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Annual Awards Announced at Team Banquet

The Yale women's ice hockey huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
The Yale women's ice hockey huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Captain Hughes Earns Two Awards

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The 2011-12 Yale women's ice hockey team gathered Saturday for the annual team banquet at The Course at Yale. The Bulldogs announced the winners of the six team awards, along with introducing the 2012-13 captain: junior forward Alyssa Zupon (Basking Ridge, N.J.).

The Bulldogs, who led the annual Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive at Yale on Thursday, spent Saturday acknowledging one of the players who has been one of the driving forces behind their efforts to keep the memory of Mandi Schwartz '10 (1988-2011) alive. Senior forward Aleca Hughes (Westwood, Mass.), Yale's captain, won the team's Bingham Award for leadership because of her contributions on and off the ice.

Hughes was instrumental in planning the marrow donor drives in Mandi's name. The four drives at Yale so far have added more than 3,000 potential donors to the Be The Match Registry for patients with life-threatening illnesses, and located at least six genetic matches who made marrow donations. Hughes also started the team's annual "White Out for Mandi" fundraiser game. This past year's "White Out" raised more than $25,000 for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation, the charity that Hughes started last year.

For her leadership efforts, Hughes has also already been awarded the 2012 BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award and the Sarah Devens Award. This coming Wednesday night she will be in Atlanta as one of five finalists nationwide for the Coach John Wooden Citizenship Cup, presented by Athletes for a Better World. She and the Mandi Schwartz Foundation were also finalists for the National Consortium for Academics and Sports' Giant Steps Award earlier this year.

Hughes also won Yale's Richard H. Brodhead '68 Award, given to the player "who has contributed significantly to the success of the team while excelling academically." An American studies major, she will earn her fourth ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team selection this season.

The Coaches' Award, given by the staff based on work ethic, attitude and commitment to the core values of the Yale women's ice hockey program, went to freshman forward Lynn Kennedy (Markham, Ont.). Kennedy, one of Yale's fastest skaters and most tenacious forecheckers, had six points (3-3-6) while playing in all 29 games.

Kennedy also shared the Mandi Schwartz Award, given for courage, grit and determination. The player she shared that award with, senior goalie Genny Ladiges (Almonte, Ont.), was also named most valuable player. Ladiges finished her career fourth on Yale's career goals-against average list (3.54) and sixth on Yale's career save percentage list (.898). She started 12 of Yale's final 13 games, and made 40 or more saves in a game 10 times this season.

The Wendy Blanning Award, given to the most improved player on the team, went to junior forward Danielle Moncion (Round Lake Center, Ont.). Moncion finished fourth on the team in scoring (5-4-9), scoring more goals this season than she had in her first two seasons combined while centering one of Yale's top lines.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity