February 22, 2005

Wednesday Night Battle With No. 9 Princeton Has Playoff Implications

Feb. 22, 2005

New Haven, CT - On Nov. 21, 2001, the three members of the Yale's women's hockey Class of 2005 - Erin Duggan, Nicole Symington and Ali Turney - took to the ice for the first time as Bulldogs. Back then, Yale was just hoping to avoid a repeat of the previous season's school record-tying 23 losses. This Wednesday, when those three are honored on senior night, the results of their four seasons of hard work will be apparent. Yale already has a school record this season - for wins - and could clinch its first-ever home playoff series. Long-time rival Princeton, the No. 9 team in the country, comes to town for the 7 p.m. faceoff, which will be broadcast on WYBC 1340 AM.

It is fitting for the seniors to have to go through Princeton in such a significant game. When these three were sophomores, a comeback 3-1 win against the Tigers on Feb. 15, 2003 gave Yale its fourth conference win, tying what was then the school record. The Bulldogs have increased that total each year since, and their 11-7-1 ECACHL mark this year has them in fourth place.

The top eight teams make the playoffs, with the top four hosting a best-of-three playoff series March 4-6. The fourth-place team hosts the fifth-place team, the third-place team hosts the sixth-place team, and so on.

Team GP W-L-T Pts.
Dartmouth1816-2-032
Harvard1815-1-232
St. Lawrence1813-3-228
Yale1911-7-123
Princeton178-6-319
Brown189-8-119
Colgate188-7-319
Clarkson186-11-113
Cornell183-14-17
Vermont183-15-06
Union180-18-00
Brown, Colgate and Princeton are all in fifth place, four points behind Yale, and each will play two games this coming weekend when Yale is idle. The Blue needs either a win or a tie on Wednesday to put that home ice spot out of reach.

Duggan, Symington and Turney have played a combined 350 games, making them a key part of the turnaround that has taken place since their arrival. They will leave as the winningest class in Yale women's hockey history - they are currently at 43 wins, and the previous record was 35 by the Class of '87 - but can add plenty more to their list of accomplishments over the next few weeks. A win over Princeton would be Yale's fourth over a ranked team this season, which includes a 2-1 victory over the Tigers back in November when Princeton was ranked No. 8.

Freshman Helen Resor and junior Deena Caplette scored the goals in that game, while Caplette, Duggan and sophomore Jenna Spring had assists. Junior Sarah Love made 32 saves. Her counterpart, Roxanne Gaudiel, made 25. Gaudiel now has the second-best save percentage (.929) and goals-against average (1.78) in the conference.

The ECACHL regular season concludes Saturday. The quarterfinals at campus sites take place March 4-6, with the winners of those series advancing to the ECACHL tournament at Union's Messa Rink (Schenectady, N.Y.) for the semifinals March 12. The ECACHL Championship is March 13, with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

NOTES

The 3-0 win at Vermont last Saturday was Yale's third shutout in the last five games, and the Bulldogs have allowed only two goals at even strength in the last 15 periods ... The win gave head coach Hilary Witt sole possession of the school record for wins (34), breaking a tie with Tyler Benson ... The line of Caplette, sophomore Kristin Savard and sophomore forward Sheila Zingler has five goals and six assists over the last three games ... Duggan moved into third place on Yale's career scoring list with two assists over the weekend (36-58-94) ... The loss to No. 3 Dartmouth last Friday was Yale's sixth one-goal loss, and five of those six have come against teams currently ranked or receiving votes in the USCHO.com poll.

Tickets for the Princeton game go on sale at Ingalls Rink one hour prior to the game's start time (7:00 p.m.). Yale Students with ID get in free, Adult G.A. is $3, Non-Yale Students (15 & over) $1, Youth (14 & under) get in free and senior citizens (65 & over) get in free.

report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity Department

View: Mobile | Desktop