ECAC Hockey Play Starts with Trip to Union, RPI

Caroline Murphy. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Oct. 30, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Halloween weekend provides the setting for Yale's first ECAC Hockey games of 2008-09, with the Bulldogs traveling to New York's Capital District for matchups against Union (Friday, 3:00 p.m., Live Stats on Union's website) and RPI (Saturday, 3:00 p.m., Pay-per-view Video and Live Stats on RPI's website). While the Dutchwomen and the Engineers finished behind Yale in the standings last year, they both put a scare into the Bulldogs.

Union (0-7-1, 0-0-0 ECAC Hockey) has not beaten Yale since the series started in 2001, but the Dutchwomen came close twice last season. They tied the game at Union 2-2 in October in the third period with 16 minutes to play, only to have sophomore forward Bray Ketchum (Greenwich, Conn.) net the eventual game-winner a minute later. The Bulldogs enjoyed a 57-7 shot advantage in that one but Union's Lundy Day nearly denied them by making 54 saves. The game at Yale in February saw Union with a 1-0 lead with nearly six minutes left in the game, but goals by senior defenseman Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.) and junior forward Caroline Murphy (Woodstock, Conn.) spoiled the upset bid.

Day has stopped 327 of 260 shots in Union's first eight games for a .908 save percentage and a 4.12 goals-against average. The Dutchwomen's leading scorer is junior defenseman Jackie Koetteritz, who has three goals and three assists.

RPI (3-4-0, 0-0-0 ECAC Hockey) also threatened Yale last season, but in a different way. The Engineers battled the Bulldogs for the final ECAC Hockey playoff spot right up until the final game of the season, when Yale beat RPI 3-2 at Ingalls Rink on a third-period game-winner from sophomore defenseman Samantha MacLean (Mississauga, Ont.). Yale wound up four points ahead of the Engineers in the standings, but if RPI had won that last game the Engineers would have gone to the playoffs and the Bulldogs would have been left out.

Junior forward Whitney Naslund (2-5-7) is RPI's leading scorer. Sophomore goalie Sonja van der Bliek (.902, 2.43) has seen the majority of minutes in goal, but senior Ashley Mayr (.871, 2.02) has seen time as well.

Yale (0-1-0, 0-0-0 ECAC Hockey) lost to New Hampshire in the season opener last Saturday, falling behind 5-0 before scoring the final three goals of the game -- two from senior forward Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill.) and one from freshman forward Aleca Hughes (Westwood, Mass.).

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