W. HOCKEY | Bulldogs eyeing final playoff spot

The Yale women’s hockey team comes into this weekend’s crucial road trip to Union and RPI on an offensive hot streak, having tallied seven goals in its last two games. And with the strong play of goalie Jackee Snikeris ’11, who has 30-plus saves in five of her last six games, the Bulldogs (5–9–1, 6–14–2 ECAC), who are currently five points out of the final ECAC playoff spot, hope to make up ground on the two teams they are trailing for that spot, Colgate and St. Lawrence.

Snikeris and the Bulldogs are coming off a big 4–0 win over Brown Wednesday night, a game in which forward Jackie Raines ’14 had two goals and an assist to lead Yale. Raines is second on the team in scoring with 14 points, just behind forward Bray Ketchum ’11 (17 points), who also lit the lamp Wednesday.

“We know that we aren’t going to get the pretty goals,” Ketchum said after Wednesday’s win. “The last couple games, we’ve been getting shots from everywhere. We’ve generated a lot of rebounds and have been able to capitalize on them.”

The Bulldogs will have to continue to capitalize against an Engineer team that has surprised many with its performance in the ECAC thus far this season. At 7–8–1 in ECAC play, RPI sits in seventh in the conference, a half-game ahead of eighth-place St. Lawrence, the team the Bulldogs are chasing.

But first on the docket for Yale will be Union, the team the Bulldogs victimized in their first win of the season. Union is 0–14–2 so far in conference play, last in the ECAC. In the teams’ last meeting, Yale downed the Dutchwomen 4–1 on the back of goals from Jenna Ciotti ’14, who also scored Wednesday against Brown, Raines, Ketchum, and defenseman Tara Tomimoto ’13, who has been out for the last two weeks with an injury.

Injuries have proven to be a big factor for the Bulldogs, as Tomimoto and fellow defenseman Aurora Kennedy ’14 were out last weekend. Forward Jen Lawrence ’14 has also missed time of late with a nagging injury. Perhaps most importantly, however, is who will not be out with injury this weekend, as Snikeris was the one missing from the Yale squad last time the Bulldogs played the Engineers and Dutchwomen, but will be between the pipes this weekend.

“[Snikeris] has been outstanding ever since our freshman year, but this year she has really stepped up.” Ketchum said. “We know she is going to perform her best every game.”

That next game comes Friday night at 7 p.m., when the Bulldogs and Dutchwomen take to the ice as Yale looks to track down the last spot in the ECAC playoff picture.

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