March 3, 2005
New Haven, CT - The first-ever women's hockey playoff series at Ingalls Rink features a familiar foe, as No. 10 Princeton comes to town to face the Bulldogs in a best-of-three. Yale topped the Tigers 4-2 in the regular-season finale at Ingalls Rink last Wednesday, gaining home ice advantage in the ECACHL quarterfinals. Now, the Blue aims for the program's first postseason victory. The winner of this series advances to the ECACHL semifinals March 12 in Schenectady. The Athletics Department has waived the regular ticket charge and invites all fans to attend these historic games free of charge. Playoff games will also be webcast on yalebulldogs.com and available via GameTracker.
The Bulldogs enter the playoffs on a mini-run that has seen them win four of six. Yale has allowed only three goals at even strength over the last 18 periods of play and has picked up three shutouts (two by junior Sarah Love and one by freshman Shivon Zilis) during that span. Offensively, freshman Helen Resor's four goals in the last six games pace the team in that category, while junior Deena Caplette has the top point total (3-3-6). Sophomore Kristin Savard is working on a longer stretch that has seen her rack up 11 points (5-6-11) over the season's final 12 games after totaling 10 in the first 17. Overall, sophomore Jenna Spring leads the Bulldogs in goals (12) and is tied for first in points with senior Erin Duggan (25), the team captain.
Princeton is led by junior goaltender Roxanne Gaudiel, whose .929 save percentage and 1.79 goals-against average have her second in the conference in both categories. Two sophomores, Liz Keady and Kim Pearce, lead the team in points with 27 and have identical totals of 14 goals and 13 assists.
The Tigers will present a challenge in part due to their never-say-die attitude. During one stretch of six games in January and February, they trailed or were tied in the third period six times yet pulled off a 4-1-1 record. They came back from a 2-1 third-period deficit to tie Colgate at two, came back from a 5-3 third-period deficit at Cornell (with two extra-attacker goals in the second-to-last minute) to win 6-5 in overtime, rallied from a 1-0 third-period deficit against Clarkson to win 2-1 in overtime and came back from a 3-2 third-period deficit at Brown to win 4-3.
The Bulldogs have two wins over Princeton this season. Last November at Baker Rink Yale won 2-1. Resor and Caplette scored the goals in that game, while Love made 32 saves. Last Wednesday at Ingalls, Caplette, Resor, Spring and senior Ali Turney scored in the 4-2 win. Love (20 saves) and Turney (game-winning goal) made the ECACHL's weekly honor roll for their efforts.
The winner of this series advance to the ECACHL semifinals March 12 in Schenectady, N.Y. at Union's Messa Rink. The winner of the ECACHL championship on March 13 receives an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Duggan and Love were named second team All-Ivy on Wednesday ... Yale had never finished higher than sixth in the conference prior to this season's fourth-place finish ... Yale's 14 wins overall and 12 wins in conference play are school records ... To put those figures in perspective, Yale had 14 overall wins in the three seasons prior to 2001-02 (the Class of 2005's freshman year) combined ... Yale has four wins over top 10 opponents this season ... Duggan leads all ECACHL blueliners in goals (11) ... Love has set the school record for wins in a season with 12 ... Yale head coach Hilary Witt will be interviewed on News/Talk 960-AM WELI on Saturday at 7:10 a.m.
- Game one vs. Princeton 7:00 Friday GameTracker, webcast
- Game two vs. Princeton 4:00 Saturday GameTracker, webcast
- Game three vs. Princeton 4:00 Sunday (if necessary) GameTracker, webcast
- Free admission for all playoff games at Ingalls Rink
- ECACHL website: Quarterfinal Matchups
- Princeton women's hockey site
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity Department