Jan. 24, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - One look at the standings illustrates how important this weekend's games at Ingalls Rink are. With five weeks left in the regular season, the Bulldogs host the team they're currently tied for sixth with in the ECAC Hockey standings (Colgate, Friday, 7:00, free live video on Yale All*Access) and then host the team that is one point behind them and tied for eighth (Cornell, Saturday, 4:00, free live video on Yale All*Access). The top eight teams make the playoffs, with the top four teams hosting, so this weekend will go a long way toward determining where Yale stands in the race.
The Bulldogs (8-7-4, 5-5-2 ECAC Hockey, t-6th) split a weekend series at Mercyhurst and Niagara, beating the Purple Eagles 3-0 behind the third shutout of the year from freshman goaltender Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.). Senior goaltender Shivon Zilis (Markham, Ont.) made 45 saves in a losing effort against Mercyhurst the night before. Zilis is seventh in the country in save percentage (.928) and Snikeris is 16th (.919), making Yale the only school with two goalies in the top 16. Minnesota is the only other school with two in the top 30.
Colgate (8-11-3, 5-5-4 ECAC Hockey, t-6th) has rebounded nicely from an 0-5-1 start to the season and gone 8-6-2 in its last 16 games, including an impressive 2-1 overtime road win at Dartmouth. Forward Sam Hunt leads the team in scoring (12-8-20) and beat the Bulldogs earlier in the year with a short-handed goal in overtime. The last four meetings between Yale and Colgate have all gone to overtime, and nine of the last 13 games in the series have either ended as ties or been decided by one goal.
Cornell (8-9-1, 5-6-1 ECAC Hockey, t-8th) has already doubled its win total from last season and is looking for its first winning season since 1997-98. The Big Red's top two scorers are underclassman, sophomore forward Liz Zorn (11-10-21) and freshman forward Rebecca Johnston (9-10-19). The Big Red is fourth in the conference in offense, averaging 2.94 goals per game.
Saturday is Youth Day at Ingalls Rink, featuring a post-game autograph session for all children in attendance.