Nov. 10, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Fresh off an exhilarating 3-2 win over Providence Wednesday night, the Yale women's hockey team heads up I-95 for a 7:00 p.m. game at Brown Saturday night. The Bulldogs (3-3-0, 2-2-0 ECAC) will look to keep the Bears (0-6-0, 0-4-0 ECAC) winless in a game that will be broadcast on-line as USCHO.com's "Game of the Week".
The Bulldogs were able to use their speed to offset Providence's physical nature Wednesday night, but on Saturday it will likely take more discipline for Yale to win. Ten Yale penalties helped give the Friars two power play goals, both of which erased Bulldog leads. For the year, half of the 14 goals Yale has allowed have come on power plays.
"We're giving up too many power plays," Associate Head Coach Harry Rosenholtz said. "We're taking penalties in the offensive zone that we don't need to take, and we're taking penalties with our sticks. If we can eliminate that, we'll be a much better team."
Yale has benefited from solid play in net by junior goaltender Shivon Zilis (Markham, Ont.), who is currently fourth in the conference in save percentage (.919). Brown's Nicole Stock is right behind her at .917.
Brown advanced to the ECAC semifinals last year after finishing four points ahead of Yale in the standings, and has a history of success against Yale. Last February's 3-1 Bulldog win at Meehan Auditorium was Yale's first victory over Brown since 1988 (the teams had skated to a 3-3 tie the prior year).
A relatively young team with only three seniors on the roster, Brown has struggled to put the puck in the net this year (ten goals in six games). Four of those goals have come from forward Hayley Moore, who had a hat trick against Quinnipiac last Sunday.
Yale, in contrast, has a veteran roster -- Wednesday night marked the 100th career game for senior forwards Kelsey Johnson (Wayzata, Minn.), Kristin Savard (Framingham, Mass.), Christina Sharun (Nanaimo, B.C.) and Sheila Zingler (Wausau, Wisc.). Senior defenseman Regan Gilbride (White Plains, N.Y.) and senior forward Jenna Spring (Cranbrook, B.C.) will reach that mark Saturday.
The Bulldogs have scored three goals or more in four of their last five games. They only had two such stretches last season, overlapping in a six-game span Nov. 26 through Jan. 7. Eleven different players have accounted for Yale's 15 goals so far this year.
Sophomore forward Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill.) picked up two of those goals Wednesday night against Providence. Interestingly, this game will mark the second time in a week that Howser and sophomore defenseman Maggie Westfal (New Canaan, Conn.) have squared off against Brown's Kathryn Moos. Those three all played in Yale's 4-2 victory over the Bears in women's soccer at Brown last Saturday, with Howser and Moos both scoring goals.
While Howser and Westfal play their third game since the end of soccer season, the Bulldogs will once again be without sophomore defenseman Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.) and head coach Hilary Witt Saturday night. They have been with Team USA in Kitchener, Ont. for the Four Nations Cup since Sunday night. Witt is an assistant on head coach Mark Johnson's staff. The U.S. is 1-1 in the tournament heading into Friday's game vs. Sweden, with the bronze and gold medal games taking place Saturday.
Erin Duggan '05, the former All-ECAC defenseman who captained the Bulldogs to their first ECAC semifinal appearance two years ago, will be the color analyst on the USCHO.com broadcast. Brian Schulz handles the play-by-play.