NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Riding a four-game win streak -- the team's longest since winning five in a row Jan. 22-Feb. 5, 2016 -- the Yale women's ice hockey team faces a pair of ranked ECAC Hockey opponents on the road this weekend. The Bulldogs visit No. 9 Princeton Friday (6:00 p.m., Ivy League Digital Network) and No. 10 Quinnipiac Saturday (3:00 p.m., SNY TV, QuinnipiacBobcats.com).
WIN STREAK AT FOUR AFTER SWEEP OF BROWN
Yale (9-11-3, 7-8-1 ECAC Hockey) is riding a four-game win streak after sweeping a home-and-home series with its travel partner, Brown, last weekend. The Bulldogs outshot the Bears 83-44 for the weekend, but the final scores were close thanks to a combined 77 saves from Brown goalie Monica Elvin. On Friday at Ingalls Rink Yale won 2-1 on goals from junior forward Kaitlin Gately (Hingham, Mass.) and senior forward Phoebe Staenz (Zürich, Switzerland), combined with 19 saves from sophomore goaltender Kyra O'Brien (Burlington, Ont.). On Saturday at Meehan Auditorium the Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals by Staenz, junior forward Eden Murray (Medicine Hat, Alta.) and senior forward Krista Yip-Chuck (Whitby, Ont.) -- all on the power play. After Brown closed within 3-2, junior forward Courtney Pensavalle (Winchester, Mass.) scored an insurance goal for the 4-2 final. Freshman goaltender Tera Hofmann (Toronto, Ont.) made 22 saves.
HEADWAY CONCUSSION AWARENESS WEEKEND
Games across ECAC Hockey this weekend will help raise awareness of concussions as part of a partnership between the conference and the Headway Foundation. Over the weekend, all male and female ECAC Hockey student-athletes will be wearing Headway stickers on their helmets to promote the "New Tough Campaign", which challenges athletes to handle concussions properly by encouraging symptom reporting, offering avenues for teammates to support each other and promoting safe play. Teams are also raising funds for Headway, a recently formed nonprofit which has two co-founders who were Yale hockey players: Paige Decker '14 and Danny Otto '12.
"This event is really about promoting a safer sports culture surrounding concussions. As athletes who have experienced long-term post-concussion symptoms, we understand how important it is to handle this injury properly," said Decker. "This includes everything from prevention and timely symptom reporting to proper treatment, support and recovery. We understand that removal from play when a concussion is suspected is often the mentally tougher but necessary thing to do, and we want to facilitative a productive dialogue around this subject."
More information is available at http://headwayfoundation.com/ecachockey
O'BRIEN AND HOFMANN TEAM UP IN GOAL
For each of the past two weekends, Yale has had sophomore Kyra O'Brien (Burlington, Ont.) start in goal on Friday and freshman Tera Hofmann (Toronto, Ont.) start in goal on Saturday. The team has gone undefeated in those games, with O'Brien stopping 44 of 45 shots (.978) and Hofmann stopping 63 of 67 shots (.940). Hofmann was named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week on Jan. 24 after she made a career high 41 saves in her only game of the week, a 3-2 win over Harvard Jan. 21. That included a remarkable 17 saves during penalty kills.
For the season, O'Brien (five games played) has a .931 save percentage and a 1.93 goals-against average. Hofmann (16 games played) has a .915 save percentage and a 2.55 goals-against average.
Hofmann was named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week after her first career game Oct. 29, making 35 saves as the Bulldogs earned a 1-1 tie in overtime with Princeton. Jan. 6 marked her first career shutout, a 2-0 win at Union in which she made 21 saves. O'Brien got her first career shutout Jan. 20, a 3-0 win vs. Dartmouth in which she made 25 saves.
Hofmann is a graduate of Ursula Franklin Academy and played for the Durham West Jr. Lightning prior to coming to Yale. She attended the Team Ontario U18 selection camp last year.
O'Brien is a graduate of Nelson High School and played for the Burlington Junior Barracudas.
Shortly after performing her usual duties of singing the National Anthem Jan. 21 -- this time accompanied by the a capella group she is in, the Unorthojocks -- junior forward Courtney Pensavalle (Winchester, Mass.) scored the first goal of the game in Saturday's 3-2 win vs. Harvard. It was her first goal of the season. Pensavalle took a hard slap shot from just outside the blue line, and it evaded Harvard goalie Brianna Laing's glove for a 1-0 lead. The goal was featured on ESPN SportsCenter's "Top 10 Plays" (it was number eight).
MANDL EARNS RECOGNITION FOR MEDICAL DEVICE INNOVATION
Senior goaltender Hanna Mandl (Nobleton, Ont.) was recently featured in a "Q & A" on the website for Yale's School of Engineering & Applied Science. In the course "Medical Device Design & Innovation" held at the Center for Engineering Innovation & Design, Mandl was part of a team that created a flexible saw guide to ensure straight, midline cuts during sternotomies (procedures involving an incision made along the sternum). The device is designed to help reduce the amount of post-operative time patients spend in the hospital, as well as rates of complications.
Mandl has played in 44 games for her career, posting an .894 save percentage and a 2.86 goals-against average.
YIP-CHUCK LEADS ON AND OFF THE ICE
Senior forward Krista Yip-Chuck (Whitby, Ont.) is tied for 10th in ECAC Hockey in assists per game and points per game (6-10-16 in 16 conference games, 1.00 per game). Overall she is tied for Yale's team lead in points (8-17-25) and leads the team with a +15. Yip-Chuck was fourth on the team in scoring (5-15-20) last season, and extended her streak of consecutive games played to 92 (it is now at 115). This past spring the team voted her captain, a role that reflects her leadership both on and off the ice. She established a career high in assists last season while earning ECAC Hockey All-Academic honors for the second time.
STAENZ WITH TEAM SWITZERLAND AGAIN
Senior forward Phoebe Staenz (Zürich, Switzerland) helped Team Switzerland to a fifth-place finish in the Nations Cup earlier this month, scoring an empty-net goal as the Swiss beat Sweden 5-1 in the fifth-place game Jan. 7. This was Staenz' fourth time playing in the Nations Cup, and she has scored a goal each year. That win was the biggest win over Sweden in Switzerland's history. Staenz has scored a goal in this tournament each of the last four years.
Staenz leads all active Bulldogs in career points with 89, and is fifth in the nation in goals per game (13 in 19 games, 0.68 goals per game). She is second on the team with a +14 and has incurred just two penalties. Staenz had a four-game goal scoring streak Nov. 4-12. That included a hat trick Nov. 4 in the 7-2 win vs. Rensselaer.
Staenz has extensive international playing experience, including scoring the game-tying goal in Switzerland's come-from-behind 4-3 win over Sweden for the bronze medal at the 2014 Olympics. At Yale, Staenz has been an impact player throughout her career despite missing multiple games while playing for the Swiss National Team. She tied for second on the Bulldogs in goals last season with nine, and was fifth in points with 17. She needs 11 more points this season to become one of four players in Yale history with 100 or more career points.
MARCHIN AMONG TOP DEFENSEMEN IN SCORING
With eight points in the last 11 games, senior defenseman Taylor Marchin (Algonac, Mich.) is fourth in the nation in points per game among defensemen (7-11-18 in 23 games, 0.78 points per game). Marchin has already tripled her point total from last season (1-5-6). She has not missed a game in her career (115 straight).
SOULIOTIS BUILDING OFF BREAKTHROUGH SEASON
Junior defenseman Mallory Souliotis (Acton, Mass.) is fifth on the team in assists with eight, including six in the last 17 games. She also earned notoriety for shattering a pane of glass behind the goal at Ingalls Rink with a slap shot in Yale's 2-1 win vs. Brown Jan. 27. The blueliner had a breakthrough season last year, leading the team in scoring (4-21-25). That was a remarkable a 16-point improvement over her total from the previous year, and her assist total placed her third on Yale's single-season assists list. Souliotis earned second team All-Ivy League honors.
MURRAY A RISING STAR FOR YALE AND CANADA
After nine assists (and three goals) in the last 13 games, junior forward Eden Murray (Medicine Hat, Alta.) is 10th in the nation in assists per game (18 in 23 games, 0.78 assists per game). She has at least one point in 16 of the last 20 games, including a four-point night (1-3-4) vs. Rensselaer Nov. 4. She finished second on Yale in points last season (7-16-23) and followed that up this past summer by earning an invitation to Hockey Canada's National Team Development Camp for the fourth year in a row. Murray, who established career highs in all three scoring categories, was an honorable mention All-Ivy League selection. She is the younger sister of Yale defenseman Madi Murray '15, and has two other sisters who played at the collegiate level as well: Kelly Murray was a defenseman for Cornell and Logan Murray was a forward for McGill.
CLASS OF 2020
Yale welcomed five freshmen to the roster for 2016-17. The Class of 2020 includes three forwards, two defensemen and one goalie. The group includes three Americans and three Canadians.
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.)) and another who was part of four straight trips to the National Tournament by the Mid Fairfield Stars (defenseman Kate Tewksbury (New York, N.Y.)). They have served in leadership roles, with five 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 starting a charity (forward Kirsten Nergaard (Stamford, Conn.) and Yando).
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.
Yale routinely has some of the best teams in the country on its schedule, and that remains the case in 2016-17. The Bulldogs will play three of the eight teams that participated in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
The ECAC Hockey playoffs, which determine the recipient of the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament, start Feb. 24. The top four teams in the regular season standings host teams five through eight in the best-of-three quarterfinal series. The ECAC Hockey semifinals and championship are held the following weekend. The NCAA Tournament selections get announced Mar. 5 and the NCAAs start Mar. 10. The NCAA Frozen Four is in St. Charles, Mo., Mar. 17 and 19.
Princeton (14-6-3, 10-4-2 ECAC Hockey) has an 11-game unbeaten streak (9-0-2), second only to BC (14 games, 12-0-2) nationally right now. The Tigers just came up with a critical 3-0 win at Quinnipiac Tuesday afternoon that gave them sole possession of fourth place in the ECAC Hockey standings -- the final "home ice" spot for the playoffs. After finishing third last season the Tigers fell 2-1 to St. Lawrence in the conference quarterfinals, but still earned an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. Their offense is even better this season than last -- currently ranked fifth in the nation, averaging 3.39 goals per game -- and their defense remains solid (10th nationally, 1.87 goals per game). Goalie Steph Neatby is second in the nation in save percentage (.955) and goals-against average (1.27). Forward Karlie Lund is fifth nationally in points per game (19-17-36 in 23 games, 1.57 points per game).
Quinnipiac (16-7-5, 9-5-2 ECAC Hockey) is just 2-3-2 in its last seven games, though two of those losses were by one goal. The Bobcats won the ECAC Hockey regular season last year en route to making an appearance in the NCAAs for the second straight year. Their power play ranks eighth in the country (17.5 percent), just ahead of Yale (17.2 percent). They also incur just 6.6 penalties in minutes per game, the fifth-lowest total in the nation. Quinnipiac is tied with No. 5 St. Lawrence for second nationally in scoring defense (1.50 goals per game). Forward Taylar Cianfarano is tied for second in the NCAA in power play goals (six) and leads the Bobcats in scoring (12-9-21).
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org, Yale Sports Publicity)