Oct. 25, 2005
The 2005-06 season marks the 30th anniversary of women's hockey at Yale, and the Bulldogs hope to make it a historic one. With three of last year's top four scorers returning and one of the best goaltenders in the country anchoring the defense, Yale could very well continue its record-setting ways this year. The Bulldogs shattered the school mark for wins last season (16) and advanced to the ECACHL semifinals for the first time. If the pieces come together this season, they could accomplish even more.
Senior goaltender Sarah Love, a preseason All-USCHO pick, has been a key to Yale's recent success. A two-time team MVP, she owns the school record for single-season wins (14), save percentage (.931) and goals-against average (2.25). Love was playing her best hockey when last season ended, posting a 1.66 GAA and .935 save percentage over the final eight games. Yale also has two capable backups in junior Carrie Horbatuk and sophomore Shivon Zilis. Zilis showed her potential last season with a .914 save percentage and 2.38 GAA in seven games, including nearly leading the Bulldogs to an upset at then-No. 3 Dartmouth in February with 29 saves in a 3-2 loss. Horbatuk has allowed just two goals in 86:31 for her career.
The defense in front of Love will be without sophomore Helen Resor, who is with the U.S. National Team, but has another Resor to count on. Junior Nina Resor, Helen's cousin, is a technically sound blueliner with 55 games of experience. Yale learned just how valuable she was last season when she was injured early in the Dec. 7 game against Mercyhurst and did not return until Jan. 28 at Brown. The Bulldogs went 1-7 and allowed over 3.6 goals per game in that stretch, compared to 15-8-1 and 2.4 goals per game when she was healthy. Junior Kelsey Johnson converted from forward midway through last season and should settle in at defense this year. A smart and consistent player, Johnson has had four goals and nine assists in each of her first two seasons in New Haven. Junior Regan Gilbride provides much-needed versatility on Yale's small roster, ably switching between defense and forward as needed. Sophomore Ann-Renée Guillemette showed potential last season, appearing in 30 games. Freshman Carlee Ness (Red Deer, Alta.) has an impressive resume that includes a stint as a member of Team Alberta at the Pacific Cup in 2003 and at Canada's Under-18 Hockey Challenge earlier this year. The freshman class also includes size (5-foot-8 Carry Resor (Westwood, Mass.), Nina's sister) and speed (Danielle Kozlowski (Melrose, Mass.)).
The Bulldogs have depth and talent at forward, led by two seniors: captain Lisa Jacque and Deena Caplette. Caplette has the most career goals (29) and assists (42) of any player on the roster. The junior class has two top returning scorers in Kristin Savard and Jenna Spring. Savard led the team in scoring as a freshman, while Spring did so last year. The two have combined for 44 goals during their first two years. They are complemented by Sheila Zingler, a prototypical power forward at 5-foot-9. Zingler also has a scoring touch, as evidenced by her two goals (including the game-winner) in the ECACHL Quarterfinal-clinching win over Princeton last year. Christina Sharun switched from defense to forward midway through last season and has one of the most powerful shots on the team.
Yale also expects immediate help at forward from a group of freshmen with superb credentials. Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill.) tied for the scoring lead with seven points in five games at the U.S. Hockey Select 17/18 Festival. Classmates Sarah Tittman (Chilton, Wisc.) and Maggie Westfal (New Canaan, Conn.) also were selected for the festival, chipping in three points each. Kristen Stupay (Ashburn, Va.), who has been to Lake Placid as well, rounds out the list of newcomers.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity