October 30, 2013

Conference Play Starts with Visit to North Country

Bulldogs Take on St. Lawrence, No. 5 Clarkson

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After opening the season by nearly knocking off two non-conference opponents that made the NCAA Tournament last year, the Yale women's ice hockey team now turns its attention to conference play. The Bulldogs open the ECAC Hockey slate Friday at St. Lawrence (7:00 p.m.), then visit No. 5 Clarkson (another 2013 NCAA Tournament participant) Saturday (4:00 p.m.).

Yale's first two games, one-goal losses at No. 6 BC and BU, have showcased some of the team's strengths. The Bulldogs are averaging just nine penalty minutes per game, tied for the sixth-best average in the nation. Junior goaltender Jaimie Leonoff (Montreal, Que.) has stopped 79 of 85 shots, and currently ranks No. 12 in the country in save percentage (.929). She has a 3.01 goals-against average.

Nine different players have at least one point in the Bulldogs' first two games, and the freshman and sophomore classes have combined for seven points. Freshman forward Phoebe Staenz (Zurich, Switzerland) leads the team with a pair of points on a goal and an assist.

Sophomore forward Janelle Ferrara (Winthrop, Mass.) and senior defenseman Tara Tomimoto (Calgary, Alta.) led Yale in scoring in the four games vs. Clarkson and St. Lawrence last season, with each getting a goal and an assist. Tomimoto had a team-best 12 shots.

St. Lawrence (2-6-0, 1-1-0 ECAC Hockey) has lost five games to teams currently ranked in the top 10, including a sweep at the hands of Clarkson earlier this month. The Saints are coming off a 6-4 loss to No. 3 Cornell in which they hurt themselves by allowing three power play goals in five chances. Goalie Carmen MacDonald made 39 saves in just her second game back after missing five games with an injury. She has a .905 save percentage and a 3.07 goals-against average. Defenseman Dayle Wilkinson leads the Saints in scoring (2-6-8), with both of her goals coming on the power play.

Clarkson (6-2-1, 1-1-0 ECAC Hockey), which plays Brown on Friday, enters the weekend with the ninth-best winning percentage in the nation. The team's two losses and one tie were to teams currently ranked in the top 10. The Golden Knights have outscored their opponents 29-5 in the other six games, including a 12-1 win over RIT in the season opener. They are sixth in the country in scoring offense (3.67 goals per game) and scoring defense (1.56 goals allowed per game). Defenseman Erin Ambrose leads the team in goals and is fifth in the country in points per game amongst blueliners (7-5-12 in nine games). Forward Carly Mercer (4-9-13) leads the team in scoring. Goalie Erica Howe, a two-time ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Year Award winner, has a .931 save percentage and a 1.49 goals-against average.

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

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