As conference play heats up for the Yale women’s hockey team, Thursday’s home game and Saturday’s road game against Brown offer the Bulldogs the chance to reverse a recent series of losses before playoff hopes fade away entirely.
The Elis (2–14–1, 1–8–1 ECAC) are on a six-game winless streak, and they haven’t won a conference game since Oct. 26 against Colgate. Goaltender Jaimie Leonoff ’15 said before the year that the team aimed to make the playoffs, but that will only happen if the Bulldogs finish eighth or higher in the conference.
Yale is currently tied with Union for 11th in the conference with three points, while Princeton holds the eighth position with six. However, Princeton takes the next two weeks off for final exams, giving both Yale and Brown, which has four points and sits in ninth place along with Colgate, a chance to gain some ground.
“I am very confident that we will sweep against Brown. We have been playing well lately, and the pieces are just about to click,” defenseman Tara Tomimoto ’14 said.
Brown (3–11–1, 2–8–0 ECAC) has one of the best netminding duos in the conference. Aubree Moore was last season’s first-team All-Ivy goaltender, and her goals against average (GAA) is fifth in ECAC. Katie Jamieson has also seen action this year, ranking just above Leonoff in the GAA leaderboard.
Power plays could also have a key role in the games against the Bears. Brown has the worst power-play unit in the league, converting just two out of 30 opportunities. “We’ve been working a lot on them in practice. As we saw [against Clarkson], they can be the make-it or break-it part of the game,” defender Kate Martini ’16 said.
Those breaks have come at inopportune times for the Elis, and the team recognizes that it cannot afford these lapses.
“One of our biggest goals is to play 60 minutes of hockey,” Martini said.
Leonoff said if the team can figure out how to play a full 60 minutes, finish its shifts and make the right decisions, it will see a good outcome.
According to forward Jamie Haddad ’16, the team chemistry is “better than ever” leading up to this week’s matchups.
“We still have fairly high hopes for the rest of our season and what’s to come, and I think that attitude will be crucial to our upcoming success,” Haddad said.
The puck drops at 7 p.m. tonight at Ingalls Rink.