Fresh off a victory Friday night against Union — just its second win in its last eight games — the Yale women’s hockey team will enter Tuesday night’s contest versus Rensselaer intent on building momentum in the home stretch of the season. The Bulldogs have been carried by veteran leadership and even one former Olympian, but a newcomer, forward Jordan Chancellor ’19, has also emerged as a bright spot in an up-and-down season.
Despite being in just her first year as a Bulldog, Chancellor has already made her presence felt. She has accrued the third-most points on the team (6–13–1, 5–7–1 ECAC Hockey) — thanks to five goals and eight assists— through the Elis’ first 20 games.
“We lost two senior centers last year, and Jordan has been able to come in, learn our systems and have a huge impact on the team,” said captain and forward Janelle Ferrara ’16. “We always expect a lot out of our freshman, and Jordan has definitely stepped up to the challenge. She is a smart, fast forward who works extremely hard and is continuously improving her game and making a difference on the ice.”
Chancellor’s impact on the team is evidenced by the fact that the Bulldogs have thrived when she has produced. In the Elis’ six wins this season, she has either notched a goal or an assist in four of them. Her strengths were particularly highlighted in her two-goal performance against Rensselaer and a two-point effort in Yale’s upset victory over No. 4 Quinnipiac.
As good as Chancellor has been this year, head coach Joakim Flygh believes she has just begun to tap into her potential.
“What makes it exciting for her in [the] future [is] she has begun to scratch the surface of what she can be as a hockey player,” Flygh said.
Chancellor is making a name for herself on the rink, but the skilled freshman very nearly played another sport in college — lacrosse. Chancellor competed in varsity lacrosse for the first three years of her high-school career. She helped The Blake School Bears win the state championship each of those three seasons, and she was named all-state her sophomore year.
Chancellor had long considered entering college as a lacrosse player, or as a multisport athlete. In the end, she said she chose hockey because she could not picture her life without it.
“Making the decision to play hockey over lacrosse was hard for me because I love them both,” Chancellor said. “I found that the time commitment is just too much to play both sports at the Division-I level and when it came down to it, I decided that hockey was truly my passion. I started skating as soon as I could walk and I couldn’t imagine giving it up.”
In addition to her three lacrosse state championships, Chancellor’s high-school hockey team emerged as the best in the state in her sophomore and junior campaigns.
Having won a total of five state championships during her time in high school, Chancellor arrived in New Haven accustomed to winning. But she has taken the team’s rocky start to her first season as an Eli in stride, and she views her collegiate carrier thus far in a positive light.
“In high school I was lucky enough to be a part of traditionally very talented teams and I think it is really cool to be on the other side of things,” said Chancellor. “Our team has the potential to be very successful and it is so rewarding to see us grow throughout the season … and even though we are not getting the results we want right now, I know that we’ll work through it. We have competed with some of the best teams in the country, which just shows the potential our team has.”
Chancellor believes there are enough games left in the season for the Bulldogs to convert some of that potential into wins. Eight of the team’s next nine games are against league competition, and thus hold additional weight in the finalization of the ECAC bracket.
Eight teams make the conference playoffs each year. Tied for ninth, the Bulldogs are currently on the outside looking in but can use these last few league games to vault into one of the prized eight slots.
“There is definitely time to turn things around,” said Chancellor. “There are still a lot of conference games left in the season, and if we compete at the level that we have in games where we have been successful we will have no problem winning games during this last part of the season.”
Chancellor ranks third among all Ivy freshmen in points scored this season.