April 12, 2005
New Haven, CT - Yale junior forward Lisa Jacque (Markham, Ont.) was introduced as the 2005-06 team captain at the annual women's hockey team banquet tonight. Jacque, the 29th captain in team history, takes the reins on the heels of a record-breaking season in which Yale set the school mark for wins in a season (16) and advanced to the ECACHL semifinals for the first time ever.
"I am thrilled to be elected captain of Yale women's hockey, especially after such a successful, record-breaking season," Jacque said. "Playing on a team with 17 of my closest friends is special enough, but to be chosen by them to represent and lead us into next season is truly an honor."
Jacque was one of 10 players who appeared in all 32 games for the Bulldogs last season, finishing with four assists.
"One of our team's strengths is a wonderful chemistry and the fact that we rely upon each player to win games," Jacque said. "We are truly a cohesive unit. If we continue to play together the way we did this season, next year will only bring us more success."
Before completely turning the page on last season, the Bulldogs also took a look back at 2004-05 and what had made the season so successful. Head coach Hilary Witt began by thanking various members of the administration and support staff. Witt then presented the team awards, starting with the Wendy Blanning Award for most improved. That one went to sophomore defenseman/forward Kelsey Johnson (Wayzata, Minn.), whom Witt commended for being able to make a position switch midway through the season for the betterment of the team.
Next came the Bingham Award for leadership, which went to senior forward Nicole Symington (Edmonton, Alta.). Witt cited Symington as a leader by example, frequently playing through pain and always willing to make a sacrifice for the team.
Senior forward Ali Turney (Marshfield, Wisc.) won the Bulldog Award for team spirit.
"She's the epitome of what I want a Yale hockey player to be," Witt said. "She did everything she could to be a part of this team and make it a winner."
Senior defenseman Erin Duggan (Beaumont, Alta.) won the Most Valuable Player Award, meaning that each of the three members of Yale's senior class left with some well-deserved hardware.
"There's not enough you can say about her as a hockey player," Witt said of Duggan, noting that she usually logged upwards of 50 minutes per game on the ice, playing on all of Yale's special team units.
The Coaches' Award for courage and determination, one that Witt and her staff instituted last year, went to sophomore forward Kristin Savard (Framingham, Mass.).
"Everbody has passion," Witt said. "Kristin wears it on her sleeve. She's the kid that you want on the ice in the last 20 seconds because you know she'll get it done."
Associate Head Coach Harry Rosenholtz then had his turn to address the team, which he noted was more like a family. Rosenholtz spoke about each of the seniors, whom he had recruited four years ago when the team was 3-23-2. The Class of 2005 would go on to register more wins than any other class in school history (46). Rosenholtz thanked Turney for her "deep faith," telling her "you've made me a better coach."
Next he turned to "Duggington," as he called them, because Duggan and Symington played for the same team before Yale and were the first two players he had recruited for the Bulldogs.
"You've made yourself the best," he told Duggan, noting that the first-team ECACHL recognition she received this year was a validation of that.
The help that Symington provided as Rosenholtz built the program up through recruiting was clear as he told her "you were my partner in this whole process ... you're responsible for what we are today and what we're going to be tomorrow."
Duggan then introduced Jacque as the new captain, and following Jacque's speech Witt led the attendees in a round of applause for freshman defenseman Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.). Resor had just returned from competition in the 2005 IIHF Women's World Championship, where she won a gold medal with Team USA. Witt made her final remarks before a slide show of photos from the season was shown, and the players then handled the rest of the night's events.
Duggan returned to the podium with her fellow seniors and junior goalie Sarah Love (Bayfield, Ont.). She began by thanking the coaching staff and administration. Having been on hand for a coaching change after her freshman season, Duggan was particularly grateful for the way that the administration listened to the players and placed Witt and Rosenholtz in charge of the program after Witt's first year as an assistant coach in 2001-02.
"Three years ago, they took a chance and chose to listen to 20 girls," Duggan recalled.
The seniors and Love handed out gifts to each of the coaches, including Witt, Rosenholtz and assistant coach Kim Mathias, along with several members of the support staff. Jacque then led the junior class in the presentation of gifts to the seniors to conclude the night's festivities.
report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity