Home Opener Friday vs. Princeton; No. 7 Quinnipiac in Town Saturday

Hanna Åström. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Hanna Åström. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Seek First Win

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After four straight road games to start the season, the Yale women's ice hockey team skates on home ice for the first time this Friday vs. Princeton (7:00 p.m.). No. 7 Quinnipiac comes to Ingalls Rink on Saturday (4:00 p.m.).

Yale (0-4-0, 0-2-0 ECAC Hockey) opened its season with one-goal losses at two teams currently ranked in the top 10, No. 5 BC and No. 10 BU. Last weekend the Bulldogs started conference play with losses at St. Lawrence and another top-10 team, No. 6 Clarkson.

Against the Golden Knights and the Saints the Bulldogs got away from what had enabled them to be competitive in their first two games; they incurred 14 penalties and allowed three power play goals last weekend. Against BC and BU they incurred just nine penalties and allowed only one power play goal.

Junior goaltender Jaimie Leonoff (Montreal, Que.) has made 36 or more saves in three of the first four games, and has an .899 save percentage and a 4.38 goals-against average so far.

Sophomore defenseman Kate Martini (King City, Ont.) scored Yale's goal last weekend, becoming the fifth different player to score a goal for the Bulldogs this season. Last year she led the team in points, was second on the team in assists and tied for second in goals (6-10-16). She was the first pure defenseman to lead Yale in scoring since Lukey MacMullen '84 in 1983-84 (10-12-22).

Martini is one of four Bulldogs with more than one point this season, a list that also includes sophomore forward Hanna Åström (Örnsköldsvik, Sweden), sophomore forward Jamie Haddad (Wilbraham, Mass.) and freshman forward Phoebe Staenz (Zurich, Switzerland) (all with two each). The freshmen and sophomore classes have accounted for 10 of Yale's 13 points so far this season.

The last time Yale faced Princeton (Feb 23, 2013 at Ingalls Rink), the Bulldogs came away with a 4-2 win as Erin Callahan '13 made 34 saves. Yale's goals that day -- Senior Day -- came from junior forward Lynn Kennedy (Markham, Ont.), senior defenseman Tara Tomimoto (Calgary, Alta.), Natalie Wedell '13 and Alyssa Zupon '13. That Yale win knocked Princeton out of the eighth and final ECAC Hockey playoff spot.

Princeton (2-2-0, 2-2-0 ECAC Hockey) scored 10 goals in two games last weekend, falling to No. 3 Cornell 5-4 but beating Colgate 6-2. Forward Jaimie McDonnell leads the Tigers in scoring (2-3-5). Ashley Holt (.952 save percentage, 1.21 goals-against average) and Kimberly Newell (.845, 4.73) have both seen time in net. Holt's save percentage places her third in the NCAA.

Quinnipiac (7-1-2, 2-1-1 ECAC Hockey), which plays at Brown on Friday, has already gotten four shutouts this season. Chelsea Laden has a .950 save percentage (fifth in the NCAA) and a 1.02 goals-against average (second in the NCAA). Forward Kelly Babstock is tied for the NCAA lead in points (7-10-17).

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