After losing a series of five road games, the women’s hockey team is looking for its first win of the season this weekend as it takes on Union and RPI at Ingalls Rink in back-to-back conference games.
The Bulldogs (0-7-0, 0-4-0 ECAC) will face off against the Dutchwomen (3-7-1, 1-2-1 ECAC) on Friday and against the Engineers (2-7-3, 0-3-1 ECAC) on Saturday. The games will be the Bulldogs’ fifth and sixth conference games of the season, and the first to take place at home.
“We’ve had a solid week of practice and are a lot closer to where we want to be performance-wise,” head coach Joakim Flygh said.
Last weekend, Yale lost to Quinnipiac 0-3 and Princeton 1-7. Head coach Joakim Flygh said that the games were very successful and the team showed improvement, although the scoreboard did not reflect it.
Flygh said he expects the upcoming games to be very competitive and the teams to be well-matched.
“This weekend’s games are a huge opportunity to bounce back and make a statement in the league,” team captain Aleca Hughes ’12 said, adding that the whole team understands the importance of improving its record at this point in the season, as Yale has yet to win a game.
“We’re definitely on the upswing,” she said of the team’s performance.
It has not been an easy start to the season for the Bulldogs: as well as playing five out of seven games on the road, the team has had a roster depleted due to illness and injury. Six players were out of commission during the first few games — including three top defensemen — meaning some players’ positions were shifted to compensate. But as of last week, two of those absent returned to the ice.
Forward Stephanie Mock ’15 and Hughes said that they are optimistic about the outcomes of this weekend’s games as the team has finally solidified a concrete understanding of its systems, will have more bodies on the ice and will benefit from playing at its home arena instead of making tiring road trips.
“This week we’ve been working on our positioning and communication,” Mock said, adding that the team needs to cover for each other and be aware of its opponents’ positions.
Mock said that both Union and Rensselaer are strong teams this year, so the Bulldogs will have to give their best effort to be successful this weekend. She said the team plans “to play gritty and battle for the puck.”
The puck-drops are slated for 7:00 p.m. on Friday and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.