Aug. 25, 2005
Lake Placid, NY - Yale sophomore defenseman Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.) earned a spot on the U.S. Women's National Team Thursday, putting herself in position to become the first Yale women's hockey player ever to play in the Olympics. The announcement was made at a press conference following the National Women's Festival in Lake Placid, a tryout featuring 40 of the top players in the country. Resor was one of 22 players to make the roster that now will go on a nationwide "Skate to 2006" tour that happens to include a stop at Ingalls Rink. Twenty players will be selected to play in the Olympics next February in Italy.
"It was a combination of excitement and surprise," Resor said of her reaction to being selected, noting that she did not feel she had her best showing at the camp. Head coach Ben Smith read the names on the roster at a team meeting early this morning, and because he read them alphabetically by position Resor was the second-to-last defenseman announced.
"I was really impressed with all of the defensemen," Resor said. "Every one of them came into camp prepared. They were stronger than I've seen them and faster than I've seen them. I don't envy coach Smith for having to make such a tough decision."
Resor has participated in the last three National Festivals, and earned a spot on the U.S. roster for the International Ice Hockey Federation's 2005 Women's World Championship last April. She had one assist in five games as the U.S. won the gold medal for the first time in that event's nine-year history.
Resor appeared in 24 games for the Bulldogs last season, helping the team to a school-record 16 wins with seven goals and 11 assists. She was responsible for one of the biggest moments in team history, scoring the game-tying goal on a penalty shot with 5:38 to play against Princeton in the ECACHL quarterfinals at Ingalls Rink. The Bulldogs won the game in overtime for their first-ever playoff victory. Resor was named to the ECACHL All-Rookie Team and the USCHO All-Rookie Team.
"We're very proud of Helen," Yale head coach Hilary Witt said. "We wish her the best of luck going forward. This is a great accomplishment for our program and for Yale hockey."
Resor was quick to credit her teammates and coaches for her achievement.
"Coach Witt is an amazing coach," Resor said. "She's been through this process. She really helped me prepare. I also kept in touch with the girls on the [Yale] team, and I think they're going to have an amazing year. If it wasn't for them pushing me in practice I wouldn't be here."
While her participation with the National Team will keep Resor away from the Yale team this season, the Bulldogs still will have two Resors on the roster. Her cousins, freshman Carry Resor (Westwood, Mass.) and sophomore Nina Resor (Westwood, Mass.), will help anchor the Yale defense in her absence. Carry and Nina's father Tom coached Helen at Noble & Greenough (Mass.), where the team posted a 25-0-3 record and won the New England Division I Championship her senior year. Additionally, Helen's sister Jane played for the Bulldogs and graduated in 2001, and her brother Charlie was a 2004 Yale graduate. Jane and Charlie both skated with Helen this summer to help her prepare for the Festival.
Yale fans should have the chance to see Resor one more time in November, as Ingalls is one of 11 stops on the Skate to 2006 tour. The national team will take on the ECACHL All-Stars in New Haven on Nov. 1. While the final two U.S. roster cuts could happen at any time, Resor stands a good chance of enjoying the unique homecoming.
"The Whale [Ingalls] means so much to me," Resor said. "I've grown up watching the Yale men's team play there with my dad. It will be such an honor to play in the rink if I'm still there [on the national team roster]."
While Resor could be the first Bulldog to play in the Olympics, Yale does have several other national team ties. Laurie Belliveau '98 was on the team for the 1999 IIHF Women's World Championship and Maria Dennis '88 was on the team for the 1990 IIHF Women's World Championship. Witt, a Northeastern grad, was on the team in 2000-01.
Off the ice, there are many Yale connections for this year's national team as well. Smith was an assistant coach for the Yale men's team under Tim Taylor from 1976 to 1981. Assistant coach Mike Gilligan spent a year as the interim coach of the Yale men in 1983-84 while Taylor served as an assistant coach with the U.S. men's Olympic team. Team USA also has Yale's Director of Intercollegiate Equipment, Ed Maturo, serving as the team's equipment manager.
The team's first event is the Four Nations Cup in Finland Aug. 30 through Sept. 4. The Skate to 2006 Tour runs from Sept. 30 through Dec. 30 in the U.S.
The opening ceremony for the Olympics takes place Feb. 10, with the U.S. team's first game on Feb. 11. The bronze medal game and the gold medal game take place on Feb. 20.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity