Jackee Snikeris Named 2010-11 Devens Award Winner

Jackee Snikeris. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Jackee Snikeris. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

First Yale Player to Earn Honor

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Senior goaltender Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.) has been named the winner of the 2010-11 Sarah Devens Award. Given as a joint award between ECAC Hockey and Hockey East, the Devens Award is presented annually to a student-athlete who "demonstrates leadership and commitment both on and off the ice."  It is named in honor of former Dartmouth ice hockey, field hockey and lacrosse captain Sarah Devens, who died in 1995 prior to her senior year of college. All female student-athletes in Hockey East and ECAC Hockey are eligible, and each conference submitted a league nominee for consideration. Snikeris, the first Yale player to earn the honor, receives a post-graduate scholarship of $10,000.

"Being named the Sarah Devens Award Winner is truly an honor, especially after reading more about who Sarah Devens was as a person," said Snikeris. "She seemed like a truly remarkable student-athlete and I am very humbled to be recognized in her honor.  I will be forever grateful for the post-graduate scholarship and it will undoubtedly help me when I go to medical school."

The Devens Award is the latest in a series of honors for Snikeris, whose work on and off the ice has been recognized many times over in the wake of her record-breaking career at Yale. This past season she was a nominee for the Kazmaier Award as the top player in college hockey and was also first team All-New England. She was ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Year, first team All-ECAC Hockey and first team All-Ivy League. She also earned ECAC Hockey's Student-Athlete of the Year Award and was Academic All-Ivy League.

Snikeris posted some of the best numbers of her stellar career this past season, highlighted by her .941 save percentage that placed her seventh in the country. That figure set the school record in that category, and gives her four of the top eight single-season save percentage marks in Yale history. Her 1.98 goals-against average this season ranks third, trailing only her own 1.67 mark from 2008-09 and the 1.978 mark posted by June Mendoza '80 in 1978-79. Snikeris has four of the top seven single-season goals-against averages in Yale history.

Snikeris had three shutouts this season, extending her school career record in that category to 16 -- four more than any other player. She also finished her career with a save percentage of .931, breaking the school record in that category (.915, Sarah Love '06) by 16 points. She had a career goals-against average of 2.12, breaking the school record in that category (2.61, Shivon Zilis '08) by nearly half a goal. Her 2,092 career saves place her fifth on Yale's all-time list.

Snikeris played her best down the stretch, as Yale vied for an ECAC Hockey playoff spot despite missing two key defensemen due to season-ending injuries. She had three shutouts in her final seven games, stopping 202 out of 211 shots in that span for a .957 save percentage and a 1.27 goals-against average. She made 32 or more saves four times in those seven games. Her season was also highlighted by a career-best 49-save effort Jan. 3 against Boston College.

Snikeris accomplished it all while playing through an injury, suffered in the third game of the year, that cost her seven games.

Snikeris is a pre-med History of Science, History of Medicine major who has a 3.59 cumulative GPA and will receive her fourth ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team selection this season. In addition to working at a nearby hospital and having some of her work there published in the Journal of Surgical Radiology, she has also volunteered at a local hospice for the past two years and taught skating to local middle schoolers. She has been a part of team-wide initiatives to raise awareness of the need for bone marrow donors and umbilical cord blood donors to help save the lives of patients in need, inspired by her teammate Mandi Schwartz' battle with cancer. She has taken part in Yale's Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society and helped teach sports skills to local children. She has also been a part of a program that pairs local brain tumor patients with Yale sports teams.

Snikeris has graduated from the Yale Athletics Department's Kiphuth Leadership Academy, a program designed to develop Yale student-athletes to be world-class leaders in athletics, academics and life. 

Snikeris has extensive experience with USA Hockey as well. She attended USA Hockey Under-22 Select Team tryouts in the spring of 2008, and has been selected for USA Hockey's Warren Strelow Goaltending Camp, featuring Olympians and the top goaltending prospects in the country, multiple times. She was a five-time USA Hockey player development camp pick. This past August, she served as a volunteer instructor at USA Hockey's U14 Development Camp.

Prior to coming to Yale Snikeris graduated cum laude from the Taft School, where she was a two-time captain of the ice hockey team and won the school's Patsy K. Odden Award for leadership and sportsmanship. She also played for the Connecticut Polar Bears, earning Easton Skills Overall Best Goaltender and winning the Breakaway competition at 2007 US Nationals.

Snikeris intends to enter medical school in 2012.