Clarkson, SLU Visit Whale this Weekend

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Erin Callahan. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Seeking Second Conference Win

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's ice hockey team starts a stretch of 13 straight ECAC Hockey games to close out the 2011-12 regular season with a visit from Clarkson and St. Lawrence this weekend. The Bulldogs host the Golden Knights Friday at 7 p.m. and the Saints Saturday at 4 p.m. at Ingalls Rink.

Yale (1-15-0, 1-8-0 ECAC Hockey) is currently five points behind the two teams tied for the eighth and final ECAC Hockey playoff spot, Brown and Colgate. The Bulldogs have been allowing fewer and fewer shots on goal in each of their past four conference games -- from 52 vs. RPI on Nov. 12 down to 30 last time out against Brown a week ago -- but that has not translated into any wins. They put 26 shots on goal themselves against the Bears, but Brown goalie Katie Jamieson stopped 25 of them for the 4-1 Brown win.

Senior goalie Genny Ladiges (Almonte, Ont.) stopped 18 of 19 shots against Brown after coming on in relief of freshman goalie Jaimie Leonoff (Montreal, Que.). Ladiges then stopped 21 of 23 shots in an exhibition against McGill on Saturday. Junior Erin Callahan (Kenilworth, Ill.) got the start in that one and made nine saves in one period of work.

A pair of players, sophomore forward Paige Decker (New Preston, Conn.) and junior defenseman Jamie Gray (Calgary, Alta.), got their first point of the season in the game vs. Brown. Ashley Dunbar (Hillsborough, N.J.), who returned to playing forward after filling in on defense at the end of the first half of the season, scored Yale's goal. With three goals for the season Dunbar has already tripled her output in that category from a year ago. The return to health of junior defenseman Emily DesMeules (North Pomfret, Vt.), who missed 14 games in the first half with an injury, enabled the Bulldogs to move Dunbar back to forward.

Clarkson (12-6-4, 6-3-1 ECAC Hockey) won eight of nine games prior to winter break, but the Golden Knights have dropped two since returning to the ice -- both to nationally ranked opponents, No. 7 Northeastern and No. 4 BC. Despite giving up eight goals in those two losses, Clarkson remains one of the stingiest teams in the country -- the Golden Knights have allowed only 39 goals in 22 games (1.77 per game), placing them fifth in the country in scoring defense. Goalie Erica Howe is tied for second in the country with five shutouts. She has a .926 save percentage and a 1.76 goals-against average.

St. Lawrence (11-7-3, 5-4-1 ECAC Hockey), which was among the teams also receiving votes in the latest USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, brings the longest winning streak in the country into the weekend. The Saints, who play at Brown this Friday, have won five games in a row, including wins over No. 4 BC and No. 7 Northeastern last weekend. Three St. Lawrence players have already cracked the 20-point mark: forwards Karell Emard (7-15-22), Kelly Sabatine (9-12-21) and Rylee Smith (8-12-20). Emard is +18 for the season, fifth in ECAC Hockey in that stat. Goalie Carmen MacDonald (.921 save percentage, 2.35 goals-against average) has played more minutes than any other freshman in the country this year (841:35).

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