November 27, 2012

Yale’s Ingalls Rink to Host CWHL Game Featuring 14 Olympians, 26 National Team Members Friday

Boston Blades, Featuring Yale Assistant Coach Jessica Koizumi, Play Brampton HC at The Whale

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale's Ingalls Rink will add to its rich history on Friday, Nov. 30, when it plays host to a women's ice hockey game that features 14 Olympians and 26 current or former National Team members. The game, between Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) teams from Boston and Brampton, starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The Blades' roster features Yale assistant coach Jessica Koizumi (Simi Valley, Calif./Minnesota-Duluth), who earned a gold medal with the U.S. National Team at the IIHF Women's World Championship in 2008. Yale football assistant coach Larry Ciotti, the leader of the athletics department's annual Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive, will be part of a special puck drop ceremony that will also include Giana Cardonita, the Yale-New Haven Hospital patient who has been "adopted" as a member of the Yale women's ice hockey team. Yale students are admitted free, and Yale staff members receive a 50% discount if they buy tickets in advance. 

The CWHL, which was founded in 2007, features elite women's hockey players divided up into five teams (Alberta, Boston, Brampton, Montreal and Toronto) competing in a 24-game regular season schedule from October to March. The teams then compete for the league's championship, the Clarkson Cup, Mar. 19-24. Montreal is the defending champion.

This game at Ingalls will be a home game for the Boston Blades, who currently lead the CWHL with a 5-0-1 record. The Blades' roster includes 10 2010 U.S. Olympic silver medalists (two of whom, Erika Lawler and Gigi Marvin, are currently injured):

In addition to Yale's Koizumi, Boston's roster includes another local connection in Jaclyn Hawkins (Manotick, Ont./UConn), a 2008 UConn graduate who captained the Huskies for two seasons.

In addition to Cahow and Kate Buesser (Wolfeboro, N.H./Harvard), the Boston roster also includes one other former ECAC Hockey player in Whitney Naslund (Bloomington, Minn./RPI). The team's coach is former Brown coach, and Cornell player, Digit Murphy. Blades assistant coach Ryan Stone has coached with two ECAC Hockey teams, Brown and Colgate.

Brampton's roster includes three 2010 Canadian Olympians (Gillian Apps, Jayna Hefford and Cherie Piper) along with 2010 Swiss Olympian Florence Schelling.

Ingalls Rink, which opened in 1959, has seen multiple Olympians skate for the Bulldogs. Helen Resor '09 (Greenwich, Conn.) played for the U.S. in the 2006 Olympics, and Denise Soesilo '10 (Hamburg, Germany) played for Germany that same year. The Whale hosted an exhibition game between the U.S. team and a team of ECAC Hockey all-stars in 2005.

The game will include several promotions, including the ceremonial puck drop. For the past four years Ciotti, an assistant football coach at Yale, has spearheaded the Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive at Yale, named in memory of former Yale women's ice hockey player Mandi Schwartz. Through the efforts of Coach Ciotti and the Yale field hockey, football and women's ice hockey teams, this drive has added more than 3,000 potential donors to the Be The Match registry for patients with life-threatening illnesses in need of transplants. To date, this has led to at least 14 life-saving donations in Mandi's memory.

Giana survived a brain tumor after being operated on at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and she was "adopted" by the Yale women's ice hockey team right after that. She was the first patient to be part of the "Yale Bulldog PAWS" program, started by Yale women's ice hockey captain Alyssa Zupon, which pairs young brain tumor patients with Yale athletic teams to serve as a support group.

Singer/songwriter and Nashville recording artist Jillian Cardarelli, who has performed at Fenway Park and the TD Garden, will sing the Anthems. She will also sing a cover song during the first intermission. The Yale U12 girls and Northern CT Lights girls teams will have a three-player shootout during the second intermission.

There will also be a post-game autograph session and apparel for sale.

Tickets for the Nov. 30 game at Ingalls are free for children under 12. Players that wear their jerseys or team jackets pay $5 and adults are $10. Yale students are admitted free, and Yale staff members receive a 50% discount if they buy tickets in advance. Contact Jessica.koizumi@yale.edu for further information.

Information on the Boston Blades is available on Facebook, Twitter, and on the official CWHL website at http://www.CWHL.ca.