Rivals No. 5 Harvard and Dartmouth Visit as Bulldogs Pay Tribute to Seniors, Host Alums

Paige Decker, Patricia McGauley, Ashley Dunbar and Tara Tomimoto. (photo by David Silverman, DSPics.com)
Paige Decker, Patricia McGauley, Ashley Dunbar and Tara Tomimoto. (photo by David Silverman, DSPics.com)

Alumnae Day and Senior Day Saturday

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – With a berth in the ECAC Hockey playoffs secured last Saturday, the Yale women's ice hockey team looks to gather momentum in the final weekend of the regular season as No. 5 Harvard (Friday, 7:00 p.m.) and Dartmouth (Saturday, 4:00 p.m.) come to Ingalls Rink. The Bulldogs, who will honor their four seniors at Saturday's game, will finish in either sixth or seventh place in the final standings. This is also Alumnae Weekend.

Yale (8-13-6, 6-8-6 ECAC Hockey) clinched a berth in the postseason win a 5-3 win last Saturday at Princeton, rallying from a 2-0 deficit thanks to four goals from junior forward Jackie Raines (London, Ont.) and 47 saves from junior goaltender Jaimie Leonoff (Montréal, Qué). Freshman forward Krista Yip-Chuck (Whitby, Ont.) also scored. This marks the first time since 2008 that Yale will appear in the ECAC Hockey playoffs.

Raines, who was named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week on Wednesday, now has eight goals and four assists in 10 games this season. She missed all of last season with an injury, and did not return to the ice until Jan. 3 this year. She has at least one point in each of her last three games, and has been held without a point just three times since she made her return.

Yip-Chuck also brings a three-game point-scoring streak into the weekend. She has two goals and four assists in that span.

Yale's leading scorer, freshman forward Phoebe Staenz (Zürich, Switzerland) (9-14-23), will return from the Olympics this weekend. Staenz and Switzerland play Sweden for the bronze medal on Thursday at 7:00 a.m. Eastern time (televised on the NBC Sports Network).

The eight goals that Yale scored this past weekend represented the team's best weekend scoring total since scoring eight in a sweep at Rensselaer and Union Nov. 15-16. The Bulldogs are averaging 2.41 goals per game, a 71 percent increase over last season. This is their highest goals-per-game average since the 2006-07 team averaged 3.10 goals per game.

The Bulldogs have five power play goals in their last six games, a dramatic improvement after scoring one power play goal in the 10 previous games.

With a +4 weekend, sophomore forward Janelle Ferrara (Winthrop, Mass.) has taken over the team lead in +/- for the season at +10. That is the best +/- for a Yale player since the 2006-07 season, when four players were +12 or better -- led by a +24 from Sheila Zingler '07. Ferrara has nearly doubled her point total from a year ago, improving from 6-6-12 to 5-16-21. Her 16 assists are the most by a Yale player since Crysti Howser '09 had 19 in 2007-08.

Leonoff's 47-save effort on Saturday marked the fifth time this season she has made 40 or more saves in a game. Her .921 save percentage for the season puts her on pace for the 10th-best single season save percentage in Yale history. Her eight wins this season are the most by a Yale goalie since Jackee Snikeris '11 won eight in 2008-09.

Saturday's game will mark the final home game for Yale's Class of 2014, and after the game the Bulldogs will pay tribute to the seniors: forward Paige Decker (New Preston, Conn.), forward Ashley Dunbar (Hillsborough, N.J.), forward Patricia McGauley (Wilcox, Sask.) and defenseman Tara Tomimoto (Calgary, Alta.).

Decker has appeared in 88 games for her career, scoring a pair of goals and adding three assists. She did not miss a game in her sophomore or junior seasons, but was sidelined by an injury after 10 games this season. She is a three-time ECAC Hockey All-Academic team selection, and is a member of Trumbull College majoring in American Studies.

Dunbar has appeared in 84 games for her career, scoring five goals and adding five assists. She did not miss a game last season, but was sidelined by an injury after seven games this season. She earned ECAC Hockey All-Academic team honors last season and is a member of Silliman College majoring in history of science, history of medicine.

McGauley has appeared in 103 career games, more than any current Bulldog.  She has four career goals and five career assists. At one point in her career she went 52 straight games without incurring a penalty. An accomplished singer, she frequently sings the National Anthem at home games. She is a three-time ECAC Hockey All-Academic team selection and is a member of Saybrook College majoring in philosophy.

Tomimoto, elected captain by her teammates, has been one of Yale's top defensive players throughout her career. She has appeared in 99 career games and has eight goals and 34 assists. She is 19th on Yale's career assists list, and led the team in assists last season. She is a three-time ECAC Hockey All-Academic selection, and last year she earned the Yale women's ice hockey team's Brodhead Award for academic achievement. She is a member of Calhoun College majoring in economics.

Initially a member of the Class of 2014, defenseman Aurora Kennedy (Mississauga, Ont.) missed the entire 2011-12 season due to injury and intends to return to play next year. She has 10 assists in 27 games this year.

There are two very different incentives for Yale's opponents at Ingalls this weekend. Harvard enters the weekend with a shot at the ECAC Hockey Championship, as the Crimson is tied for second place -- one point behind league-leading Cornell. Dartmouth (7-18-1, 6-13-1 ECAC Hockey), meanwhile, is fighting for the final playoff spot. The Big Green enters the weekend on the outside looking in as far as the postseason is concerned, trailing eighth-place Rensselaer by one point. Dartmouth plays at Brown Friday night, when Rensselaer visits Clarkson. The Big Green must also keep an eye on 10th-place Colgate, which is one point behind Dartmouth in the standings. The Raiders host Princeton on Friday and Quinnipiac on Saturday.

Yale knocked off Harvard 2-0 earlier this year at Bright-Landry Hockey Center, with Leonoff making 29 saves to become the first Bulldog to shut out the Crimson since 1980. The Bulldogs' goals came from Raines and sophomore defenseman Kate Martini (King City, Ont.).

Since that loss Harvard has gone 8-2-1, allowing more than two goals in a game just twice. Forward Miye D'Oench leads the Crimson in scoring (15-14-29), and a total of five Crimson players have at least 20 points this season. Goalie Emerance Maschmeyer has a .950 save percentage and a 1.54 goals-against average.

Dartmouth edged Yale 5-4 the last time these two teams met, part of a 4-1-1 stretch that pulled the Big Green into the thick of the chase for one of those eight ECAC Hockey playoff spots. But after dropping five in a row -- and scoring just six goals in five games -- the Big Green is now in jeopardy of missing out on the ECAC Hockey postseason for just the second time since the 1991-92 season. Forward Lindsey Allen (13-8-21) leads the team in scoring, and Lindsay Holdcroft has a .896 save percentage and a 2.93 goals-against average.


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