With the majority of the goal-scorers from last year returning along with a record-setting goaltender, Yale is expected to make its presence felt in the ECACHL and on the national scene this season. Yale was playing its best hockey at season's end last year and nearly knocked off three NCAA Frozen Four participants during the regular season (losing by one goal to Dartmouth, Harvard and St. Lawrence). The Bulldogs wound up setting the school record for conference wins (eight) and tying the school record for overall wins (12). Both of those marks are in jeopardy again this season.
Here is a position-by-position look at the Blue:
The foundation of Yale's recent success is junior Sarah Love (2.25, .931, 10-16-3), a two-time team MVP. Love set the school record for save percentage last season and ranked first in the ECACHL (fifth nationally). Her goals-against average was also a Yale best and helped get her named first team All-Ivy and second team All-ECAC. After participating in Team Canada's development camp over the summer, Love may be able to improve on her already stellar numbers. Sophomore Carrie Horbatuk (2.00, .846, 1-0) and freshman Shivon Zilis (Aurora Panthers AAA) provide depth.
Team captain Erin Duggan (10-8-18) provides the leadership for the Bulldog defensive corps. One of the top blueliners in the ECACHL and a second-team all-conference selection, Duggan is a key part of the Yale offense as well. She is tied for third on the school's career assist list (45). Fellow senior Ali Turney (0-3-3) leads with a strong work ethic and also has the versatility to play forward. The two seniors have a number of younger players around them. Sophomore Nina Resor (1-3-4) gives Yale size (5'11") and grit - she earned the Yale Coaches' Award last season for her toughness. She and Duggan were both key members of Yale's special teams, with the Bulldogs killing off 88.4 percent of their penalties (4th in the ECACHL) and converting on 13.6 percent of their power plays (4th in the ECACHL). Sophomore Christina Sharun (5-2-7) is a former forward with a hard shot that should generate plenty of offense from the blueline. Two highly regarded freshmen, Ann-Renée Guillemette (Sudbury Wolves AAA) and Helen Resor (Assabet Midget AAA), bear watching this season. Helen Resor, Nina's cousin, has spent the past three years on the U.S. Under-22 National Team.
Senior Nicole Symington (9-6-15) is a power forward who provides a presence around the net. She led Yale with six power-play goals last season and managed to stay out of the box herself, totaling just four penalty minutes. Junior Deena Caplette (10-8-18) is a great all-around player who appears poised for a breakout season after finishing second on the team in goals. She is a big part of Yale's special teams as well. Junior Natalie Babony (5-9-14) led the Bulldogs in scoring two years ago and excels on the penalty kill. Classmate Lisa Jacque (1-5-6) works the corners well and isn't afraid to go to the net. The Bulldogs brought in a bevy of forwards in 2003-2004 and the group paid immediate dividends. The top two scorers last season came from the Class of 2007 - Kristin Savard (14-8-22) and Jenna Spring (8-12-20). The scrappy Savard was named to the ECACHL All-Rookie team and has participated in the USA Hockey Festival. Sophomore Sheila Zingler (6-11-17) has the size (5'9") and ability to make life difficult for opposing defenders. Classmate Kelsey Johnson (4-9-13) should build off a solid first season and can contribute in all three zones. This year, Regan Gilbride (2-2-4) moves up from the blue line to add to Yale's scoring punch.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity Department