February 15, 2012

Final Weekend Takes Yale to Dartmouth, No. 8 Harvard

2011-12 Season Draws to a Close; Bulldogs to Attend Mandi Schwartz Foundation Fundraiser Saturday

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's ice hockey team concludes the 2011-12 season this weekend with games at Dartmouth and No. 8 Harvard. With both opponents jockeying for playoff position in the ECAC Hockey standings, the Bulldogs have a chance to play spoiler against two of their oldest rivals. Following Saturday's game, Yale turns the page by heading to a Boston Blades game that is a fundraiser in memory of their teammate Mandi Schwartz '10 (1988-2011).

Yale (1-25-1, 1-18-1 ECAC Hockey) will look to build off the positives from last weekend, including snapping a long losing streak with a 1-1 overtime tie vs. Colgate on Friday. That game was highlighted by an 18-shot first period for Yale, the most shots in any period by the Bulldogs all season. Senior goaltender Genny Ladiges (Almonte, Ont.) made 43 saves that night, then tied her career high with 47 saves in the loss to No. 3 Cornell Saturday. After falling behind 5-0 in the first two periods, the Bulldogs regrouped and limited the Big Red to just one goal in the final frame.

Both of Yale's goals last weekend came from sophomore forward Jackie Raines (London, Ont.), who leads the team with nine goals and is tied with senior forward Aleca Hughes (Westwood, Mass.) for the team lead in points (12). Raines is looking to join a select group of four players who have led Yale in goals in both their freshman and sophomore seasons: Reedie Field '82, Maria Dennis '88, Lauren Schlesinger '94 and Crysti Howser '09. Raines has four goals and one assist since returning from an injury nine games ago.

Dartmouth (16-8-2, 12-6-2 ECAC Hockey) enters the weekend just two points away from one of the four home-ice spots in the ECAC Hockey playoffs. The Big Green is two points behind St. Lawrence, which plays at Colgate and Cornell this weekend. Dartmouth is one of only two ECAC Hockey teams to have beaten Cornell this year, but the Big Green is coming off a 4-2 loss to eighth-place RPI.

Dartmouth goalie Lindsay Holdcroft is ranked in the top 10 nationally in both save percentage (10th, .927) and goals-against average (7th, 1.85).

Saturday's game marks the end of the Yale careers of seniors Hughes, Ladiges, forward Lauren Davis (Morrison, Colo.) and defenseman Heather Grant (Toronto, Ont.). Harvard (18-8-1, 15-4-1 ECAC Hockey) enters the weekend in second place in the ECAC Hockey standings, but third-place Clarkson is within a point and fourth-place St. Lawrence is within three points. The Crimson has been on a roll of late, winning four of five -- including a 10-1 rout of Princeton.

Harvard goalie Laura Bellamy posted her sixth shutout of the season her last Saturday in the 1-0 win at Union, tying her for fourth in the country in that category. She also blanked the Bulldogs with nine saves when Yale and Harvard met three weeks ago at Ingalls Rink. All told, the Harvard defense is ranked No. 8 in the country (1.89 goals per game).

Following Saturday's game, the Bulldogs will head to Burbank Arena in Reading, Mass., for the CWHL game between the Boston Blades and the Burlington Barracudas. Former Yale player Bray Ketchum '11 and current Yale assistant coach Jessica Koizumi both play for the Blades and are organizing a fundraiser for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation at the game. The foundation, started by Hughes, is named in memory of the late Yale center whose courageous battle with cancer inspired many throughout the world of hockey and beyond. The Bulldogs will also soon begin work on the first big event of the offseason, the Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive at Yale, which takes place in April. 

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