Bulldogs Coming Off 31-Day Break
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After 31 days off -- the longest in-season break since 1992-93 -- the Yale women's ice hockey team gets back to the ice with a pair of games this week at Ingalls Rink. The Bulldogs host ECAC Hockey rival Brown Wednesday night at 7 p.m., then play an exhibition game vs. McGill on Saturday at 2 p.m.
During their month-long hiatus, the Bulldogs made news off the ice. In recognition of their humanitarian and community service efforts, they were selected as the 2011 "Sports Persons of the Year" by the New Haven Register. The full article by the Register's Chip Malafronte can be read by clicking here.
Yale (1-14-0, 1-7-0 ECAC Hockey) can move out of 12th place in the conference standings and up to a tie for 10th with a win Wednesday night. The Bulldogs' last game, Dec. 3, was a frustrating 3-2 overtime loss to Quinnipiac, the team that is currently atop the ECAC Hockey standings. The Bulldogs held a 2-1 lead on goals by senior defenseman Heather Grant (Toronto, Ont.) and freshman forward Lynn Kennedy (Markham, Ont.) (her first career goal) until the Bobcats tied it on an extra attacker goal with five minutes left, then won it 2:49 into overtime.
That game showed some of the signs of progress the Bulldogs made late in the first half of the season. With Grant back from an injury to help shore up the defense, Yale allowed just 12 goals in its last four games after allowing 66 in its first 11. Senior goalie Genny Ladiges (Almonte, Ont.) made 30 or more saves in three of her last four games, including 47 against RPI Nov. 12. Freshman goalie Jaimie Leonoff (Montreal, Que.) made 42 or more saves in three of her last four games, including 115 in one weekend at then-No. 9 Mercyhurst.
Three players -- senior forward Aleca Hughes (Westwood, Mass.), freshman forward Stephanie Mock (Cape Coral, Fla.) and sophomore forward Jackie Raines (London, Ont.) -- enter the second half of the season tied for the team lead in points with seven. Raines, who led Yale in points last year with 19, has scored four of her five goals this year on the power play.
Brown (4-5-5, 1-4-3 ECAC Hockey) has been on break almost as long as Yale has; the Bears last played on Dec. 7, a 10-0 win at Sacred Heart. That was their second 10-0 win over the Pioneers this season, and they have scored nearly two-thirds of their goals for the season (20 of 33) against Sacred Heart.
In their first season under new head coach Amy Bourbeau the Bears have shown other signs of progress as they bounce back from last season's 2-23-4 showing. They have cut their goals allowed per game nearly in half (from 3.93 to 2.07) thanks in part to a pair of excellent goaltenders. Aubree Moore (.943 save percentage, 1.98 goals-against average) and Katie Jamieson (.939 save percentage, 2.05 goals-against average) are both in the top six in ECAC Hockey in save percentage and goals-against average.
McGill, which is located in Montreal, has played a series of exhibition games against NCAA teams this year, beating St. Lawrence and Vermont, tying UConn, and losing to BC, Dartmouth, Harvard, Providence and Syracuse. The Martlets are ranked No. 1 in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport rankings and are 14-1-0 against CIS opponents. Their roster includes goalie Charline Labonte, who won gold medals at the Olympics with Team Canada in 2006 and 2010. Head coach Peter Smith was an assistant coach with Team Canada those years as well.
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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity