Dec. 2, 2004
The Yale Bulldogs look to carry the momentum of four straight wins into their final weekend of ECACHL play before the winter break. Yale (7-3, 5-2 ECACHL) hosts Cornell Friday at 7:00 and Colgate Saturday at 4:00. Currently in third place in the conference with 10 points, the Bulldogs have started to gain some national recognition - they are among the "others receiving votes" in both the USA TODAY/American Hockey Magazine poll and the USCHO.com poll.
The Bulldogs are off to their best start since the 1984-85 season (also 7-3), and have more than just a four-game winning streak to maintain this weekend. Yale has also killed off 25 straight penalties, and is now sixth in the nation on the penalty kill (.899). That unit will get a test on Friday night against the Big Red. Cornell (3-4-1, 3-3-0 ECACHL) is third in the ECACHL on the power play (7-for-35) and features freshman forward Brianne Schmidt, tied for fourth in the conference with four power-play tallies. Overall, the Big Red is averaging 3.00 goals per game, tied for fourth in the conference.
Colgate (6-7-0, 1-3-0 ECACHL) finished just three points behind Yale in the conference standings last season, and the Raiders' conference record this season is deceiving in that their three losses were to nationally-ranked Brown, Dartmouth and Harvard. The Raiders feature one of the top goaltending tandems in the conference, with sophomore Brook Wheeler fourth in the ECACHL in save percentage (.921) and senior Rebecca Lahar tenth (.910). Lahar has played the majority of the minutes this season (419 to Wheeler's 359) for the Raiders, who allow just 2.23 goals per game. Colgate also has the talented line of senior Amanda Barre, junior Becky Irvine and junior Allison Paiano leading the way offensively - that trio has 16 of the Raiders' 24 goals on the season.
The Bulldogs have some scorers of their own, as they have increased their goals per game from 2.35 last season to 3.10 this season. Among those leading the offensive charge lately are sophomore Kelsey Johnson and senior Nicole Symington, who each have seven points over the Bulldogs' last five games. Over that same stretch, goaltender Sarah Love has stopped 148 of 156 shots (.948 save percentage) and posted a 1.77 goals-against average. She and forward Deena Caplette were named to the ECACHL honor roll earlier this week, while defenseman Helen Resor earned Rookie of the Week honors.
Though the season is still young, the Bulldogs are running out of home games. After this weekend set and a mid-week two-game series against No. 7 Mercyhurst next Tuesday and Wednesday, Yale does not return to Ingalls Rink until February 4. The Bulldogs have only three regular-season games at home after December 8.
Tickets are available at Ingalls Rink one hour prior to the game (cash only: Yale students with ID free, adult G.A. $3, non-Yale students 15 & over $1, youth 14 & under free, senior citizens 65 & over free).
Fans can follow both of this weekend's games live via Gametracker, available on the Yale women's hockey schedule page.
report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity Department