This weekend, the Yale women’s hockey team will continue its ECAC play, hosting two top-10 ranked teams at Ingalls Rink.
The Bulldogs (4–3–1, 2–3–1 ECAC Hockey) open the weekend against No. 4 St. Lawrence (11–0–1, 6–0–0) and then hit the ice on Saturday to play No. 7 Clarkson (10–3–1, 6–0–0). In addition to being nationally ranked, St. Lawrence and Clarkson are tied for first in the ECAC standings, while the Elis stand tied with Princeton at sixth. A win this weekend would mark the first Bulldog victory over a ranked opponent this season.
“Last week was unfortunate but we have learned to pay attention to little details as it is the little things that help you win big games,” defender Saroya Tinker ’20 said. “Every point counts, and we have to capitalize on all of our opportunities [this weekend].”
St. Lawrence enters Friday’s matchup riding an eight-game winning streak, including victories over Clarkson, No. 8 Quinnipiac and No. 10 Northeastern. On the heels of these wins, the Saints are looking to avenge a 5–2 loss from the last time they visited Ingalls Rink and faced the Bulldogs.
Although Yale was unable to emerge with a win last weekend after playing Colgate and Cornell, the Bulldogs are looking to turn their momentum around this week. Friday night’s game may shape up to be a battle of the offenses. St. Lawrence forward Kennedy Marchment currently leads the ECAC with 23 total points and 16 total assists, with teammate and fellow forward Brooke Webster close behind at third in both total points and total goals.
Even opposing this dynamic duo, the Bulldogs are well-matched with St. Lawrence offensively. Yale’s 3.88 goals per game currently tops its conference, while the Saints trail the Bulldogs with just 3.25 goals per contest. Forward Phoebe Staenz ’17 is second in the league with nine total goals in just eight games and will play a critical role in Yale’s offense against St. Lawrence to start the weekend.
“This is always one of the funnest games to play,” St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells said. “We play similarly and have a lot of the same philosophies [as Yale]. We always seem to have very good games [at Ingalls Rink] and good contested games usually [decided] by only one goal or two.”
After the Bulldogs face off against the Saints on Friday night, they will continue action on their home ice on Saturday as they take on Clarkson. The Golden Knights are tied with St. Lawrence at the top of the ECAC standings and boast an undefeated record in conference thus far. Like the Saints, Clarkson is also riding an eight-game winning streak that includes a weekend sweep over nationally ranked Quinnipiac
Golden Knight forward Michaela Pejzlova was most recently named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week after extending her point-scoring streak to six games. The freshman tallied three goals against Union and Rensselaer last weekend, including a game-winner over the Dutchwomen on Friday night.
Offensively, forward Cayley Mercer has been the spark plug for Clarkson; the senior has tallied 16 points and 11 assists so far this season, which both rank in the top five in the ECAC. Pejzlova and defender Josiane Pozzebon have both been solid as well, leading the team with six goals apiece.
The Golden Knights have featured two different netminders this season in McKenzie Johnson and Shea Tiley. Tiley has started the bulk of the season, and has posted a 1.87 goals-against average and an 0.925 save percentage in 13 games. Her teammate Johnson, meanwhile, conceded just one goal while saving 25 of 26 shots in her first and only collegiate start last weekend against 2–12 Union.
“[We need to] play constantly for an entire 60 minutes and find a way to put some pucks in the net,” defender Mallory Souliotis ’18 said.
Regardless of who starts in the Clarkson cage, the Bulldogs will need to be ready to defend against an offense that leads all teams in ECAC play with 31 goals and 51 assists. The Golden Knights have 10 players that have scored at least three goals already this season, showcasing their depth across multiple lines.
Yale will kick off play against St. Lawrence at 6 p.m. on Friday before dropping the puck against Clarkson at 3 p.m. on Saturday.