Last Game Before Break Takes Yale to Providence

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Aurora Kennedy. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Final Non-Conference Game of the Year Friday Night

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's ice hockey team wraps up the first half of the season -- and the non-conference portion of its schedule -- this Friday night at Providence (7:00 p.m.). A win would give the Bulldogs a 4-3-1 mark in their last eight games before winter break, a significant turnaround after starting the season 0-5-0.

This past weekend Yale (3-8-1, 2-3-1 ECAC Hockey) advanced to the championship of the Nutmeg Classic for the eighth time in the tournament's 10 year history, beating UConn 5-4 in the first round Friday but falling to No. 8 Quinnipiac 3-2 in the championship Saturday. The game against Quinnipiac marked the seventh time in the season's first 12 games that the Bulldogs played a team currently ranked in the top 10. They are 0-6-1 in those games, but three of the losses were by one goal.

Freshman forward Phoebe Staenz (Zurich, Switzerland) was named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week and was named to the all-tournament team at the Nutmeg Classic after scoring five points in two games (two goals, three assists). She assisted on the game-winning goal by freshman defenseman Taylor Marchin (Algonac, Mich.) in the final minute of the win vs. UConn on Friday. Staenz has 10 points (2-8-10) in the six games since she returned from playing for Team Switzerland at the Smile Japan Bridgestone Blizzak Challenge in Tokyo. She has taken over the team lead in assists and points (3-9-12).

With 51 shots so far, Staenz is a major reason why Yale has increased its average shots on goal per game by 24 percent compared to last season (from 19.5 to 24.2).

Freshman forward Krista Yip-Chuck (Whitby, Ont.) leads Yale in goals with four. The freshman class has produced nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points, trailing only the sophomore class (11-18-29) in the three primary scoring categories. The sophomore class includes two of Yale's top three in points -- forward Janelle Ferrara (Winthrop, Mass.) is second (3-7-10) and forward Jamie Haddad (Wilbraham, Mass.) is third (3-6-9).

Ferrara has eight points in the last six games. She and senior defenseman Aurora Kennedy (Mississauga, Ont.) lead Yale in +/- at +2. Kennedy has yet to incur a penalty this season, and has played 17 straight penalty-free games dating back to last season.

Junior goaltender Jaimie Leonoff (Montreal, Que.) made 50 saves over the weekend, giving her 402 for the season. She is one of only six goalies in the country with 400 or more saves right now. She has a .916 save percentage and a 3.36 goals-against average.

Leonoff made 47 saves last year vs. Providence, but the Friars came away with a 3-2 win by scoring with 17 seconds left in overtime.

Providence (7-10-0, 3-5-0 Hockey East) has won three games in a row, including a 3-2 overtime victory vs. Brown in the 19th annual Mayor's Cup this past Saturday. That was the 265th win for head coach Bob Deraney, giving him the school record in that category.

The game vs. Brown was the Friars' fifth vs. an ECAC Hockey opponent this season. Providence split a series with Union to open the season and dropped a pair to No. 6 Clarkson in mid-November. Forward Corinne Buie leads the Friars in assists and points (7-13-20), including five power play goals. Forward Cassidy Carels, a gold medal winner at the World Championship with the Canadian Under-18 Team earlier this year, leads Providence in goals with nine. Sarah Bryant has an .883 save percentage and a 3.06 goals-against average.

After the game at Providence, Yale takes a break for exams and the holidays. The Bulldogs will not play again until hosting Colgate on Friday, Jan. 3.

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

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