June 1, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Coming off a season in which they finished one win short of tying the school record for victories, the Yale Bulldogs look to maintain their progress by adding four new players to the mix. The Class of 2011 includes one defenseman, one defenseman/forward, one forward and one goaltender. Two have experience at USA Hockey's National Festival, one played in the National Women's Hockey League and one played in Switzerland.
Here is a look at the incoming freshmen:
Forward Bray Ketchum (Greenwich, Conn.) is a four-time selection to USA Hockey's National Festival in Lake Placid (2004-2007). She played for the Connecticut Stars, the same program that produced defenseman Regan Gilbride '07. The team won multiple New England championships and was National Tournament semi-finalists in 2005-06. Ketchum won the skills competition at the USA National Hockey Tournament in 2006.
The 2006-07 New England Prep School Division II Player of the year, Ketchum led Greenwich Academy in goals and points as a senior, junior and sophomore. She served as the captain as a senior, helping the team to its third straight Division II championship. She also won Greenwich Academy's Edward F. Maloney Hockey Award for performance, team spirit and sportsmanship in 2006.
"I chose Yale because of the strong academic and athletic programs it provides, as well as the extracurricular opportunities available," Ketchum said. "When I visited again in the fall, I knew it was the right place."
Defenseman Samantha MacLean (Mississauga, Ont.) played in the NWHL at the age of 16, becoming one of the youngest players in the league's history. She had one assist in 15 games for the Oakville Ice in 2006-07. MacLean also played for Holy Name of Mary in grades nine and ten. She was MVP of the Ontario Silver Stick Tournament and a two-time MVP of the Ontario Secondary School Ice Gardens Tournament. Her team was three-time provincial gold medalists and two-time provincial silver medalists.
MacLean's sister, Shauna Wilde, was the captain of the women's golf team at Long Island University.
"I choose Yale because I have always valued excellence on the ice as well as in the classroom and I love the spirit and enthusiasm of the Yale community," MacLean said. "When I made my first official visit I fell in love with the campus and the people and I just thought it would be a perfect fit for me. I'm looking forward to being a Bulldog. I'm ready to work hard and make a difference on the ice."
Lili Rudis (Chicago, Ill.), who can play defense or forward, was captain of the Chicago Chill AAA hockey team for the last two years. She earned Midwest Elite Hockey League gold academic honors for the past two years and was named to the MWEHL's 19U Honorable Mention Team last year.
Rudis lived in Switzerland for the 2004-2005 school year and attended the International School of Berne, where she was on the varsity snowboarding team and placed third in a regional slalom race. She played one season in the Schweizerische Eishockey Amateurliga (Swiss Amateur Ice Hockey League) in the National A Division, one of the most competitive women's leagues on the European continent. She was the youngest member of Damen Hockey Club Lyss by three years, and several of her teammates played for the Swiss Olympic team.
"Yale has been my dream school ever since I first set foot on the campus and watched the women's hockey team in action," Rudis said. "After voraciously reading every word published about Yale and every wildly interesting academic program it offered, I could see myself very happy in Bulldog blue."
Goaltender Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.) is a five-time USA Hockey National Festival camp selection (2002-2006). She played for the Connecticut Polar Bears, the same program that produced sophomore forward Caroline Murphy. Snikeris was the Easton Skills Overall Best Goaltender and Breakaway Competition winner at the 2007 US Nationals. She was also MVP of the 2007 St. Jerome Tournament. She was the 2006 Beantown Classic Best Goaltender and a first team all-tournament selection and was the 2005 Beantown Classic MVP, Best Goaltender and a first team all-tournament selection.
Snikeris was first team All-New England in 2006-07 for Taft and was an All-Founders League selection in 2004-05 and 2006-07. She was team captain as a senior, and her team won the Founders League championship her junior year. Taft advanced to the New England quarterfinals her freshman year. Snikeris won the school's Patsy K. Odden Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship.
"I chose Yale because it strikes an ideal balance between academics and athletics while maintaining a positive social atmosphere," Snikeris said. "I really like how Yale offers a blend of urban life and opportunities and a friendly campus community. After visiting and being welcomed by the team and coaches, I could really see myself playing for Yale."
The four newcomers join Yale's 16 returnees for 2007-08. The Bulldogs are tentatively scheduled to open the campaign with a scrimmage at Princeton on Oct. 13 and an exhibition against McGill at Ingalls Rink on Oct. 20. The regular season begins Oct. 26 at RPI.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity