January 7, 2014

New England Road Trip Takes Yale to Dartmouth, No. 4 Harvard

Bulldogs 5-4-1 in Last 10 Games

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's ice hockey team heads North this weekend for a pair of ECAC Hockey games, visiting Dartmouth on Friday night (7:00 p.m.) and No. 4 Harvard on Saturday afternoon (4:00 p.m.).

Yale (5-9-1, 3-4-1 ECAC Hockey) returned to the ice this past weekend after nearly a month off and split a pair of conference games. The Bulldogs beat Colgate 6-4 on Friday, getting two goals and an assist from freshman forward Krista Yip-Chuck (Whitby, Ont.), and fell to No. 3 Cornell 3-0 on Saturday.

With six goals last weekend Yale now has 35 goals for the season, and needs only six more to match the team's total from all of last year. The Bulldogs are averaging 2.33 goals per game, their best average since the 2006-07 season (3.10 goals per game).

Yale's leading scorer, freshman forward Phoebe Staenz (Zürich, Switzerland) missed the games this past weekend as she played for her native Switzerland at the Nations Cup in Germany. Staenz had one goal and an assist in three games as the Swiss team finished fifth. Staenz has seven goals and nine assists in 11 games so far for Yale. With four more points she will become the first Bulldog to reach the 20-point mark since Bray Ketchum '11 in 2009-10 (12-11-23).

Besides Staenz, the Bulldogs have three other players with double-digit point totals: sophomore forward Janelle Ferrara (Winthrop, Mass.) (4-8-12), junior forward Stephanie Mock (Cape Coral, Fla.) (3-7-10) and sophomore forward Jamie Haddad (Wilbraham, Mass.) (3-7-10). Haddad has a team-best eight points (2-6-8) in conference games.

Yale has also received significant offensive contributions from its defensemen, as the team's blueliners (sophomore Ali Austin (Edina, Minn.), senior Aurora Kennedy (Mississauga, Ont.), freshman Taylor Marchin (Algonac, Mich.), sophomore Kate Martini (King City, Ont.), sophomore Madi Murray (Medicine Hat, Alta.) and senior Tara Tomimoto (Calgary, Alta.)) have combined for 15 points on three goals and 12 assists. Another defenseman, freshman Abby Gahm (Eagle River, Alaska), recently converted to forward and scored her first career goal this past weekend. Freshman forward Gretchen Tarrant (Colchester, Vt.) got her first career assist on that play.

Junior goaltender Jaimie Leonoff (Montreal, Que.) made 65 saves last weekend, and has made 30 or more saves in four straight games. She has a .918 save percentage and a 3.22 goals-against average for the season.

All 14 games left on Yale's schedule are ECAC Hockey games, and the eight conference playoff spots -- including four with home-ice advantage for the quarterfinals -- remain up for grabs. The two teams directly ahead of Yale in the standings (No. 6 Clarkson and St. Lawrence) play each other twice this weekend, so a four-point weekend could lift the Bulldogs into a tie for sixth.

Yale has never finished ahead of Dartmouth in the ECAC Hockey standings, but the seventh-place Bulldogs currently have a three-point lead on the Big Green (tied for ninth) and have a game in hand.

Dartmouth (3-12-0, 2-7-0) nearly upset No. 8 BU in its first game back from break Jan. 4, falling 3-2 on a power play goal. That snapped a string of 16 straight successful Big Green penalty kills. Head coach Mark Hudak needs one more win to get to 200 for his career, but Dartmouth is on pace to finish with a losing record for just the third time since the start of the 1981-82 season. The Big Green is just a year removed from going 16-10-5 overall, but lost four of the top five scorers from last year's team to graduation. Forward Lindsey Allen leads the team in goals and points (6-2-8), and has a team-best three power play goals.

Goalie Lindsay Holdcroft, who has played the most minutes in goal of Dartmouth's three netminders, has a .906 save percentage and a 2.78 goals-against average. Freshman Robyn Chemago got the start in net against BU and made 28 saves.

With head coach Katey Stone coaching the United States Olympic Team, Maura Crowell has filled in admirably as Harvard's interim head coach. Harvard (10-1-2, 7-1-1 ECAC Hockey), which plays at UConn on Tuesday and hosts Brown on Friday, enters the week with the second-best scoring defense in the country (allowing 1.00 goals per game, second to Wisconsin's 0.95). Part of the reason for that is that the Crimson has the best penalty kill in the nation, at 97.0 percent -- nearly five percentage points better than second-place Clarkson.

Forward Miye D'Oench and Samantha Reber are tied for the Harvard team lead in points with 12. Goalie Emerance Maschmeyer has a .961 save percentage and a 1.17 goals-against average.

Harvard is 7-0-2 at home this season, and has not lost at Bright-Landry Hockey Center since Feb. 23, 2013 (3-1 to Clarkson).

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