Bulldogs Host No. 4 Cornell and Colgate
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Ingalls Rink will be bustling with activity this weekend as the Yale women's ice hockey team hosts two of its biggest events -- and two ECAC Hockey rivals. It is Alumnae Weekend, with alums from all 35 previous seasons invited back for the games and special events. Saturday's game will also be the third annual "White Out for Mandi". The Bulldogs will attempt to pack Ingalls with fans wearing white as a show of support and fundraiser for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation, the charity named after center Mandi Schwartz '10 (1988-2011) and started by Aleca Hughes '12. No. 4 Cornell is in town for the game Friday night (7:00 p.m.), while Saturday's opponent is Colgate (4:00 p.m.).
The White Out for Mandi on Saturday will include a special ceremony. Carol and Rick Schwartz, Mandi's parents, will present ECAC Hockey's Mandi Schwartz Award for 2011-12 to Hughes, who started the Mandi Schwartz Foundation. The game serves as a fundraiser for the foundation; no admission will be charged, but donations will be accepted at the door. Special white t-shirts are being sold, with the goal of packing Ingalls with everyone wearing white as a show of support. There will also be an auction of sports memorabilia and other items to raise funds.
Yale (3-15-1, 2-9-1 ECAC Hockey) is coming off a split with its travel partner, Brown, last week. That left the ECAC Hockey standings closely packed around the eighth and final conference playoff spot, as just four points separate the Bulldogs and the Raiders -- who are tied for 10th -- from seventh-place RPI.
With 15 goals in the last nine games, the Yale offense has been showing signs of progress. The Bulldogs had scored just 11 goals in the first 10 games of the season. The third line of junior forwards Ashley Dunbar (Hillsborough, N.J.) and Patricia McGauley (Wilcox, Sask.) and sophomore forward Stephanie Mock (Cape Coral, Fla.) is coming off its most productive week of the year, as Dunbar and Mock each had a goal and an assist in the series vs. Brown. The trio combined to generate seven shots.
Freshman forward Jamie Haddad (Wilbraham, Mass.) scored a pair of goals in the second period of the 3-1 win over Brown Thursday, moving into a tie for the team lead with six goals for the season (matching freshman forward Janelle Ferrara (Winthrop, Mass.)). Haddad also has a team-best four power play goals, and thanks in part to her work Yale is already just two power play goals away from matching the total from all of last season (12). Ferrara and Haddad have also helped cut down on the amount of penalty killing needed; the two have just seven penalties combined.
Freshman defenseman Kate Martini (King City, Ont.), who had three assists in Yale's 3-0 win at Colgate earlier this season, now has eight for the year. She leads the team in that category, one more than junior defenseman Tara Tomimoto (Calgary, Alta.). This is the first time Yale has had two defensemen with at least seven assists since 2008-09, when U.S. Olympian Helen Resor '09 had 14 and Alyssa Clarke '10 had eight.
Sophomore goalie Jaimie Leonoff (Montreal, Que.), who made 31 saves in the win at Colgate earlier this year for her first career shutout, leads ECAC Hockey in saves (630) by nearly 100 more than her next closest competitor (Clarkson's Erica Howe, 544). Leonoff averages 35 saves per game, and is even busier when at Ingalls (37 saves per game at home and 33 per game on the road).
Cornell (14-4-0, 10-2-0 ECAC Hockey) jumped out to a 9-1-0 start this season and has slowed down only slightly (5-3-0) since. All three of those recent losses have come against ranked opponents. The Bulldogs nearly upset the Big Red the last time these two teams met -- goals by Haddad and Martini had Yale and Cornell tied 2-2 heading into the third period, but Big Red forward Jillian Saulnier got the game-winner on a power play at the 4:36 mark of the final frame. Leonoff made 39 saves.
Forward Brianne Jenner (16-18-34) leads the Big Red in scoring and is third in the country in points per game. Three other players have already reached double figures in assists: Saulnier (20), defenseman Lauriane Rougeau (14) and defenseman Hayleigh Cudmore (11). Jenner, one of the last players released when Team Canada made its cuts prior to the 2010 Olympics, is a two-time first team All-ECAC Hockey and All-Ivy League selection. Saulnier, a member of Canada's Under-22 team like Jenner, was ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year and Ivy League Rookie of the Year last season. Rougeau, another member of Canada's Under-22 team, is a three-time second team All-American and first team All-ECAC Hockey pick. Cudmore, forward Jessica Campbell, defenseman Laura Fortino, forward Emily Fulton, defenseman Cassandra Poudrier and forward Taylor Woods have all been on Canada's Under-18 team. Goalie Lauren Slebodnick has a .924 save percentage and a 1.71 goals-against average behind a Cornell defense that ranks No. 6 in the country in goals per game (1.72).
Colgate (6-14-3, 1-8-3 ECAC Hockey) has regrouped nicely after starting the season 3-11-2. The Raiders have gone 4-3-1 since, including a signature 2-1 win at No. 6 Clarkson that shows that first-year head coach Greg Fargo's squad is capable of knocking off some top-ranked teams. Goalie Ashlynne Rando keyed that win with 36 saves. Rando, a rarity as a Texas native playing college hockey, has an .896 save percentage with a 3.27 goals-against average for the season.
A pair of senior forwards, Jenna Klynstra and Brittany Phillips, lead the Raiders in scoring with 15 points each. Five of Phillips' goals have come on the power play, giving her nearly half of the team's total goals (12) in that category.
Yale held Colgate scoreless on all four power plays last time, and the Yale penalty killing unit has been on a roll of late. Over the last three games, the Bulldogs have killed off 12 of 13 penalties.
Video (Adlon Adams '15 and Paul Wasserman '14, broadcasters):
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity