Aug. 25, 2006
Two words sum up one of the main reasons for the optimism surrounding the Yale women's hockey team for 2006-07: Helen's back. Sophomore defenseman Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.), who spent last year training for and participating in the Olympics with Team USA, has one more international competition before she returns to the Bulldogs. Resor is in Ottawa for a three-game Under-22 series against Canada Aug. 24-27.
Resor was one of 20 players selected from a group of 40 that tried out at the recently concluded U.S. Women's National Festival in Lake Placid, N.Y.
"Everyone came to play," said Resor, adding that her spot on the team was far from assured despite being one of only three players in camp with Olympic experience. "I still had the nerves I had before, but a felt a little more confident."
In addition to training, Resor spent her summer taking class and also attended her sister Jane's wedding to Jeff Hamilton. Jane Resor is a 2001 Yale graduate and Hamilton was part of the Class of 2000; both played hockey for the Bulldogs.
The U-22 series is the first significant international competition for a U.S. team since the Olympics, when the Americans were upset by Sweden 3-2 in the semifinal round and eventually finished with a bronze medal. USA Hockey has implemented several changes in the last few months, including the creation of a director of women's hockey operations position (filled by Michele Amidon) and the announcement that Ben Smith, who had been the full-time coach since 1996, would assist in evaluating players but would no longer coach. Harvard head coach Katey Stone is coaching the U-22 team and Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson will coach Team USA at the 2007 IIHF Women's World Championship next April.
"It's definitely a big change from before," Resor said. "Coaching-wise, there were more people evaluating us than in the past."
The Americans opened the U-22 series against Canada with a 2-1 overtime win Thursday night, and Resor was named player of the game.
"The coaches are doing a great job putting together a system, and it's worked so far," Resor said. "For me, it's different from the 2-3 we were playing in the Olympics. I have to be a little more aggressive."
Resor, who turns 21 in October, went from being the second-youngest player on the Olympic team to being the fourth-oldest player on the U-22 team. Her experience in the Olympics, where she had two assists and tied Jenny Potter for the best +/- rating on the team (+10), makes her one of the focal points of the U-22 team. Forwards Caitlin Cahow and Sarah Parsons are the only other players on the roster with Olympic experience.
"The last time I was on the U-22 team (2004) I was relatively young," Resor said. "I could stay back, relax, and know it was going to get done. I definitely feel a little more pressure this time, especially because it's my last time on the U-22 team."
The U.S. Women's National Festival ran from Aug. 15 through Aug. 22. The 40 players were divided up into two teams and played five games. Resor had two assists for the White team, which went 2-3 against the Blue team. One of her teammates on the White team was sophomore forward Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill.). Howser did not make the final roster, but did make an impression on her teammate.
"Crysti had an excellent camp," Resor said. "She played her heart out. I'm really excited to play with her at Yale."
Another Bulldog, freshman forward Mandi Schwartz (Wilcox, Sask.), had two goals and an assist in Canada's Under-22 Development Camp but was not selected for the Under-22 team for this series.
Resor, who had 18 points in 24 games as a freshman in 2004-05, will be back in uniform for Yale this season with three seasons of eligibility remaining. Her cousins, sophomore Carry Resor (Westwood, Mass.) and senior Nina Resor (Westwood, Mass.), will join her on the Yale blue line.
"Hopefully I'll have one of them as my D partner," Resor said. "I'm so excited to be going back to Yale to get after it again. Hopefully this will be our year."
The Bulldogs start their season with an exhibition against Princeton on Oct. 14 at Ingalls Rink.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity