Undoubtedly one of the stars of the Yale women’s ice hockey squad, goalkeeper Tera Hofmann ’20 ranks third in save percentage and seventh in overall saves in all of ECAC Hockey.
Hofmann has single-glovedly kept her team competitive in games throughout the early part of this season. The junior has already made 281 saves through nine games, which amounts to just over 32 saves per match. Her long list of merits does not stop there as her lights-out save percentage of .934 is good for second of all Ivy League goalies. That percentage is her career best, and Hofmann is on pace to breeze past her current record of 610 saves, which she set in her first year.
“Most goalies you see are usually bigger or taller than Hoff, but Hoff has shown up and played huge for us this season … . She’s made some saves this year where our whole bench was just like ‘wow that was insane.’ And those kinds of big saves are definitely huge for us in terms of getting our team fired up, getting momentum and keeping us in games,” said defender Julia Yetman ’19. “We’ve played a lot of ranked opponents this year, and Hoff has definitely played a significant role in keeping us in those games.”
Hailing from Canada, Hofmann played high school hockey at Ursula Franklin Academy in Toronto. She was a multisport star athlete, playing on the basketball, soccer, badminton and volleyball teams in addition to hockey. Her leadership skills shone through early as she served as the captain of both her high school volleyball and soccer teams. Hofmann was also a committed member of her school’s community where she served as a Peer Mediator and a contributor to LGBTQ support groups such as Students Against Sexuality Stereotyping.
Despite her wide-ranging athletic skills, Hofmann stood out in hockey most of all, and her abilities were quickly noticed by noteworthy coaches. She played junior hockey with Durham West Jr. Lightning, a team based out of Ontario. Her team was the regular season champion of its league, and Hofmann was named MVP of the final four round of the postseason. She also took her talents to the national stage, being named to the roster of the U18 Ontario team camp.
“Every moment you are in [the game] is the most important one, and once that is realized, it makes each shot I face simple because it’s the only one I am thinking about,” Hofmann said. “Some people refer to it as a state of flow. I think taking this extra step and doing it consistently has really helped my game because it allows me to play my hardest in every moment.”
The Yale team has been relying on Hofmann’s skill since her first year on campus. In her debut season, she featured in 23 games. Her very first game was a 35-save masterpiece against Ivy foe Princeton in a thrilling 1–1 overtime tie. This effort earned her ECAC Rookie of the Week. Hofmann finished that year with a respectable 6–12 record and 610 stopped shots.
Hofmann built upon her phenomenal first year the following season as she featured in 17 games for the Bulldogs as a sophomore. She sported an impressive .918 save percentage and stopped at least 35 shots five times on the season. A highlight of her second year came against Quinnipiac when she stopped all 37 of the Bobcats’ shots on net in a crucial 1–0 shutout win. Hofmann was also recognized for her excellence in the classroom as she was named to the All-Academic ECAC Hockey list.
“Our goalie, Tera Hofmann, has been playing really well,” said defender Emma Seitz ’22.
Hofmann is credited with both of the team’s wins this season. When Yale dominated Union in a convincing 6–1 victory in early November, Hofmann stood guard in front of the net for all 60 minutes on the ice. She posted an astounding .963 save percentage in the match alongside 26 saves on the day. Eight days later, Hofmann followed this excellent outing with an utterly ridiculous 39-save game against then-No. 3 Clarkson, the defending national champions. In the 5–1 decimation of the Golden Knights, she posted an otherworldly .975 save percentage, her high of the season.
That match was no doubt the conclusion of a redemption tale for the Elis, who suffered a sweep in the ECAC Hockey playoff quarterfinals by Clarkson at the end of last season. The 10–1 loss versus the Golden Knights affected Hofmann personally after she allowed in six shots before coach Joakim Flygh made a change at the net. That loss, however, was forgotten when Hofmann’s play helped lead the Bulldogs to the biggest upset in program history this year against the same opponent; the defeat of the No. 3 squad in the nation is the biggest upset by Yale women’s ice hockey on record.
Hofmann and the Bulldogs battle Vermont in a two-game home series this Friday and Saturday at Ingalls Rink, with both games beginning at 2 p.m.
Bentley Long | firstname.lastname@example.org
Eamonn Smith | email@example.com