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Staenz Named USCHO Rookie of the Year

Phoebe Staenz. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Phoebe Staenz. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

National Honor for Yale Standout

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Phoebe Staenz (Zürich, Switzerland), an Olympic medalist who led Yale in scoring, has been named U.S. College Hockey Online Rookie of the Year. The announcement was made Wednesday on USCHO's website.

Staenz, who earned a bronze medal at the Olympics with Team Switzerland last month, made a major impact at Yale despite missing 12 games due to her national team responsibilities. She led the team in goals and points, and was second in assists (11-15-26). Only nine players in the country had a better points-per-game average than Staenz (1.30). The last Yale player to finish a season with at least 20 points and have a higher point-per-game average than Staenz was Crysti Howser '09, who scored 37 points in 27 games (1.37 points per game) in 2006-07.

Staenz' 26 points were the most points by a Yale player since Howser scored 29 in 2007-08. They were also the most points by a Yale freshman since Natalie Babony '06 scored 29 in 2002-03.

Staenz missed eight Yale games recently while playing in the Olympics, where she scored the game-tying goal in Switzerland's come-from-behind 4-3 win over Sweden for the bronze medal on Feb. 20. Earlier, Staenz became the first Yale women's ice hockey player to score a goal in the Olympics when she lit the lamp eight minutes into the second period against Finland on Feb. 12. She is the second Yale women's ice hockey player to earn an Olympic medal, joining Helen Resor '09 (who earned a bronze with the U.S. in the 2006 Olympics).

This is Staenz' first national honor, but she has already been honored multiple times by her conference. She was named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Year and third team All-ECAC Hockey along with being selected to the conference's All-Rookie Team. She is the second Bulldog to earn ECAC Hockey's Rookie of the Year Award, joining Maria Dennis '88 (who won the award in 1985).

Staenz also earned four ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week selections, two ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Month selections and one ECAC Hockey Player of the Week selection. She is part of a revamped Yale offense that figures to continue producing impressive numbers in upcoming seasons. The team scored 51 goals in ECAC Hockey games this year -- the most for Yale since 2006-07, when the team scored 72 goals in conference games. Of those 51 goals in conference games this year, 48 came from juniors, sophomores and freshmen -- meaning that the Bulldogs have more goals returning next year than all but two ECAC Hockey teams (Cornell has 58 goals returning from this year, Harvard has 55). The Bulldogs also return all of their goalies, and all but one defenseman.

Staenz helped the Bulldogs post their best winning percentage in conference games (.432) since 2007-08 this past season. Yale also made its first ECAC Hockey Championship playoff appearance since 2008, and earned its first postseason win since 2005 with a 3-2 double overtime win at then-No. 5 Harvard Feb. 28 in game one of the quarterfinals. The Bulldogs eventually lost the series two games to one, falling one goal shy of the program's second appearance at the ECAC Hockey semifinals.

A member of Ezra Stiles College, Staenz attended Choate Rosemary Hall and played for Assabet Valley before coming to Yale.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity