Bulldogs Cap Season With Annual Banquet

April 18, 2006

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale held its annual women's hockey team banquet Tuesday night at the Yale Golf Course, handing out the team awards and introducing junior forward Kristin Savard (Framingham, Mass.) as next year's captain.

The evening began with the presentation of the major and minor awards, followed by Associate Head Coach Harry Rosenholtz' remarks about the season and the seniors. He noted that the Class of 2006 leaves with more wins than any class in school history (48), including victories this year over Brown (snapping an 18-year winless streak), Dartmouth (snapping a 20-year losing streak), Harvard (for the second time in 22 years) and Northeastern (for the first time ever).

"When these seniors arrived here four years ago these accomplishments would have seemed unimaginable and unattainable," Rosenholtz said. "Now they leave here having slain those dragons and having stamped an indelible mark on our team."

Head coach Hilary Witt then presented the team awards.

Senior forward Lisa Jacque (Markham, Ont.) won the Bingham Award for leadership. Jacque was a key part of the record-setting senior class and was praised for her ability as captain.

Freshman defenseman Kristen Stupay (Ashburn, Va.) won the Blanning Award as the team's most improved player. Stupay made the switch from forward to defense midway through the season to assist Yale's depleted blue line corps. She finished with two goals and eight assists for 10 points.

"Her point total did not define her contributions," Witt said. "She learned so much as the year went on, and understood more and more about game situations. She has a tremendous work ethic."

Junior forward Christina Sharun (Nanaimo, B.C.) won the Bulldog Award for team spirit. Sharun appeared in all 31 games this past season, scoring four goals and adding three assists.

"She's exactly what a coach is looking for in a player, and exactly what a teammate is looking for," Witt said.

Senior forward Deena Caplette (Winnipeg, Man.) and senior goaltender Sarah Love (Bayfield, Ont.) were named co-Most Valuable Players.

Caplette tied for the team lead in assists with 13 and tied for second on the team in goals with 11. Her 24 points placed her second on the team. She finished her career third on the school's all-time assists list with 55 and was also fourth in points (95) and tied for fifth in goals (40). She scored a school-best 11 career game-winning goals.

Love posted a .919 save percentage and a 2.45 goals-against average this season. She concluded her career as Yale's all-time leader in save percentage (.915), goals-against average (2.68) and shutouts (12). She also finished second to All-American Laurie Belliveau in saves (3,088).

Love also holds the school single-season save percentage (.931, 2003-04) and goals-against average (2.25, 2003-04) records. An excellent student, she was a three-time ECACHL All-Academic selection.

Junior forward Sheila Zingler (Wausau, Wisc.) won the Coaches' Award, which Witt explained goes to "the player we feel gave everything to make the team better." Zingler finished the season with seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points, good for fourth on the team. A psychology major, she earned ECACHL All-Academic honors as well.

Witt then thanked Rosenholtz and assistant coach Kim Mathias.

"They work so hard day in and day out for this program," Witt said. "I am so fortunate to work with them every day."

Witt also thanked the Athletic Department administrative and support staff, along with the Yale Hockey Association.

She then had her own praise for the seniors, who were freshmen when Witt was promoted to head coach for the 2002-03 season.

"They have made my first four years here special," Witt said. "They helped put this program on the map and define Yale Hockey for the future."

Jacque, the departing captain, then passed the torch to Savard.

"These four years have been amazing, especially this last one," Jacque said. "It's not easy being the sole captain of a sport at Yale. We have a wonderful group of girls here that made it easy for me."

The team presented their gifts to the coaches, including a poem for Rosenholtz recited by sophomore goalie Shivon Zilis (Markham, Ont.), and concluded the night with a slide show of photos from the season.

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