Nov. 1, 2005
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The largest crowd for a women's hockey event at Yale (1,539) was on hand Tuesday night as the U.S. Women's National Team came to Ingalls Rink for an exhibition game against the ECACHL All-Stars. Yale was well-represented on both sides of the ice, with sophomore defenseman Helen Resor playing for Team USA and three Bulldogs - senior forward Deena Caplette, senior goaltender Sarah Love and junior forward Kristin Savard - on the ECACHL team. Team USA overcame an early 1-0 deficit to post a 6-2 win.
The game is part of an 11-game schedule on the Hilton Family Skate to 2006 Tour, designed to prepare the U.S. for the 2006 Olympics in February. This was the one and only game for the ECACHL All-Stars, a team picked specifically for this event.
"It was a fun game," said Love. "It was exciting. There were so many fans around -- just lots of energy."
It was a particularly special night for Resor, from nearby Greenwich, with over a dozen family members in the stands (including two cousins, junior Nina and freshman Carry, who play hockey at Yale as well). Resor grew up attending Yale games.
"It's such an honor," Resor said of the chance to play in The Whale. "It was an amazing display, having this place packed. It was the most packed I've ever seen it with girls on the ice. Our sport has taken a huge jump forward."
The level of competition was apparent right from the start in this game, as St. Lawrence's Sabrina Harbec deflected a pass from Brown's Myria Heinhuis past USA goalie Pam Dreyer on a power play 3:10 in for a 1-0 ECACHL lead.
Love, who earned the start in net, kept the ECACHL out in front until midway through the period. With one player from each team already in the box, the ECACHL was whistled for two more penalties in a span of 22 seconds. With a 4-on-3 advantage, USA defenseman Angela Ruggiero blasted a feed from Lyndsay Wall just past Love's outstretched leg to tie the score. With 3:31 left in the period, Kathleen Kauth put USA up 2-1.
Love finished the period with eight saves, then was replaced by Harvard's Ali Boe. Boe made 14 stops in the second period, but Team USA began pulling away with three goals, including power-play tallies from Natalie Darwitz and Katie King and an even strength goal from Caitlin Cahow.
"Special teams are what's going to suffer, obviously, when you bring a team together quickly," said Harvard head coach Katey Stone, who coached the ECACHL All-Stars. "Our kids did a good job. They played hard for three periods and we got great goaltending."
The third period, with Princeton's Roxanne Gaudiel in net (Chanda Gunn came on for the U.S. halfway through the second), was an even affair on the scoreboard. Caplette picked up an assist on a goal by Brown's Hayley Moore 21 seconds in. Savard was on the ice for that one as well, and she and Caplette finished the night with an even +/- rating.
"It was nice having confidence in your own line mate going out there, knowing where they'll be," Savard said.
"We went out there basically to just have a lot of fun trying to give the U.S. team a challenge, and I think we did," said Caplette. "It was great playing with all the All-Stars."
Stone was impressed with the three Bulldogs on her squad, picked in consultation with the ECACHL coaches at the end of September.
"Sarah is one of the best goalies around," Stone said. "Deena and Kristin, they work hard. They're disciplined and they're real fun to have on your team - fun to coach. They play with a lot of enthusiasm."
Darwitz tacked on another goal for the U.S. at 5:32 for the 6-2 final.
After the game, Resor seemed as relieved as anyone.
"This is the most nervous I've ever been for a game," she said. "Even playing Canada, for some reason. It hit home. I don't think I was quite prepared for how emotional it was going to be."
Resor, who has been able to work out with the Yale team when not with Team USA, noted how returning to Ingalls reminded her how tough it was for her to take the year off from Yale.
"The [Yale] team is amazing," Resor said. "It definitely makes it harder to leave. We've had some unbelievable freshmen come in. I definitely miss playing with those girls and the girls who are seniors this year."
Resor and Team USA were headed to New York after the game for a number of appearances, including one on the Today Show Wednesday between 8:30 and 8:50 a.m. Resor herself will be on Sirius satellite radio's "NHL Live" show from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The team then heads to Italy for a test event. The next game on the Hilton Family Skate to 2006 Tour in Nov. 27 against Canada at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
The Bulldogs return to action at Cornell this Friday.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity