13 Regular Season Home Games on Slate; Oct. 21 is Fans' First Chance to See Bulldogs
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Six games vs. NCAA Tournament teams, and eight games against teams that ended last season ranked in the top 10 or receiving votes in the national poll, highlight the 2011-12 Yale women's ice hockey schedule, which was released Tuesday. The Bulldogs open the regular season Oct. 21 vs. Niagara at Ingalls Rink and start ECAC Hockey play Oct. 28 at Cornell. This is Yale's second season under head coach Joakim Flygh. Rising senior forward Aleca Hughes (Westwood, Mass.) is the Bulldogs' captain.
Here is a breakdown of the schedule for 2011-12, Yale's 35th varsity season:
- Yale's regular-season schedule consists of 29 games. That includes 22 games against ECAC Hockey opponents -- one home game and one away game against each of the other 11 teams in the league.
- The regular-season schedule includes seven non-conference games: Oct. 21 vs. Niagara, Oct. 22 vs. Northeastern, Nov. 1 at Providence, Nov. 18 and 19 at Mercyhurst, and two non-conference games as part of the Nutmeg Classic (hosted by UConn Nov. 25-26).
- The eighth annual Nutmeg Classic takes place at UConn's Freitas Ice Forum. The tournament features three women's ice hockey teams from the state of Connecticut ("The Nutmeg State"): Yale, UConn and Quinnipiac. The fourth team this year is Robert Morris, and the Bulldogs will play the Colonials in the first round. This year's tournament is hosted by UConn, with first-round games Nov. 25 and the consolation and championship games Nov. 26.
- There are 13 regular-season home games on the schedule. There is also an exhibition game vs. McGill at Ingalls Rink on Jan. 7.
- Yale plays eight games against teams that ended last season ranked or receiving votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national poll (No. 4 Cornell twice, No 6 Mercyhurst twice, No. 8 Dartmouth twice, No. 10 Providence and RV Northeastern).
- The schedule includes six games against teams that took part in the 2011 NCAA tournament: two each against Cornell, Dartmouth and Mercyhurst.
- Yale will also play one pre-season scrimmage (vs. Brown and Princeton at Brown on Oct. 15).
- The 2012 ECAC Hockey playoffs begin Feb. 24 and determine which team gets the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. The top eight teams in the league make the playoffs, with the top four seeds hosting teams five through eight (No. 1 vs. No. 8, No. 2 vs. No. 7, etc.) in best-of-three quarterfinal series. The winners of those series then play the semifinals and championship the weekend of Mar. 2. Yale has made seven ECAC Hockey playoff appearances in the last 10 years, and advanced to the semifinals in 2004-05.
- The NCAA tournament, which includes eight teams, begins Friday Mar. 9 with quarterfinal games at campus sites. The winners of those quarterfinal games advance to the Frozen Four, which takes place at Minnesota-Duluth's Amsoil Arena on Mar. 16 and 18. The winners of the ECAC Hockey, Hockey East and WCHA playoffs each receive automatic berths in the NCAA tournament field. There are also five at-large berths.
- The schedule is subject to change. Check yalebulldogs.com for updates.
- Yale will once again offer live stats and live video of home games on yalebulldogs.com. Road games will also be available through the host schools' websites.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity