December 22, 2005

Month-Long Break Ends Jan. 2 at BC

Dec. 22, 2005

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A stretch of 28 days without a game comes to an end for the Yale women's hockey team on Monday Jan. 2, when the Bulldogs visit Boston College for a non-conference match up. A fresh start could be just what Yale needs after a 3-7-2 start to the season. That record includes a 1-1 tie with the Eagles (6-4-4, 5-2-1 Hockey East) at Ingalls Rink in November despite a 38-27 Bulldog edge in shots.

Yale endured a 1-9-1 stretch around this same time last year, yet still finished with a school-record 16 wins and a trip to the ECACHL semifinals. That puts this season's record in perspective, especially considering that the Bulldogs were without two key players - freshmen forwards Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill.) and Maggie Westfal (New Canaan, Conn.) - for seven games (they were playing soccer). Howser has five points (2-3-5) the five games she has played, tied with junior forward Christina Sharun (Nanaimo, B.C.) (3-2-5) for the most on the squad in that stretch.

Howser and Westfal both missed the first game against the Eagles, when junior forward Kristin Savard (Framingham, Mass.) scored an unassisted extra attacker goal with 23 seconds left to help Yale salvage a tie. Savard has proven to be one of Yale's most reliable scoring threats this year, with a point in a team-best nine of the 12 games she has played (5-5-10). Junior forward Sheila Zingler (Wausau, Wisc.), who has scored in seven of 12 games, leads the team in points (3-8-11). Savard and senior forward Deena Caplette (Winnipeg, Man.) are tied for the team lead in goals with five.

The BC goal against Yale came from defenseman Maggie Taverna, who is one of three freshmen among the Eagles' top five scorers. That list includes forward Becky Zavissa (10-5-15), Taverna (3-9-12) and forward Meghan Fardelman (4-4-8). Sophomore forward Deborah Spillane leads the team in scoring (8-10-18).

Senior Bulldog goaltender Sarah Love (Bayfield, Ont.) made 26 saves against the Eagles and finished the first half with a .918 save percentage and 2.60 goals-against average. She's on pace to break the school career records in those categories - her current .914 career save percentage would best All-American Laurie Belliveau '98's .911 mark, and her 2.74 goals-against average is well below the 3.25 posted by Tiffany Bingham '89.

BC's freshman goaltender Johanna Ellison made 37 saves against Yale, including five in overtime. Ellison has split time with senior Allison Quandt, appearing in six games to Quandt's nine.

Yale is 7-12-4 all-time against BC. Seven of those games - including three of the last four -- have gone to overtime.

Following the short trip north, Yale returns home for the first time since Nov. 19. The Bulldogs host ECACHL rival Princeton Friday Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. and Northeastern (Yale head coach Hilary Witt's alma mater) Saturday Jan. 7 at 4 p.m. Tickets are available at Ingalls Rink one hour prior to the game.

Note: While getting ready for BC the Bulldogs will also have their minds on Minnesota for a short time. The U.S. women's Olympic Team will be announced at the Mall of America on Dec. 27 at 1 p.m. Central (2 p.m. Eastern), and one of the candidates for a roster spot is Yale defenseman Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.). If she makes it, Resor would be the Bulldogs' first Olympic women's hockey player. Her cousins Carry Resor (Westwood, Mass.) (a freshman) and Nina Resor (Westwood, Mass.) (a junior) are currently defensemen for Yale, and her sister Jane '01 played for Yale as well. Helen Resor will have three years of eligibility remaining once she returns to school.

report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity