NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's ice hockey team welcomes five incoming freshmen to the roster for 2016-17. The Class of 2020, which was announced Friday, includes three forwards, one defenseman and one goalie. The group includes three Canadians and two Americans.
The incoming freshmen have had many accomplishments on the ice, including one who won a silver medal playing for Canada's Under-18 team at the IIHF U18 Championship (defenseman Saroya Tinker (Oshawa, Ont.)). They have served in leadership roles, with all having been captains or assistant captains of teams. One was a semi-finalist for the prestigious Minnesota Ms. Hockey Award -- forward Laura Anderson (Lino Lakes, Minn.).
The incoming freshmen have also been recognized for their work in other fields, including one who earned honorable mention in the short story category from Scholastic Arts and Writing (goaltender Tera Hofmann (Toronto, Ont.)). They have also taken on significant projects such as inventing a product and bringing it to market (forward Kirsten Nergaard (Stamford, Conn.) and the "Kick-it Trainer").
The members of the Class of 2020 have been active in their communities as well -- for example, forward Sophie Veronneau (Ottawa, Ont.) has volunteered with both Do it for Daron (raising awareness of youth mental health issues) and at the at the Centretown Emergency Food Centre in Ottawa.
The incoming freshmen join a program that is entering its seventh year under Joakim Flygh, Yale's Susan Cavanagh Head Coach of Women's Ice Hockey. In 2016-17 the Bulldogs return five of their top seven scorers, along with their starting goalie and all but one defenseman, from last season.
Here is a look at the incoming Bulldogs:
Lino Lakes, Minn.
Hill-Murray High School
Minnesota Elite Team Black
USA Hockey: Minnesota Final 54 in Advanced 17s as a sophomore.
Minnesota Elite Team Black: Second place in 2016 USA U19 Hockey National Championship Tournament.
Hill-Murray High School: Team captain 2015-2016 … Minnesota State Girls Hockey Coaches Association 2015-2016 all-state team … Metro East All Conference 2015-2016 … 2016 Minnesota Ms. Hockey Award semi-finalist … Hill-Murray Girls Hockey Varsity Player of the Year 2014-15 … Wells Fargo 2015 Minnesota State AA all-tournament team … All-conference honorable mention 2014-15 and 2013-14 … Team finished first at Minnesota State AA Hockey Tournament twice (2014 and 2015), second once (2013) and third once (2016) … Tennis team for four years … Honorable mention all-conference in tennis as a senior … Bronze Service Award (30 service experiences) … Peer Tutor.
Why Yale? "I chose Yale because of the great academics, the coaching staff, and the players on the hockey team. I want to continue challenging myself in hockey and in academics."
Ursula Franklin Academy
Durham West Junior Lightning
Hockey Canada: Team Ontario U18 selection camp 2015-16.
Durham West Junior Lightning: In top 10 in GAA in league … MVP in final four championship weekend (presented by Mayor Hazel McCallion) … Team was league regular season champions, had best team GAA in league.
Ursula Franklin Academy: Was on basketball, soccer, badminton and volleyball (girls and co-ed) teams … Captained soccer and volleyball teams … Gold athletic medal for earning 115 athletic points for being on school teams and intramurals … Badminton OFSAA Qualifying round 2014-15 (co-ed doubles) … Peer Mediator 2012-2016; extensive knowledge and training in dealing with conflict resolution … Contributor to LGBTQ+ advocacy programs within school, including Students Against Stereotyping Sexuality … Member of student support committee; encouraged healthy communication between students and teachers while advocating for students.
Notes: Scholastic Arts and Writing Honourable Mention in short story category … Volunteered for internationally acclaimed dance company (Kaeja d'Dance) at their "Porch View Dances" event … Annual community food drives volunteer (Second Harvest).
Why Yale? "I chose Yale because of its incredible and challenging learning environment. I fell in love with the campus when I first visited, and knew it was the place I wanted to spend the next four years of my athletic and academic career."
Phillips Exeter Academy
Islanders Hockey Club, Boston Shamrocks, East Coast Wizards, Mid-Fairfield Stars
USA Hockey: Selected to National Development Camps in all years eligible (2012-2015) … Leading goal scorer at 2015 U18 camp.
East Coast Wizards: National semi-finalists U16 (2014, sophomore year) … National runners-up U14 (2013, freshman year).
Phillips Exeter Academy: Team captain as a senior … Two-time New Hampshire Prep School Hockey Coaches Association All State (sophomore, senior) … Leading scorer and team MVP as a sophomore … Also played three years of varsity lacrosse and one year of varsity field hockey.
Notes: Along with brother, Erik, invented a soccer training device called Kick-it Trainer and brought it to market … Also with Erik, started a charity called Yando that helps the young and the old … Plans to continue Yando's mission to raise funds to help the local community in New Haven while at Yale … First youth hockey coach, Eric Lind, was an assistant coach of the Yale men's ice hockey team 2006-2012 … Views Yale women's ice hockey alum/former U.S. Olympian Helen Resor '09 as a role model.
Why Yale? "I became enchanted with Yale when I was seven years old after playing at Ingalls Rink and touring the campus. Academically, I believe that Yale will provide me with a challenging, yet supportive environment and will afford me with an opportunity to explore any challenge I seek. Athletically, I felt an immediate connection with the coaching staff and the team, confirming that Yale was the best fit for me."
Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic
Durham West Junior Lightning
Hockey Canada: Member of Canadian U18 National Team; won silver medal at 2016 U18 IIHF World Championship … May U18 Strength & Conditioning Camp selection … Picked for August U18 Selection Camp in Calgary … Selected for U18 USA vs Canada Lake Placid Series … OWHA U18 Team Ontario Camp Invitee 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 … OWHA Team Ontario Red National Champions (Gold Medal) 2015-16.
Durham West Junior Lightning: Assistant captain … Eighth on team in regular season with 18 points (4-14-18) … Second on team in playoffs with seven points (0-7-7) … Team was regular season PWHL Champions, advanced to PWHL Final Four Weekend … Fourth place at LLFHL Provincials 2015-16.
Other Competition: Ontario Winter Games gold medalist with Team Irwin in 2011-12 … Ontario Summer Games silver medalist in Ball Hockey (under aged player) in 2012.
Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic: Team captain from grades 10 through 12 … Team MVP 2013-14 and 2014-15 … Also was on basketball, soccer, track & field, badminton, field lacrosse, ultimate frisbee and curling teams … Captained basketball and ultimate frisbee teams … Badminton team MVP 2013-14 and 2014-15 … Second place LOSSA Girls' Doubles Badminton 2013-14 … Basketball team MVP 2013-14 … Senior girls' basketball LOSSA & DYSSA Champions and OFSSA Qualification 2015-16 … Junior girls' basketball LOSSA Champions 2013-14 … Assistant captain for soccer team … Soccer team MVP 2013-14 … Senior girls' field lacrosse LOSSA silver medalist 2015-16 … Girls' curling LOSSA Champions 2015-16 … Sports SHSM (Specialty High Skills Major) participant and leader … Senior Female Athlete of the Year Award 2015-16 … Junior Female Athlete of the Year Award 2012-13 and 2013-14 … Helped organize and participate in "The Inside Ride" each year at school to help raise money for children with cancer … March Break and Summer Camp leader at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Children's Sports Camp (ages 6-14).
Notes: Has been involved with World Vision since 2004, sponsoring a child named Rina from Nepal … Hockey shooter for M-Power Hockey's summer camps … Enjoys hanging out with her three brothers, writing poems and running.
Why Yale? "To have the opportunity to attend such a prestigious and beautiful school that has felt like home the moment I set foot on campus, while playing the sport I love is truly a blessing."
Ottawa Junior Lady Sens
Hockey Canada: Invited to Team Ontario selection camp 2015 (did not attend).
Ottawa Junior Lady Sens: Assistant captain … Made playoffs two consecutive years.
Franco-Cité: Captain senior year … Three-time MVP … Led team in scoring throughout high school … Two-time City of Ottawa Hockey Finalist … Also was on field hockey, soccer and track & field teams … Field hockey team MVP … 800m and 1500m Ottawa East track and field champion … School's female athlete of the year twice … Earned school's female student-athlete award three times … Recipient of school's sports ambassador award (leadership and commitment to sports).
Notes: Volunteer for DIFD (Do It For Daron) and at the Centretown Emergency Food Centre … Enjoys traveling, biking and hiking … Brother, Max Veronneau, plays for Princeton's men's ice hockey team.
Why Yale? "I chose Yale because it is the perfect combination of high caliber athletics, challenging academics and a beautiful campus"