Nov. 23, 2004
Yale (5-3-0, 4-2-0 ECACHL) travels to No. 8 Princeton (4-3-1, 2-2-0) for a significant test just seven games into the ECACHL season. USCHO.com will broadcast the game on-line as part of its "Game of the Week" package, with coverage starting at 6:50 p.m. Eastern time. The Bulldogs have split the regular-season series with the Tigers in each of the past two seasons, but have finished behind Princeton in the conference standings both times. The Tigers finished in fifth place last year, eight points ahead of sixth-place Yale. A win on Wednesday would give the Bulldogs a much-needed head start on Princeton in the race for a prime playoff position.
The Bulldogs are coming off one of their most successful weekends in recent memory, having outscored Union 12-0 in a weekend sweep at Messa Rink. The 12-goal total was the most Yale has scored in a two-game stretch since January 19-22, 2003 (a 1-1 tie with Providence and a 12-1 win over Sacred Heart). All told, 12 different players had at least one point, led by sophomore forward Jenna Spring (Cranbrook, B.C.) (3-2-5). Spring had a hat trick on Friday, Yale's second of the season, and earned mention on the ECACHL honor roll for her efforts. Also on the honor roll was freshman goaltender Shivon Zilis (Markham, Ont.), who got a shutout with 18 saves in her first collegiate start Saturday. Senior defenseman Erin Duggan (Beaumont, Alb.), who leads all ECACHL defensemen in scoring (6-4-10), had two goals and two assists on the weekend. Junior forward Deena Caplette (Winnipeg, Man.) also had four points (1-3-4), assisting on all three of Spring's goals on Friday night.
The Tigers roster is loaded with talent, including sophomore forward Liz Keady, fresh off an appearance for Team U.S.A. in the Four Nations Cup a week ago. Despite missing two games for that event, Keady is still tied for the team lead in points (2-4-6). Junior forward Heather Jackson (2-4-6) and sophomore forward Laura Watt (1-5-6) share the points lead with Keady, while sophomore forward Kim Pearce paces the team with four goals. Junior Roxanne Gaudiel has played every minute in goal, posting a .917 save percentage and 2.11 goals-against average.
At 5-3 overall, the Bulldogs are off to their best start since 1984-85 (that squad also was 5-3). Head coach Hilary Witt, who was profiled recently on collegesports.com, has overseen one of the most successful three-year stretches in team history since taking over. Yale's next win would give the team 27 since the start of the 2002-03 season, tied for the third-most in any three-season period in Yale history.
report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity Department