Nov. 10, 2005
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A 1-2-1 start has knocked Yale from the national rankings, but the Bulldogs can make a quick move back with success against the two powerful non-conference opponents coming to Ingalls this weekend. Boston College (Saturday, 1 p.m.) is ranked No. 10 in the USA Today/American Hockey poll, a first for that program. New Hampshire (Sunday, 1 p.m.) is No. 6 in that poll and the USCHO.com poll, meaning the Bulldogs could make a big impression with wins this weekend.
Boston College has made a quick turnaround in its third season under head coach Tom Mutch, a Northeastern grad ('92) just like Yale mentor Hilary Witt ('01). The Eagles were 6-22-3 overall and 1-18-1 in Hockey East in his first season, then improved to 10-20-4 overall and 6-11-3 in the conference last year. Their 3-2-3 start this year includes the team's first win over New Hampshire in 35 tries, a 3-2 overtime decision Nov. 5. Offensively the Eagles are led by two sophomore forwards, Deborah Spillane (5-7-12) and Sarah Feldman (5-4-9). Senior Alison Quandt has seen the majority of time in net, posting a 2.28 goals-against average and .897 save percentage. The last meeting between Yale and BC, Nov. 9, 2003 at Chestnut Hill, was a 5-0 Bulldog victory highlighted by a pair of Deena Caplette goals. Overall the Eagles lead the series 12-8-3.
New Hampshire represents a unique challenge for Yale in that the Wildcats are 16-0-1 all-time against the Bulldogs. The lone non-loss for Yale in the series was a 1-1 tie at Ingalls Rink Nov. 16, 2003 in which Caplette scored Yale's goal and Sarah Love made 26 saves. To stay close this time around the Bulldogs must contain a powerful Wildcat power play that has scored at least one goal in every game this year and is 15-for-45 (.333) on the season. Sophomore forward Leah Craig leads the team in goals (8-1-9), and is tied with junior forward Nicole Hekle (1-8-9) for the points lead. Junior goaltender Melissa Bourdon has a .901 save percentage and 1.42 GAA.
In addition to her previous history of success against these two teams, Caplette has been on a roll in general of late. Dating back to the final seven games of last season, she has 12 points in her last 11 games, including six goals and six assists. Her 75 career points place her seventh all-time at Yale. She is also sixth in assists with 44.
Both games will be available live on GameTracker on yalebulldogs.com.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity