Bulldogs Visit No. 6 SLU for ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals

Bulldogs Visit No. 6 SLU for ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals

Feb. 28, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - To advance in the ECAC Hockey playoffs, the Yale Bulldogs must do something they have never done before: beat St. Lawrence. And they must do it twice in order to win the best-of-three quarterfinal series, which starts Friday at 4:00 p.m. at Appleton Arena. The series continues Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. if necessary. Every game will be broadcast live on WYBC 1340 AM and pay-per-view video is available on-line at B2 Networks. Live stats will also be available on St. Lawrence's website.

Yale (11-12-6, 8-10-4 ECAC Hockey, 7th) enters the playoffs as the No. 7 seed after surviving what amounted to an elimination game against RPI in the regular season finale last Saturday. The Bulldogs and Engineers both had a chance at the last available playoff spot entering the game, but Yale's 3-2 win eliminated RPI and lifted the Bulldogs one point ahead of Cornell in the standings, sending the Big Red to Harvard to face the No. 1 Crimson. Third-seeded Dartmouth hosts sixth-seeded Colgate and fourth-seeded Clarkson hosts fifth-seeded Princeton in the other series.

The Bulldogs' defense will be put to the test by St. Lawrence, the No. 2 offense in the country (4.15 goals per game). Yale is one of only two teams in the country with two goalies in the top 20 nationally in save percentage, as freshman Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.) is 13th (.919) and senior Shivon Zilis (Markham, Ont.) is 14th (.918). St. Lawrence's Meaghan Guckian is 19th (.911).

St. Lawrence (25-8-1, 18-3-1 ECAC Hockey, 2nd) is 11-1-1 in its last 13 games, and the Saints scored 18 goals in two games last weekend. Forward Sabrina Harbec is ninth in the country in goals per game (16-31-47 in 32 games).

The Bulldogs will need to stay out of the penalty box against the Saints, something they did with success last weekend against Union and RPI (four penalties in two games). The St. Lawrence power play is fourth in the country at 24 percent, and a third of the Saints' 141 goals for the season have come on the man advantage. Forward Alison Domenico is tied for second in the country in power-play goals with 11.

The Yale offense features two players who have passed the 20-point plateau, junior forwards Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill.) (9-18-27) and Sarah Tittman (Chilton, Wisc.) (12-9-21). Howser has led Yale in scoring in both of her previous seasons in New Haven as well.

Freshman forward Bray Ketchum (Greenwich, Conn.) has contributed 19 points (9-10-19), placing her 19th in the country in points per game among rookies. Yale's talented freshman class has produced more ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week selections -- three for Ketchum and one each for Snikeris and defenseman Samantha MacLean (Mississauga, Ont.) -- than any other team.

With a pair of losses by two goals this season (3-1 at Ingalls Rink in December and 5-3 at Appleton Arena two weeks ago) Yale is now 0-30-1 all-time against St. Lawrence. But the Bulldogs have come close to ending that skid several times recently, including four times in the last three years that they had a lead at least halfway through the game only to lose. All four of those games were at Appleton Arena, where Yale must end its losing streak against the Saints in order to keep its season alive.

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