Aug. 22, 2007
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - The week-long USA Hockey Women's National Festival that just concluded featured 67 of the top players in the country, including nine Olympians. After a series of practices and games, Yale junior forward Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill.) outscored all but four of them and emerged as one of 22 selected for the U.S. Women's Under-22 Select Team. The USA will host Canada for a three-game series at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid from Aug. 23-26.
Howser, who had two goals and one assist in four games, was one of three Bulldogs at the festival. About to turn 20 later this month, she was the only one of the three eligible for the U-22 team. Junior defenseman Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.) and forward Sheila Zingler '07 (Wausau, Wisc.) also participated and are under consideration for future international competitions with the U.S. National Team, including the Four Nations Cup in November and the IIHF Women's World Championship in April. Resor, who played for Team USA at the Olympics in 2006, had one assist in four games. Zingler had a goal and an assist.
Howser led Yale in goals (22) and points (37) last season, finishing tied for fourth in assists (15). That goal total was the most by a Bulldog in 19 years and placed her third on the school's single-season list. Her point total placed her fourth all-time and was the highest by a Yale player in 21 years.
Howser accomplished all that despite missing the first four games of the season while playing soccer for Yale. She was second on that team in scoring last year and led the team in scoring as a freshman, earning Ivy League Rookie of the Year and first team All-Ivy honors. Howser has now stopped playing soccer in order to concentrate more fully on hockey, including her bid to earn a spot with Team USA.
"We're very proud of Crysti," said Yale head coach Hilary Witt, who played on the U.S. National Team in 2000-01 and was an assistant coach with the U.S. team last year. "She has worked extremely hard to accomplish this. Her decision to stop playing soccer was a difficult one, but concentrating on hockey has paid dividends."
Howser's previous experience with USA Hockey included a stint at last year's National Festival. She also participated in USA Hockey's Girls' Select 17/18 Festival in 2005, tying for the scoring lead with four goals and three assists in five games.
Players at the festival were divided up into three teams. Howser, Resor and Zingler all wound up on the Blue team that went 4-0. Teams Blue and Red included 27 players in the Under-22 range vying for spots on the U-22 team along with 18 older players. Team White was comprised of the 22 players who will represent the United States as part of the U.S. Women's Under-18 Select Team during a three-game series with Canada in Ottawa Aug. 23-26.
With three players at the festival, the 2006-07 Yale team tied for the most representatives among all ECAC Hockey schools.
Live stats of the games vs. Canada will be available on USA Hockey's website, usahockey.com.
Team USA 2007 Under-22 Series vs. Canada
Aug. 23-26, 2007 Lake Placid, N.Y. 1980 Rink Herb Brooks Arena
Thurs., Aug. 23, 7 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 24, 7 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 26, 10 a.m.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity