WOMEN’S ICE HOCKEY: Yale seeks redemption against ECAC foes

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Photo by Jennifer Cheung.

The Yale women’s hockey team will look to keep momentum going when it hosts No. 5 Clarkson and St. Lawrence this weekend at Ingalls Rink.

Clarkson (16–4–2, 7–2–1 ECAC) and St. Lawrence (6–13–1, 5–4–1) are currently fourth and sixth in the ECAC, respectively, giving the Elis a good chance to prove themselves against strong competition.

The Bulldogs (6–10–1, 4–5–1) are coming off of a 2–0 win at No. 6 Harvard last week and are 4–3 in their last seven games.

“We’re expecting it to be a pretty tough weekend, but I think we’re better prepared,” forward Jamie Haddad ’15 said. “We have a lot of confidence going into this weekend, especially after our win against Harvard.”

Clarkson and St. Lawrence both defeated Yale when the Bulldogs played them earlier this season. St. Lawrence won 4–1, and Clarkson shut out the Elis 7–0 as part of the five losses that began Yale’s regular season.

Yale is 6–6–1 since dropping those two games, and players on the team said that the Golden Knights and Saints will see a more competitive team on the ice this weekend.

“That was one of our first weekends of the season,” goalie Jaimie Leonoff ’15 said. “As a team, we’ve come a very, very long way since then. We’ve really shown a lot of improvement, recently, and it’s been a drastic improvement since the beginning of the year. I’m sure they’ll be looking at a different team, and we’ll be looking at a different team from them, too.”

The Bulldogs will suffer from the recent loss of Jackie Raines ’15 to injury.

Raines, the team’s leading scorer in 2011-2012, had just returned from hip surgery when she broke her wrist at Dartmouth last week. She scored two goals and assisted two more in the three games she was able to play.

On the ice for the Bulldogs will be forward Phoebe Staenz ’17, who recently was named to the Swiss Olympic team playing in Sochi this February.

Those two forwards will need to lead an impressive offensive performance against Clarkson goalie Erica Howe, whose 1.01 goals allowed per game and nine shutouts are best in the country.

Spearheading the Clarkson attack on the other end of the ice will be forward Jamie Lee Rattray, who is also best in the NCAA with 17 goals so far this season.

Overall, the Golden Knights have been a force both offensively and defensively, coming into the contest averaging 3.68 goals and just 1.05 goals against. Both figures rank in top three nationally.

Haddad said the individual performers on Clarkson will not influence Yale’s overall gameplan.

“We don’t usually play against specific girls,” Haddad said. “It’s always good to know who you’re up against, and we’ll try to match lines against them, but other than that we don’t really pay attention to that. We have our own systems, and our goal is to play our systems, not theirs.”

St. Lawrence has been less deadly on paper with 2.20 goals and 2.80 goals against per game.

The Saints currently ride a six-game losing streak after dropping pairs of game to Mercyhurt, Robert Morris and Clarkson.

Yale will square off with Clarkson tonight at 7:00 p.m., while the contest against St. Lawrence begins tomorrow at 4:00 p.m.

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