-1 earlier this year in the Nutmeg Classic championship game at TD Bank Sports Center, then beat the Bulldogs again 3-1 a week later. Goalie Victoria Vigilanti, who made 22 saves in each of those games, is seventh in the country with a 1.66 goals-against average and ninth in the country with a .934 save percentage. The Bobcats also feature freshman sensation Kelly Babstock, who is 10th in the country in points per game (29-26-55 in 32 games).

Princeton (14-12-1, 11-8-1 ECAC Hockey, 5th), which plays at Brown Friday, is also in the running for a home ice spot in the ECAC Hockey quarterfinals. Yale beat the Tigers 2-1 in Princeton Dec. 3 thanks largely to 26 saves from Snikeris, as Princeton outshot the Bulldogs 27-8. Ketchum and Raines provided Yale's goals.

Since losing to the Bulldogs the Tigers have gone 11-2-0, including six shutout wins. Goalie Rachel Weber has a .930 save percentage and a 1.82 goals-against average. Defenseman Sasha Sherry, a U.S. Under-22 Team member, leads the team in points (7-12-19) and is coming off a hat trick in the Tigers' 4-2 win over RPI.

Tuesday's game is Yale Employee Day. Yale employees can show their ID at the Ingalls Rink box office to receive two free tickets to the game.

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

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