White Out For Mandi Friday, Quinnipiac Saturday at Ingalls Rink

Bulldogs' Last Two Games before Break include Fundraiser for Mandi Schwartz Foundation

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's hockey team hosts its annual "White Out for Mandi" Friday night at Ingalls Rink, paying tribute to Mandi Schwartz '10 (1988-2011) while raising funds for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation. The Bulldogs host ECAC Hockey and Ivy League rival Princeton Friday night at 7 p.m., then host Quinnipiac Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. in the last game before a month-long break for exams and holidays.

Friday night's "White Out for Mandi" is the first major fundraiser for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation. Yale's captain, senior forward Aleca Hughes (Westwood, Mass.), started the charity in memory of Mandi, the Yale center who passed away in April after battling cancer (acute myeloid leukemia) for more than two years.

Special white t-shirts are on sale now (team members are selling them outside Commons during lunch time), and youth hockey teams are encouraged to come wearing white jerseys. The Bulldogs will honor Mandi in a special pre-game ceremony starting at 6:45, including a ceremonial puck drop by their 10-year-old teammate, Giana. The team "adopted" Giana, who had recently been operated on for a brain tumor, and introduced her at last year's "White Out for Mandi".

The goal for Friday is to pack Ingalls Rink, with everyone wearing white, as a "White Out for Mandi" show of support. No admission will be charged, and donations for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation will be accepted at the door. The team is also lining up pledges for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation from donors based on the attendance total, so that every person who walks through the doors that night will count towards the final donation total.

Yale has also lined up donations from other NCAA teams. The following teams have had 100 percent participation in donating toward the "White Out for Mandi": 

  • Dartmouth women's hockey
  • Dartmouth women's lacrosse
  • Middlebury women's hockey
  • Northeastern women's hockey
  • Princeton women's hockey
  • St. Lawrence men's hockey

Yale is also scheduled to auction off the following items during the "White Out for Mandi" game Friday night:

  • New York Rangers jersey, signed by Ruslan Fedotenko
  • New York Rangers tickets
  • NHL hat, signed by Alex Ovechkin
  • NHL puck, signed by Patrick Kane
  • Chris Higgins autographed jersey
  • Max Pacioretty autographed jersey
  • Prentiss Hockey - three workouts valued at $300

 

The "White Out for Mandi" will also help raise awareness of the need for marrow donors and umbilical cord blood donors. In an effort to save her life last year, Mandi had a stem cell transplant utilizing blood from two anonymous umbilical cord blood donations. Stem cells for patients with life-threatening illnesses like Mandi's can also come from marrow donors. Yale hosts an annual Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive every spring to add potential donors to the Be The Match® Registry. To date, at least six matches for patients in need of transplants have been identified through those efforts. One of those matches was a Yale field hockey player, junior Lexy Adams.

On Friday night the Bulldogs hope to set the record for attendance at a women's game at Ingalls Rink. The current women's record is 1,539, set on Nov. 1, 2005, when Team USA played an exhibition game against the ECAC Hockey All-Stars. Last year's "White Out for Mandi" drew a crowd of 1,066, the most ever for a Yale women's hockey game. The capacity of Ingalls Rink is 3,500.

Yale (1-12-0, 1-5-0 ECAC Hockey) had its best weekend defensively last time out, playing Robert Morris and UConn in the annual Nutmeg Classic. The Bulldogs allowed only two goals at even strength (four overall), while getting 30 saves from senior goalie Genny Ladiges (Almonte, Ont.) on Friday and 28 from freshman goalie Jaimie Leonoff (Montreal, Que.) on Saturday. Yale allowed 31 shots on goal in each game, tied for the lowest opponent shot total the Bulldogs have allowed all season.

The Bulldogs remain a work in progress offensively, with nine of their 12 goals on the season coming from four players -- three sophomores (forwards Jenna Ciotti (Manotick, Ont.), Ashley Dunbar (Hillsborough, N.J.) and Jackie Raines (London, Ont.)) and a freshman (forward Stephanie Mock (Cape Coral, Fla.)). The team's 29 shots on goal last time out represented the Bulldogs' highest total since putting 30 on net in the second game of the season. Hughes (seven shots), Raines (six shots) and senior defenseman Heather Grant (Toronto, Ont.) (four shots) accounted for more than half of those shots.

Princeton (4-7-1, 3-4-1 ECAC Hockey) started the season 3-1-1, including a 7-1 win over Yale, but has lost six in a row heading into this weekend. The Tigers scored one goal or less in five of those six games. Forward Sally Butler leads the team in goals and points (6-6-12). Rachel Weber has played every minute in goal and has a .915 save percentage and a 2.51 goals-against average.

Quinnipiac (9-7-1, 5-2-1 ECAC Hockey), which plays at Brown Friday night, started the season 1-5-0, but entering the weekend the Bobcats have gone 8-2-1 since. That included a 3-0 win over Yale and a pair of wins last weekend, over Robert Morris and UConn, that gave the Bobcats their second straight Nutmeg Classic championship. Kelly Babstock (10-12-22) leads the team in scoring, while goalie Victoria Vigilanti has a .897 save percentage and a 2.44 goals-against average.

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

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