Games at Harvard, No. 8 Dartmouth Loom Large for Bulldogs

Feb. 5, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Last month, the Yale women's hockey team dropped a pair of close games to long-time rivals Dartmouth and Harvard at Ingalls Rink. This weekend, the Bulldogs hit the road looking to reverse those results.

Yale-Harvard
The last meeting between these two teams marked just the fourth time in the last 53 games against Harvard that Yale has limited the Crimson to one goal. Goalie Sarah Love '06 accomplished the feat three times, and sophomore Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.) added her name to that short list with a 24-save effort. But the Bulldogs could not get one past Crimson netminder Christina Kessler (32 saves), so Kathryn Farni's short-handed goal in the second period gave Harvard a 1-0 win. The Crimson has since won three more times, including an 8-0 drubbing of BU Tuesday night, to extend its winning streak to five straight games. Canadian Olympian Sarah Vaillancourt had a hat trick vs. the Terriers and is now fifth in the country in scoring (14-16-30 in 16 games). Kessler's 1.88 goals-against average is 13th in the country.

Yale-Dartmouth
A goal by sophomore forward Bray Ketchum (Greenwich, Conn.) tied the Yale-Dartmouth game at two midway through the second period at Ingalls Rink last month. But less than four minutes after that, Kelly Foley put the Big Green back in front and the Bulldogs were never able to draw even again. Two goals in the final 2:28 of the third period made the final 5-2 Dartmouth. Sophomore Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.) made 39 saves, while Dartmouth's Carli Clemis made 28. Including that victory, Dartmouth has won six of its last seven games heading into the weekend. Averaging 3.82 goals per game, the Big Green's offense is No. 6 in the country. Amanda Trunzo (15-14-29) leads the team in scoring.

Thompson Arena Memories
Thompson Arena is one of the toughest places for a visiting team to play, with Dartmouth boasting a 275-102-19 home record. But the Bulldogs have had some success there of late. After a pair of one-goal losses - one in the 2004 ECAC Hockey quarterfinals and one during the 2004-05 season - Yale achieved a breakthrough with a 1-0 win on Feb. 2, 2006. That snapped a 41-game losing streak in the series. Senior Danielle Kozlowski (Melrose, Mass.) scored the game-winner at 15:32 of the first, and 33 saves from Sarah Love '06 made that lead stand up. The Bulldogs' next trip to Hanover was a 3-2 loss in overtime, but when they returned last season they responded with a big comeback for a tie. Dartmouth had a 2-0 lead before a goal by junior forward Mandi Schwartz (Wilcox, Sask.) brought Yale within one late in the first period. The Big Green scored the only goal of the second period, but in the third period Yale rallied. A mere 25 seconds after senior forward Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill.) scored to get Yale within one again, senior forward Maggie Westfal (New Canaan, Conn.) tied the game at three. Thanks to 31 saves from sophomore goalie Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.), including three in overtime, that was how the game ended.

ECAC Hockey Playoff Picture
The top eight teams in the ECAC Hockey standings make the playoffs, with the top four teams hosting teams five through eight in best-of-three quarterfinal series starting Feb. 27. The Bulldogs are currently in ninth place with 10 points, six points behind both Cornell and RPI. With seven games remaining, Yale has one game in hand on both of those teams. The Bulldogs are nine points behind sixth-place Clarkson.

Notes
Senior forward Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill.) is a nominee for the Hockey Humanitarian Award. Howser volunteers with a local soup kitchen, multiple homeless shelters, AIDS Walk New Haven, the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, multiple holiday gift giving initiatives and many other community-related causes ... Yale has killed off 41 of its last 45 penalties (91 percent). Prior to that run the Bulldogs had allowed 14 power-play goals in 67 chances ... Yale has also cut down on the number of penalties it is taking, averaging 4.5 per game in the last six games after averaging 5.8 in the first 16 games ... The Bulldogs have outshot their opponents in nine of the last 12 games, but have gone just 5-7-0. They have averaged 29 shots per game in that span, allowing only 25 per game ... Six different players have scored game-winning goals for Yale this year ... All nine of sophomore forward Bray Ketchum (Greenwich, Conn.)'s goals have come in conference play ... Yale is 6-0-0 when leading after two periods, 1-10-0 when trailing after two periods.

Pink at the Rink
ECAC Hockey and the American Cancer Society have teamed up to fight cancer for the second consecutive season with an expanded Pink At The Rink program. The variation of a traditional Coaches vs. Cancer program will provide critical outreach, while raising funds in support of the American Cancer Society's lifesaving efforts. This year's program will also benefit Hockey Coaches Care, which helps members of the amateur hockey community in times of need. The main feature of this year's program is the on-line sale of game-worn men's black/pink jerseys on consecutive weekend home series (Feb. 20-21 and February 27-28) and the on-line sale of women's game-used sticks with specially designed wraps used during home series in the first three weekends in February. All of these items will be available through www.ecachockeycoachesvscancer.com. The bidding is slated to begin 9:00 a.m. Feb. 6 and conclude 5:00 p.m. Mar. 4 (dates/times subject to change). Look for opportunities to purchase these jerseys and sticks during home games as well. There will be also be a variety of additional promotions taking place to help benefit the cause.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity