15 Regular Season Home Games on Slate; Season Starts Oct. 24 at Providence
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's ice hockey team will once again test itself against some of the nation's best teams in 2014-15. At least 11 games against teams that ended the past season ranked in the top 10 -- including at least two games against defending NCAA champion Clarkson -- highlight the 2014-15 schedule, which was announced Thursday. Yale is scheduled to play at least eight games against teams that made the 2014 NCAA tournament.
The Bulldogs open the regular season Oct. 24 at Providence and start ECAC Hockey play Oct. 31 vs. St. Lawrence. The games vs. No. 1 Clarkson (at Ingalls Rink Nov. 1, at Cheel Arena Jan. 30, and possibly in the Nutmeg Classic Nov. 29) mark the second year in a row that the Bulldogs face a team that is the reigning NCAA champion. Last year, Yale hosted Minnesota (the 2012 and 2013 NCAA Champion) for a pair of games at Ingalls.
This is Yale's fifth season under head coach Joakim Flygh, whose staff includes assistant coaches Eddie Ardito and Jessica Koizumi and volunteer assistant Chris Ardito. Rising senior defenseman Aurora Kennedy (Mississauga, Ont.) is the Bulldogs' captain. The team's top returning scorer is rising sophomore forward Phoebe Staenz (Zürich, Switzerland) (11-15-26), who earned a bronze medal with Switzerland in the Olympics earlier this year.
The Bulldogs are coming off a season in which they posted their best winning percentage in six years. Yale also made its first ECAC Hockey Championship playoff appearance since 2008, and earned its first postseason win since 2005 with a 3-2 double overtime win at then-No. 5 Harvard in game one of the quarterfinals. The team scored 51 goals in ECAC Hockey games -- the most for Yale since 2006-07. Of those 51 goals in conference games, 48 came from juniors, sophomores and freshmen. The Bulldogs thus have more conference goals returning next year than all but two other ECAC Hockey teams.
All of Yale's top five scorers from last season return, along with all three goalies and all but one defenseman.
Here is a breakdown of the schedule for 2014-15, Yale's 38th varsity season:
- Yale's regular season schedule consists of 29 games. That includes 22 games against ECAC Hockey opponents -- one home game and one away game against each of the other 11 teams in the league (Brown, Clarkson, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Quinnipiac, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Union).
- The regular season schedule includes seven non-conference games: Oct. 24 at Providence, Oct. 25 vs. Providence, Nov. 8 vs. Boston University, Nov. 21 vs. Sacred Heart, Nov. 25 vs. Boston College and two games at the Nutmeg Classic Nov. 28 and Nov. 29.
- There are 15 regular season home games on the schedule. There is also an exhibition game vs. McGill at Ingalls Rink on Oct. 12, and a scrimmage vs. Sacred Heart at Ingalls Rink on Oct. 17.
- Yale is scheduled to play at least 11 games against teams that ended last season ranked in the final 2013-14 USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national poll (No. 1 Clarkson at least twice, No. 4 Cornell twice, No. 5 Boston College, No. 7 Harvard twice, No. 9 Boston University and No. 10 Quinnipiac three times).
- The schedule includes at least eight games against teams that took part in the 2014 NCAA Tournament: No. 1 Clarkson (NCAA champions) at least twice, No. 4 Cornell (advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals) twice, No. 5 Boston College (advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals), No. 7 Harvard (advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals) twice and No. 9 Boston University (advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals).
- The 11th annual Nutmeg Classic takes place at UConn's Freitas Ice Forum in November. The tournament features three women's ice hockey teams from the state of Connecticut ("The Nutmeg State"): Yale, Quinnipiac and UConn. The fourth team this year is Clarkson. The Bulldogs will play Quinnipiac in the first round Friday, Nov. 28. The consolation and championship games are Saturday, Nov. 29. Yale has advanced to the championship game eight times in 10 years, and won the championship in 2006-07.
- Yale's final regular season home game, Saturday Feb. 21 vs. Princeton, will include Senior Day ceremonies. The Bulldogs will pay tribute to the team's five seniors: defenseman Aurora Kennedy (Mississauga, Ont.), goaltender Jaimie Leonoff (Montréal, Qué.), forward Stephanie Mock (Cape Coral, Fla.), defenseman Madi Murray (Medicine Hat, Alta.) and forward Jackie Raines (London, Ont.).
- The 2015 ECAC Hockey playoffs begin Feb. 27 and determine which team gets the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. The top eight teams in the league make the ECAC Hockey playoffs, with the top four seeds hosting teams five through eight (No. 1 vs. No. 8, No. 2 vs. No. 7, etc.) in a best-of-three quarterfinal series. The winners of those series then play the semifinals and championship the weekend of Mar. 7. Yale has made eight ECAC Hockey playoff appearances in the last 13 years.
- The NCAA tournament, which includes eight teams, begins Friday Mar. 13 with quarterfinal games at campus sites. The winners of those quarterfinal games advance to the Frozen Four, which takes place in Minneapolis on Mar. 20 and 22. The winners of the ECAC Hockey, Hockey East and WCHA playoffs each receive automatic berths in the NCAA tournament field. There are also five at-large berths.
- Links to live stats and live video of games will be available on yalebulldogs.com where applicable.
- The schedule is subject to change. Check yalebulldogs.com for updates.