First-Ever Trip to Ohio State for Bulldogs

Jan. 13, 2005

Yale makes its first-ever trip to Ohio State for a two-game set with the Buckeyes this weekend. These are the last two non-conference games of the season for the Bulldogs (10-8-0, 8-3-0 ECACHL), but they still could have an impact on Yale's postseason plans. Both Yale and Ohio State (10-9-1, 9-9-0 WCHA) are among the "others receiving votes" in the national polls, and these two games could provide some separation in the race to be one of the eight teams to make the NCAA tournament. Yale is No. 12 and Ohio State is No. 13 in USCHO.com's Pairwise Rankings.

The Buckeyes have been particularly tough at OSU Ice Rink, as they had a seven-game unbeaten streak at home until last weekend's losses to No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth. Overall, OSU is 7-4-1 at home. Junior forward Jana Harrigan leads the team in scoring (10-20-30), while senior forward Jeni Creary has the most goals (14-8-22). Canadian National Team member Tessa Bonhomme, a sophomore, is the Buckeyes' top defenseman. With .93 points per game, she is just behind Yale senior Erin Duggan (.94, 7th) on the list of the top-scoring defensemen in the country. With nine power-play goals from Creary, the Buckeyes are ninth in the country with the man advantage (.186) and should provide a good test for Yale's penalty-killing unit (4th in the country at .900).

The Bulldogs are coming off a hard-fought conference weekend at Clarkson and No. 5 St. Lawrence, with a 2-1 overtime win over the Golden Knights and a 4-3 loss to the Saints to show for their efforts. Sophomore forward Kelsey Johnson earned ECACHL honor roll mention for scoring the game-winner with 37 seconds left in overtime at Clarkson, and sophomore forward Kristin Savard had two of Yale's three goals against St. Lawrence. Sophomore forward Jenna Spring had one goal and one assist on the weekend to give her 14 points in the last 12 games.

With the win over Clarkson, Yale tied the school mark for conference wins with eight, set last season. Still, the Bulldogs dropped out of first place in the ECACHL for the first time in over a month when Harvard beat Brown last Tuesday night to move two points ahead of Yale and Dartmouth in the standings. The top four teams in the league host a best-of-three opening round series in the ECACHL playoffs March 4-6.

The Bulldogs have an off weekend after this, then complete their eight-game road trip (stretched over 29 days) with a set at Brown and Harvard Jan. 28-29.

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report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity Department