February 18, 2005

Playoff Position, Win Record at Stake on Trip to No. 3 Dartmouth, Vermont

Feb. 18, 2005

Yale travels to No. 3 Dartmouth and Vermont with no less than home ice in the playoffs and the school record for wins hanging in the balance. With two weekends of play left, the top three spots in the ECACHL have been claimed, but the Bulldogs are in position for the fourth and final home-ice slot for the first round of the playoffs. Three wins in the final three games would guarantee Yale the spot. One more win would give Yale the school record for victories in a season. And a win over Dartmouth would be Yale's first over the Big Green since 1986.

Yale has already ended a pair of droughts this season with a win over Harvard (its first since 1984) and a tie against Brown (its first non-loss to the Bears since 1988). Dartmouth (21-3-0, 14-2-0, 2nd), with a string of 38 wins dating back to Feb. 1, 1986, will provide a challenge for Yale's attempt at making some more history. The Big Green has outscored its opponents 127-50 this season, leading the country in goals per game (5.29). Junior forwards Cherie Piper (19-30-49) and Katie Weatherston (32-12-44) lead the offensive charge. Weatherston had four goals in the earlier meeting between these two teams, a 9-1 Dartmouth win at Ingalls Rink. Three of those goals came on the power play, underscoring the need for Yale to stay out of the penalty box. The Bulldogs haven't allowed an even-strength goal in the last three games, a stretch that includes two shutouts.

Team GP W-L-T  Pts. GF-GA
Harvard1614-1-12978-19
Dartmouth1614-2-02885-31
St. Lawrence1613-2-12757-26
Yale1710-6-12141-45
Princeton157-5-31732-31
Brown168-7-11746-35
Colgate166-7-31536-33
Clarkson165-10-11126-32
Cornell183-14-1738-69
Vermont163-13-0617-48
Union160-16-0013-100
Vermont (5-22-3, 3-13-0, 10th) will celebrate senior day on Saturday and will be out to send Kami Cote and Jackie Duerr out in style. The two seniors are the first Catamounts to play all four years at the Division I level. Cote will end her career as the school's all-time saves leader, second in the NCAA in that category. She made 35 saves and nearly denied Yale a victory earlier this season. A power-play goal by sophomore forward Jenna Spring in the second and an even-strength tally by senior forward Nicole Symington in the third gave Yale a 2-1 edge.

No matter what happens this weekend, the Bulldogs will face a quick turnaround for another important game. They host Princeton in their final regular season game Wednesday at 7:00. The Tigers are one of four teams alive for that fourth spot in the ECACHL standings. Brown, Colgate and Yale are the others.

The ECACHL playoffs begin with a best-of-three round March 4-6.

report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity Department

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