Yale women’s hockey is challenging the two teams directly above it in the ECAC standings this weekend.
The Elis (1–10–0 ECAC, 1–17–0) are back on the road this weekend after a series of six home games. Yale will face off against RPI (2–8–2 ECAC, 5–15–4) on Friday at 7 p.m. and Union (1–10–1 ECAC, 3–18–3) on Saturday at 4 p.m.
“All the games we have left are really important,” head coach Joakim Flygh said. “Both games this weekend are four-point games in the sense that we can gain ground in the standings.”
RPI, Union and Yale are ranked Nos. 10, 11 and 12 respectively in the 12-team conference, so each team is fighting to make its way up the standings and secure a playoff spot. Flygh said both of the Bulldogs’ weekend opponents — the Engineers and the Dutchwomen — are hardworking and disciplined teams despite their low rankings. He added that Yale will have to give two “60-minute efforts” to make a strong showing.
But team members are determined to stay in the running for an ECAC playoff spot. Goaltender Genny Ladiges said this weekend’s games could help determine whether Yale has a shot at qualifying.
“In terms of the playoffs, we can’t count ourselves out,” Ladiges said. “We’re currently five points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. It’s critical that we pick up wins in our next few games, against opponents near the bottom of the standings, if we want to stay in the race.”
The Bulldogs last played these two New York teams back-to-back on the second weekend of November and secured their first and only win of the season against Union 3–2 in overtime. Yale had four players out with injuries at the time. Two of these players — defender Emily DesMeules ’13 and forward Jen Matichuk ’13 — have since returned to the ice.
But the Bulldogs will still play this weekend’s games with a depleted roster. Forward Jackie Raines ’14 suffered a concussion two weeks ago, and Madi Murray ’15 also got a concussion last weekend. Murray and Raines told the News they do not know when they will return to the ice, but both added they hope it is soon.
The opposing teams’ prospects, however, are not much more auspicious. Union won its only game of the season Nov. 4 against Clarkson. RPI, which last won against Colgate on Jan. 6, is on a three-game losing streak.
The Bulldogs will play at Brown on Tuesday evening, and will return to Ingalls next weekend to take on their Ivy rivals Harvard and Dartmouth.
Cornell and Quinnipiac are currently tied for first place in the ECAC.