After their first weekend of play, the Yale women’s ice hockey team (0-1-1) has yet to win a game, but they hope to snap their winless streak this week with games at Harvard (0-0) and Dartmouth (0-1).
The Elis lost 1-0 to McGill in an October 17 exhibition and then fell 4-1 at Vermont on October 22 before gaining a 1-1 overtime tie the next day against the Catamounts. Having yet to face an opponent at home is not an excuse for the team’s rocky start to the season, first year head coach Joakim Flygh said.
“The games that we’ve played, we’ve given up some easy goals,” he said. “That’s something we’re trying to correct in practice. We have a lot of plays to learn in a short period of time. We’re in a constant state of improvement, it has little to do with whether we play at home or not and more to do with learning our plays and system.”
Flygh said he is confident mistakes made in past games will not be repeated. While he plans on keeping the lineup the same, Flygh said the team has been focusing on improving overall strategy in this week’s practices.
“We’ve been working on everything,” Flygh said. “It’s so early in the season, we have to improve everything. We’ve worked hard on defense this week, and generating more scoring opportunities.”
Dartmouth has faced similar struggles, losing 2-3 to McGill. Last season, Dartmouth’s Jenna Cunningham scored her 100th goal in a November game against Yale, resulting in a 6-2 win for the Big Green. Dartmouth also won two teams’ other meeting with 6-3 victory in February.
Harvard, where Flygh was assistant coach for three seasons before joining the Bulldogs in July, did not face Yale last year. Although Crimson will not have played a game this season until its Friday night contest against the Elis, Harvard will be a tough task for Yale. Currently the Crimson is ranked ninth in the country and is coming off a 20-8-5 season that saw them finish second in the Ivy League and advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
“They are both very talented teams, that’s what we’re expecting to see,” Flygh said. “For us to be successful, we’re going to have to play very well defensively. We’re getting a little better every week, and both teams present a good challenge for our team.
The Bulldogs are slated to play Harvard at 7 p.m. and will continue their road trip the following night to play Dartmouth at 7 p.m.