Third Season under Flygh Starts Oct. 19
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The 2012-13 Yale women's ice hockey season gets underway Friday, Oct. 19 at Robert Morris. The Bulldogs enter their third season under head coach Joakim Flygh looking to make a move up in the ECAC Hockey standings and challenge for one of the league's eight playoff spots. Senior forward Alyssa Zupon captains the Bulldogs in their 36th varsity season.
Four senior forwards will provide leadership for the offense. Jen Matichuk has developed steadily over the past three years, cutting her penalties down from 18 as a freshman to five each of the last two seasons. She has one career goals and three career assists. Danielle Moncion provides some scoring punch (5-4-9 last season, fourth on the team in points) and toughness. Moncion, who earned the team's Wendy Blanning Award as the most improved player, has played in all 87 games of the last three years. Natalie Wedell has been one of Yale's most versatile players, having spent time at forward and on defense -- plus a stint as emergency goaltender. Also a thrower for the Yale track and field team, she has three assists and just three penalties in 75 career games.
Zupon, the fourth senior forward, has 22 assists over the past three seasons -- more than all but two Yale players in that span. She is also one of the Bulldogs' best defensive players, and even spent some time as a defenseman last year when the team was beset with injuries. Zupon led the team in face-offs, winning nearly 62 percent.
There are four junior forwards on the roster as well. Paige Decker notched her first career point last season and is one of Yale's fastest players. Ashley Dunbar missed nearly a quarter of the season with an injury, but still managed to contribute three goals and an assist while incurring only four penalties. Patricia McGauley has avoided the penalty box for her entire career, playing 51 penalty-free games while adding one goal and two assists. Jackie Raines has had the biggest impact of all on the scoring column, leading the Bulldogs in points (9-10-19) as a freshman and finishing second (9-3-12) last year. She has led the team in power-play goals each of the past two seasons, including five in 2011-12.
Sophomore Lynn Kennedy emerged as a leader by example last year with her work ethic on and off the ice, earning the team's Coaches' Award and also the Mandi Schwartz Award for courage, grit and determination. She finished with three goals and three assists, incurring only two penalties. Stephanie Mock, a four-time USA Hockey player development camp participant, finished second on the team in assists and third in points (3-8-11),
The freshman forwards are Hanna Åström (Örnsköldsvik, Sweden), Janelle Ferrara (Winthrop, Mass.) and Jamie Haddad (Wilbraham, Mass.). Åström attended the Team Sweden U-20 Women's National Team Elite Camp in 2012. She won a bronze medal at the 2010 IIHF World Women's U-18 Championship with Team Sweden, and won the 4 Nations Tournament in 2009 in Moscow with the U-18 team. Ferrara and Haddad won multiple national titles as teammates with Assabet Valley. Ferrara also captained the Rivers School and was a first team Division II New England Girls Prep All-Star. Haddad captained Deerfield and earned the team MVP award. A first team Division I New England Girls Prep All-Star, she finished her high school career with 100 points (67 goals, 33 assists).
Two seniors lead the defensive corps. Sidelined for more than two months after the first game of the season last year, Emily DesMeules returned to help stabilize the defense over the final 14 games and has now played in 67 career games. Jamie Gray is Yale's most experienced defender, with 85 games under her belt. She has eight career points, all on assists.
Junior Aurora Kennedy (no relation to Lynn Kennedy) missed all of last season and the final 10 games of her freshman season due to injury. A former Team Canada U-18 camp selection, she had scored her first career goal two games before getting hurt.
After missing last season -- and the final 12 games of her sophomore season -- with an injury, junior Tara Tomimoto is back and capable of contributing both offensively and defensively. She has 15 points, including 12 assists, in 43 career games.
Sophomore Madi Murray appeared in 20 games last season. Coming from a family with deep roots in the hockey world (her three sisters all play, her uncle Andy Murray coached in the NHL and her cousin Sara Murray played at Minnesota-Duluth while Flygh was an assistant coach there), Murray should be a steady contributor this season.
Two freshmen join the Yale defense this year. Ali Austin (Edina, Minn.) has attended multiple USA Hockey player development camps. She was an honorable mention all-state selection last season with Edina. Kate Martini (King City, Ont.) won a PWHL Championship with the Toronto Aeros in 2011 and brings a hard slap shot that should help the Bulldogs generate some offense from the blue line.
Yale has two returning goalies and one addition. Senior Erin Callahan has appeared in four games for her career, highlighted by a 32-save effort at Harvard as a sophomore that helped the Bulldogs pull out a 3-3 tie. She has stopped 71 of 80 shots for her career.
Sophomore Jaimie Leonoff had some shining moments last season. There were five games where she made 34 or more saves -- including back-to-back games at Mercyhurst where she made 52 and then 63 stops.
Freshman Rachelle Graham (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) joins the Yale program and could contribute immediately. She has earned a pair of invitations to Team Canada's U-18 Strength and Development Camp. At 5-10, she is the tallest player on Yale's roster.
Live video of all regular season home games will be available on Yale All-Access once again this year. Live stats will be available as well. Student radio station WYBC.com will have an audio broadcast of Satuday's 4:00 exhibition game vs. Toronto.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity