April 12, 2009
HAMEENLINNA, Finland - Senior defenseman Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.) earned a gold medal with Team USA at the IIHF Women's World Championship Sunday as the U.S. beat Canada 4-1 in the gold medal game at Patria Arena in Hameenlinna, Finland. This is Resor's third World Championship medal, as she won gold with the U.S. in 2005 and silver in 2007.
Resor, who was the first Yale women's ice hockey player to make the Olympics when she played for Team USA in Torino in 2006, was selected for one of the 21 final National Team roster spots earlier this month during a tryout/training camp at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. She was one of seven Olympians on the roster.
The IIHF Women's World Championship takes place every year there is no Olympic competition, and this is the third gold medal for the U.S. in the event's 12-year history. The game-winning goal Sunday came from forward Meghan Duggan, who beat Canadian goalie Charline Labonte with a wrist shot 10:10 into the second period -- less than five minutes after the Canadians had tied the game 1-1. The Americans added two more goals in the third, and U.S. goalie Jessie Vetter finished off the win with 39 saves. Duggan and Vetter are both from the University of Wisconsin. The three-goal margin of victory represents the largest margin ever for the U.S. against archrival Canada at the event. The Americans beat the Canadians 4-3 for the championship last year and 1-0 in a shootout for the gold medal in 2005.
After a 9-0 win over Sweden in an exhibition game, Team USA finished atop Group A with a pair of 8-0 wins over Japan (Apr. 4) and Russia (Apr. 6) to advance to the qualifying round, where a 7-0 blanking of Finland on Apr. 9 secured the U.S. a spot in the gold-medal game. The U.S. and Canada also met in the qualifying round Friday, with the Canadians taking a 2-1 win, but Team USA answered with Sunday's dramatic victory.
Up next for the Americans is the 2009 U.S. Women's National Festival, which is held annually in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August and features the top women's hockey players in the country competing for spots on the National Team. Following the festival, those selected for the National Team will go on the Qwest Tour. That series of 10 exhibition games runs from Sept. 25, 2009, through Feb. 4, 2010, and includes stops in 10 different locations throughout the United States. That includes one a short drive up the road from Yale at the TD Banknorth Sports Center in Hamden, Conn., where the U.S. will play the ECAC Hockey All-Stars on Jan. 3. The final U.S. Olympic roster will be announced during the tour, and the team is scheduled to start competition at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver against China on Feb. 14, 2010.
At Yale, Resor was among the nominees for the Kazmaier Award as the top women's college hockey player in the country this season, and earned third team All-ECAC Hockey and second team All-Ivy League honors. She was also selected to participate in the NCAA Frozen Four Skills Challenge Apr. 10 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., but missed that event to participate in the World Championship; senior forward Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill.) went in her place. Overall this season, Resor led Yale in assists with 14 and was third in points with 21. She was eighth nationally in scoring by a defenseman (7-14-21 in 28 games).
Resor's 48 career assists place her tied for ninth on Yale's all-time list in that category, and she is also tied for 12th in career points (75) and tied for 20th in career goals (27). She made history as the first Yale women's hockey player selected to the U.S. Olympic Team roster when she was picked for the 2006 Torino Games. In addition to her Olympic and World Championship medals, she also won silver medals at the Four Nations Cup three times. Prior to Yale, she played for Noble and Greenough and Assabet Valley. Her sister, Jane '01, played for Yale, as did her cousins -- senior forward/defenseman Carry Resor (Westwood, Mass.) and Nina Resor '07.
Yale has an extensive history with U.S. women's national teams. Forward Maria Dennis '88 was on the 1990 U.S. Women's National Team that earned silver at the first IIHF Women's World Championship, and goaltender Laurie Belliveau '98 was on the 1999 U.S. Women's National Team that earned silver at the 1999 IIHF Women's World Championship. Yale head coach Hilary Witt played on the U.S. National Team in 2000-01 and was an assistant coach for the U.S. team in 2006-07, earning a silver medal at the 2007 IIHF Women's World Championship along with Resor. Additionally, former Yale men's hockey assistant coach Ben Smith coached the U.S. women's team at the Olympics three times, winning a gold medal in 1998, and now serves as a national team advisor.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity