Long ties to hockey for Eli goaltender

It’s tough getting anything past Jackee Snikeris ’11.

The women’s ice hockey goalie stopped 56 of 60 shots during the three games over Thanksgiving break, earning her the title of ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week. Snikeris nearly shut out then-No. 4 Boston University on Nov. 25 as the Bulldogs trumped them 4-1. The Terriers struggled to score as Snikeris made 18 saves in the match, helping Yale to its upset win over BU.

Earlier last week, Snikeris was also named the top goaltender at the Nutmeg Classic and received the Belliveau Award, which was named after Yale All-American Laurie Belliveau ’98.

In the Nutmeg Classic, hosted at Storrs, Conn., on Nov. 28-29, Snikeris earned her fifth career shutout during Yale’s 2-0 win over Quinnipiac and blocked 21 of the University of Connecticut’s 24 attempts at scoring during the championship match.

In just her first season as a Bulldog, Snikeris has already set the school record for goals-against average (2.18) and is currently ranked fourth for best-save percentage (.921). With these achievements behind her, and almost three full seasons still ahead, Snikeris sat down with the News to discuss both her accomplishments and her team’s success.

Q The games over Thanksgiving break seem to have gone really well — what worked for you, and for the team?

A Yeah, I’d say it was a successful week. The break definitely benefited our team a lot. Beating No. 4 BU was a great feeling, and it showed that we can beat anyone when we play our best. Now we just have to strive for consistency and keep getting better every day.

Q What do you think about being named Goalie of the Week? Was it one of your goals from the start?

A It’s always nice to be named something like that, but it is never really my goal. I would have rather won a championship like the Nutmeg Classic than receive any individual honor. I think all of my teammates would say the same thing.

Q What are your hockey roots? Did you always want to continue playing in college?

A I started playing hockey when I was six. When my brother and dad would be playing in the street, I would always run out and just stand in the net with a stick and no padding.

It runs in my family — many of my cousins played, as well as my dad, my grandpa and my brother. My great-grandpa was a well-known goalie in Minnesota and is in the Hockey Hall of Fame there. There were hardly any girls playing hockey where I lived, so I played on a boys’ team growing up. It was extremely beneficial for my development, looking back, and it was always a lot of fun. I always knew I wanted to play in college, and even knew from an early age that I would go to prep school and play girls’ hockey to hopefully get more recognition from colleges.

Q How has your hockey career at Yale unfolded so far?

A Playing at Yale has been such a great experience so far. My teammates are awesome, and we all have a ton of fun. We play in a tough league, so every game is a battle, and I think we all enjoy the competition. All the coaches are very knowledgeable about the game and always put in the extra effort to help us strive to be successful, which is all you can really ask for.

Q What would you like to accomplish — both personally and as a team — by the time you graduate?

A By the time I graduate I just hope I’ve left behind a successful and respected program. It would be awesome to win Ivies, and I definitely want to and will beat Harvard before I graduate.

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