January 6th, 2010 | Uncategorized

Eli to compete for Slovakia in Winter Olympics

While women’s hockey teammates Bray Ketchum ’11 and Jackee Snikeris ’11 glimpsed Olympic-level competition this past weekend playing for the ECAC All-Star Team, former Yale forward Natalie Babony ’06 will actually take part in the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver next month.

Babony — a native of Whitby, Ontario, and a dual citizen of Canada and Slovakia — has been named to the Slovak Olympic Team, making her the third player in Yale women’s hockey history to be selected for an Olympic roster.

Though the 2010 Winter Games will be Babony’s debut Olympic appearance, they will not mark her first time playing with Team Slovakia. The Eli has played in two other World Championships with the Slovak national team — once in Slovenia at age 16 and again in Italy during her sophomore spring at Yale.

Babony tallied 21 goals and 31 assists in her 90-game Yale career. She played for the Bulldogs from 2002 to 2005 and was part of the winningest squad in Yale history, which recorded 16 victories in the 2004-’05 season and advanced to the ECAC semifinals.

Babony found out about her nomination to the final roster of Slovakia’s Olympic squad on Dec. 29.

The Winter Games begin for her on Feb. 13, when Slovakia takes on Canada at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.