Bulldogs Enter 36th Varsity Season
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The long wait since the final game of the 2011-12 season ends this Friday for the Yale women's ice hockey team, as the Bulldogs get 2012-13 underway on the road at Robert Morris (7:05 p.m.). The Bulldogs then head to Rochester Institute of Technology for a game on Saturday (2:30 p.m.). This is Yale's 36th season of varsity women's ice hockey, and the Bulldogs' third season under head coach Joakim Flygh.
Senior forward Alyssa Zupon (Basking Ridge, N.J.) is the team captain and also leads all returnees in career points (10-22-32). She and fellow senior forward Danielle Moncion (Round Lake Center, Ont.) are the two most experienced players on the roster, having played all 87 games in the past three years. Senior Jamie Gray (Calgary, Alta.) is the most experienced defenseman, with 85 career games.
Expect to see immediate offensive contributions from Yale's freshman class, as all three of the new forwards -- Hanna Åström (Örnsköldsvik, Sweden), Janelle Ferrara (Winthrop, Mass.) and Jamie Haddad (Wilbraham, Mass.) -- had spots among the team's top two lines in this past Saturday's win over Toronto in an exhibition. Haddad had a goal in that game, assisted by Ferrara and junior forward Patricia McGauley (Wilcox, Sask.). Junior forward Ashley Dunbar (Hillsborough, N.J.) scored Yale's other goal, and sophomore goalie Jaimie Leonoff (Montreal, Que.) made 23 saves for the shutout.
Robert Morris, which edged Yale 1-0 last year in the first round of the Nutmeg Classic despite 30 saves from Genny Ladiges '12, went 4-0 in exhibition play entering this season. RMU was picked for second in the CHA preseason poll, a tribute to the strides the program has made under second-year head coach Paul Colontino. Last season, Colontino earned USCHO's National Coach of the Year award after leading RMU to a 19-win season -- 13 wins more than the previous season, the biggest win total improvement among all Division I teams. The Colonials set the school record for goals, and Kristen DiCiocco led the CHA in save percentage (.928) and goals-against average (1.97). Forward Rebecca Vint, who was one of just three freshmen nominated for the Patty Kazmaier Award, set the school record for goals, assists and points (22-22-44). She assisted on the game-winning goal against Yale last year, scored by forward Thea Imbrogno.
After making the 450-mile trip to Pittsburgh, the Bulldogs head 300 miles northeast to play at RIT (2-2-0, 0-2-2 CHA) Saturday. RIT is in its first season as a Division I program, but the Tigers were a Division III powerhouse. They went 28-1-1 en route to winning the Division III NCAA Championship last season, ending with a 14-game winning streak in which they outscored their opponents 61-13. Now a member of the CHA, the Tigers lost their first two games this season to Mercyhurst 6-2 and 7-0, but rebounded to sweep Sacred Heart 8-0 and 7-2. RIT hosts Princeton on Friday before the Bulldogs come to town.
Friday, 7:05 at Robert Morris:
Saturday, 2:30 at RIT:
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity