Bulldogs End Four-Week Break
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The first games after a month-long break for the Yale women's ice hockey team take place Jan. 4-5, as the Bulldogs host McGill in an exhibition that Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Providence that Saturday at 4:00 p.m.
Yale (2-11-1, 1-6-1 ECAC Hockey) last played on Dec. 8, when the Bulldogs fell 4-3 at RPI despite a three-assist game from junior defenseman Aurora Kennedy (Mississauga, Ont.). They start the second half of the season three points behind the two teams tied for seventh and eighth in the conference (Princeton and RPI), which represent the last two ECAC Hockey playoff spots. Yale has 12 more conference games remaining.
After 14 games last season Yale had just 13 goals, so the Bulldogs' total this season (19) represents an improvement of nearly 50%. They had allowed 75 goals after 14 games last year, and they have cut that figure down by nearly 40% (to 47). Sophomore goalie Jaimie Leonoff (Montreal, Que.) has been a major reason for that, as she has improved her save percentage from .865 to .917. She is third in the country with 505 saves, including three games with 40 or more saves (a season high of 50).
Yale's offense has benefitted from the contributions of a freshman class that has more goals (12), assists (14) and points (26) than any other class. In fact, only three schools in ECAC Hockey have gotten more goals from their freshmen than the Bulldogs have (St. Lawrence 20, Cornell 16 and RPI 16).
Two freshmen, forward Janelle Ferrara (Winthrop, Mass.) and defenseman Kate Martini (King City, Ont.), are tied for the team lead in points with eight. This could thus wind up being the second time in seven years that a freshman has led Yale in scoring. Freshman forward Jamie Haddad (Wilbraham, Mass.) is third (4-3-7), followed by junior defenseman Tara Tomimoto (Calgary, Alta.) (1-4-5).
McGill (15-8-0, 11-0-0 CIS), the top-ranked team in Canadian Interuniversity Sport, has won 10 straight heading into the Dec. 28-29 Laurier Invitational. Six of the Martlet's eight losses have come against NCAA teams, including three against ECAC Hockey schools (Dartmouth, Harvard and St. Lawrence). They did beat Brown 3-1 in the final game before winter break. Forward Melodie Daoust, a second team All-Canadian last year, is the team's top scorer (14-21-35), followed by forward Leslie Oles (15-12-27). Taylor Salisbury has played the majority of the minutes in goal, posting a .946 save percentage and a 1.13 goals-against average.
Providence (8-8-4, 5-4-2 Hockey East), which beat McGill 3-2, ends a 24-day break by hosting Dartmouth Dec. 31. The Friars were just 1-4-3 in their final eight games before break, allowing four or more goals three times. During that stretch they went 1-1-1 against ECAC Hockey teams, beating Union, tying Brown and losing to Harvard.
Forward Nicole Anderson -- the tallest player on the Providence roster at six feet tall -- leads the team in scoring (12-8-20), including five power play goals. Goalie Sarah Bryant has a .887 save percentage and a 2.98 goals-against average.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity