February 9, 2006

Bulldogs Aim to Maintain Momentum with Pair vs. Union

Feb. 9, 2006

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - On the heels of a three-point weekend at Dartmouth and Harvard, Yale hosts Union for two games this weekend with a chance to tie a school record.

The Bulldogs (7-10-5, 4-5-4 ECACHL, 8th) extended their unbeaten streak to four with the win over the Big Green and the tie against the Crimson. The school record is six, set in 1986 and equaled last season.

Last year's six-game hot streak included two wins against the Dutchwomen (3-18-1, 0-14-0 ECACHL, 11th), in which the Bulldogs scored 12 goals and did not allow any. Defense has been a key to Yale's recent hot streak, and that starts in net. Senior Sarah Love (Bayfield, Ont.) was named ECACHL co-Goaltender of the Week on Monday and New England Hockey Journal Goaltender of the Week on Wednesday after stopping 73 of 74 shots against Dartmouth and Harvard. She has stopped 96 of the last 97 shots she has faced overall and has not allowed an even-strength goal in her last 183:30 in net.

The players directly in front of Love have also been playing some of their best hockey of late. With junior Nina Resor (Westwood, Mass.) sidelined, two-thirds of Yale's defensemen last weekend were freshmen - including two, Kristen Stupay (Ashburn, Va.) and Maggie Westfal (New Canaan, Conn.), who were converted from forward within the past month. The Bulldogs still held Harvard to one goal, well below its season average of three per game, and blanked Dartmouth for the first time in school history.

Westfal scored Yale's lone goal against Harvard, while fellow freshman Danielle Kozlowski (Melrose, Mass.) got the game-winner against Dartmouth with her first career tally. The Bulldogs will look scoring from more sources this weekend. The 12 goals Yale scored last year against the Dutchwomen came from eight different players, including a hat trick from junior Jenna Spring (Cranbrook, B.C.) in the 7-0 win that opened the series.

A solid offensive performance this weekend could also put Yale back on track to challenge some team offensive records. The Bulldogs need 21 goals in their final seven games to tie last season's school record for goals in conference play (50). Yale is 34 goals away from the school record for overall goals in a season, 87, set in 1984-85.

The Dutchwomen nearly upset Brown Jan. 21, falling 3-2 after leading 2-1 entering the third period. Freshman goaltender Alex Zirbel is capable of stymieing a barrage of shots, as she has exceeded the 50-save mark three times so far this season. That included a 56-save effort against Brown Jan. 20. Junior forward Elise Nichols is the team's leading scorer (5-7-12), followed by freshman forward Suzy Pocock (6-3-9).

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

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