Coming off of a big win in the “White Out for Mandi” game last Saturday afternoon, the Yale women’s hockey team is looking to solidify its playoff position by picking up some points this weekend on the road against Princeton and Quinnipiac.
The Elis (4–16–1, 3–10–1 ECAC) are currently tied with Colgate for the eighth and final playoff spot in the conference, but they stand just one point above Brown and Princeton (7–12–2, 2–10–2).
“We’re sitting in a playoff spot right now, but so many teams are so close and we can’t get complacent at all,” captain Alyssa Zupon ’13 said after Saturday’s 2–0 shutout victory over Colgate.
In order to maintain the Bulldogs’ perch, the team is looking to make a splash against the Tigers, against whom they have a three-game losing streak. Princeton is coming off of a two-week hiatus due to finals.
The Tigers have a defense that’s been fairly exploitable, allowing 3.72 goals per conference game, which ranks last in the ECAC.
Quinnipiac (14–9–2, 8–5–1) is comfortably ensconced in a playoff position, currently holding the fifth seed. The Bobcats are riding a hot streak, having won eight of their past 10 games. They are led by forward Kelly Babstock, who is seventh in the country with 43 points this season — 31 more than Yale’s leading scorer, forward Janelle Ferrara ’16. Right now, however, the Elis feel good about their chances.
“We are very optimistic towards the end of our season,” defenseman Tara Tomimoto ’14 said. “We always play our best hockey near the end of the year, and I have no doubt we can make playoffs.”
Eight games still remain in the Bulldogs’ regular season schedule, though, and the team is aware of it.
“We still have a lot of games left, which means more points towards our playoff bid,” forward Jamie Haddad ’16 said after Saturday’s win.
Her remarks were echoed by captain Zupon.
“It will only get harder from here since so many other teams, like us, are fighting desperately to keep their season alive,” she said.
The team’s improvement over last season is clear. Yale managed to pick up only one win in the 2011–’12 season, finishing the year on a 21-game winless streak. This year, however, the Bulldogs have four wins, on top of six one-goal losses.
Yale plays Friday at 7 p.m. at Princeton and Saturday at 4 p.m. against Quinnipiac.