Feb. 12, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale hosts RPI (Friday, 7:00 p.m., Free Yale All*Access Video, GameTracker) and Union (Saturday, 4:00 p.m., Free Yale All*Access Video, GameTracker) as part of ECAC Hockey's "Pink at the Rink" cancer fundraiser this weekend. The Bulldogs will also pay tribute to one of their own, junior forward Mandi Schwartz (Wilcox, Sask.), who has been diagnosed with leukemia. Yale enters the weekend eight points behind RPI and Cornell for the final ECAC Hockey playoff spots with five games remaining.
The last time RPI came to Ingalls Rink, a playoff berth was also at stake. With a 3-2 win in the 2007-08 regular season finale, the Bulldogs clinched one of the eight ECAC Hockey playoff spots and eliminated the Engineers. After a first-period goal by RPI, second-period goals from senior forward Sarah Tittman (Chilton, Wisc.) and junior defenseman Alyssa Clarke (Donkin, N.S.) gave Yale a 2-1 lead. Sophomore defenseman Samantha MacLean (Mississauga, Ont.) extended the lead to 3-1 with a goal two minutes into the third, and that proved to be the game-winner after RPI got a goal with 8:29 remaining. Sophomore goalie Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.) made 17 saves for the win. This year, the Engineers enter the weekend with an eight-point lead on Yale for a playoff spot, so they would clinch a berth with a win. Forwards Whitney Naslund and Alisa Harrison are tied for the team lead in scoring (11-13-24), while goalie Sonja van der Bliek has a .905 save percentage and a 2.31 goals-against average. RPI edged Yale 2-1 in November on goals by Allison Wright and Allysen Weidner in the third period. Freshman goalie Genny Ladiges (Almonte, Ont.) made 23 saves.
A 4-0 win last October extended Yale's all-time record against Union to 13-0. Senior forward Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill.) and sophomore forward Bray Ketchum (Greenwich, Conn.) had a pair of goals each, and freshman goalie Genny Ladiges (Almonte, Ont.) made 12 saves to get a shutout in her first career start, becoming just the third Yale player to accomplish that feat. The Dutchwomen nearly knocked off the Bulldogs the last time they came to Ingalls Rink, holding a 1-0 lead into the third period before goals by senior defenseman Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.) and junior forward Caroline Murphy (Woodstock, Conn.) gave Yale the 2-1 win. Lundy Day made 40 saves for Union. Day is one of just three seniors on a very young Union roster that includes 11 freshmen.
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, eight points behind both Cornell and RPI. With five games remaining, Yale has one game in hand on both of those teams. The Bulldogs are 11 points behind sixth-place Clarkson and thus cannot catch the Golden Knights.
Senior defenseman Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.) is on the ballot for the East squad at the NCAA Frozen Four Skills Competition. Fans can vote for Resor, along with Yale men's goalie Alec Richards (Robbinsdale, Minn.), at yalebulldogs.com or ncaa.com. Voting ends Feb. 18 at Noon ... 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 ... Six different players have scored game-winning goals for Yale this year ... All 10 of sophomore forward Bray Ketchum (Greenwich, Conn.)'s goals have come in conference play.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity