After a frustrating series against Brown, the Yale women’s hockey team is out to prove what it is capable of as it takes on a set of ranked opponents this Friday and Saturday.
The Elis (9–11–1, 6–8–0 ECAC) fell to the Bears — one of the lowest ranked teams in the ECAC — last weekend, but they rebounded by dominating the second game of the series 6–3. The team hopes to capitalize on that momentum as it heads to New York to take on No. 8 Clarkson and No. 9 St. Lawrence this weekend.
“On Saturday we came out with a lot of energy because we wanted to prove that we are a better team than what we showed on Friday,” defenseman Kara Drexler ’18 said. “This upcoming weekend we want to continue playing with a high intensity and good energy and communication on and off the ice.”
According to forward Phoebe Staenz ’17, the Golden Knights and Saints are both quick, aggressive and physical teams, which makes them difficult opponents.
Clarkson is returning from a tough pair of away games against No. 3 Wisconsin this past weekend, in which the team earned a tie and loss. This was the first loss for the Golden Knights since Dec. 5. Clarkson has an aggressive offense, with 779 shots this season, second in the ECAC and 30 ahead of St. Lawrence.
St. Lawrence is also a formidable scoring opponent, topping the ECAC with 78 goals this season. Currently on a five-game win streak, the Saints did not allow their opponents to score more than two goals in any of those games.
The Bulldogs are determined to have a better showing than they did the last time they played against these teams. The Bulldogs were shut out at home 3–0 on Oct. 31 by St. Lawrence and then defeated 2–1 by Clarkson the next day.
“We did not play our best hockey the last time we faced off against these two teams at the beginning of the year,” forward Janelle Ferrara ’16 said. “This weekend we hope to show them what Yale hockey is really about and get two big league wins out of it.”
Staenz echoed her teammate, agreeing that both teams were beatable for the Elis.
In order to prepare for the games, the team is focusing on consistency, players said, in the hopes of avoiding another weekend performance like that against Brown.
“We [are working] on coming to practice prepared just like we would be in a game,” Staenz said. “The main focus will be speed and drive.”
That being said, Yale had one of its most successful periods last Saturday, opening the second game with five goals within the first 15 minutes.
The Elis currently claim eighth place in the ECAC and are comfortably holding that spot, the last one that secures a playoff position. With 12 points, they are one behind Dartmouth and five ahead of ninth place Rensselaer.
“Saturday was a turning point in our season and now we’re grinding out until playoff time,” captain and defenseman Aurora Kennedy ’15 said. “We need to put everything we have into every game to get ourselves in the best position for playoffs. There won’t be any easy games from here on out, but we’re more than capable of beating any team in this league.”
For the rest of the season, Yale will only play conference opponents, giving it an opportunity to move up further in the ECAC.
Officials will drop the puck against Clarkson at 7 p.m. on Friday.