December 26, 2008

Break Ends with Matinee vs. Providence Tuesday

Dec. 26, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - After 26 days without a game, Yale returns to the ice Tuesday afternoon against Providence at Ingalls Rink. The 3:00 p.m. game (Free Live Video on All*Access, Listen on WYBC 1340 AM, GameTracker) is the start of a doubleheader at Ingalls Rink that also includes the Yale men's team hosting Minnesota State-Mankato at 7:00 p.m.

The Yale-Providence Series
Yale beat Providence 2-1 last year at Schneider Arena, with senior defenseman Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.) delivering the game-winning goal at 9:55 of the second off an assist from senior forward Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill.). Senior forward Kristen Stupay (Ashburn, Va.) had tied the game at 5:22. Shivon Zilis '08 made 34 saves to deny Providence, which outshot the Bulldogs 35-15. Yale has won three of the last four meetings.

Goal-Scoring Spree Puts Howser in Elite Company
With 10 goals in 11 games this year, senior forward Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill.) is 10th in the country in goals per game. Howser is third on Yale's career goals list with 54 and tied for the third-best single season goal total in school history (22 in 2006-07). She is on pace to finish the regular season with 28 goals this year, which would be second only to the 32 goals Maria Dennis '88 scored in 1984-85. Howser played for the U.S. U-22 Team this past August, scoring a goal in the team's three-game series vs. Canada.

Snikeris On Record-Breaking Pace
Just 22 games into her career, sophomore goalie Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.) is staking out her place in the Yale record book. She already has the single season record for goals-against average, 2.18, set last year. Her .921 save percentage last year was fourth-best all-time. Her .918 career save percentage is better than the career record established by Sarah Love '06 (.915), and Snikeris only appears to be getting better. Over the last four games she has stopped 71 of 76 shots (.934) and posted a 1.26 GAA. That stretch included a win over then-No. 4 BU and a pair of efforts in the Nutmeg Classic that earned her the Belliveau Award as the top goaltender at that tournament. That award is named after former Yale All-American Laurie Belliveau '98. Snikeris was selected to both the U.S. U-22 Team tryout camp and USA Hockey's Warren Strelow Goaltending Camp this past summer.

Offensive Defensemen
Senior defenseman Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.) is part of a group of 59 of the nation's top women's ice hockey players that are in Blaine, Minn., for USA Hockey's annual Women's Holiday Camp Dec. 26 to Dec. 31. The Bulldogs will miss her offensive output, as she is currently second on the team in assists (seven) and third in points (10). But Resor is not the only Bulldog blueliner who can score. With Resor fifth and junior defenseman Alyssa Clarke (Donkin, N.S.) (1-8-9) seventh, Yale is the only school in the country with two players in the top seven in scoring by defensemen. In fact, no other school has two in the top 13. Cornell has Amanda Young and Jess Martino tied for 14th. Clarke's eight assists are a career high.

Scouting Providence
The Friars are led by freshman goaltender Genevieve Lacasse, who is fourth in the country in save percentage (.950) and seventh in goals-against average (1.60). Another freshman, forward Laura Veharanta, leads the team in scoring (12-6-18). Sophomore forward Pamela McDevitt is the sister of Deanna McDevitt '03, who is tied for eighth on Yale's career points list. Senior forward Mari Pehkonen played for Finland in the 2006 Olympics.

Bulldogs Start Tough Stretch
Yale's game vs. Providence is the start of a four-game stretch in which the Bulldogs face four of the top nine scoring defenses in the country: Providence (6th), at Northeastern (4th), Boston College (5th) and Dartmouth (9th). Those teams are a combined 33-20-8 overall and three are receiving recognition in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national poll: Dartmouth is No. 3, Boston College is No. 7 and Providence is receiving votes.

report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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