The Yale women’s hockey team had a record-breaking 2021-22 season, earning a program-best record of 26–9–1 and their first-ever trip to the Frozen Four. 

Now, the Bulldogs hope to build on their recent success with a strong start. The team will face off against conference foes Harvard University (1–1–0, 1–1–0 ECAC) and Dartmouth College (0–1–0, 0–1–0) in the first weekend of the 2022-23 regular season.

“Last year’s success has allowed us to come into this season with a lot more confidence,”  captain Claire Dalton ’23 wrote in an email to the News. “We want to win everything: ECAC regular season, ECAC playoffs, the Ivy League and a National Championship. We are returning some great talent and adding skill and speed with our freshmen. We are in a great position to compete for every trophy possible this year.” 

The Bulldogs graduated five seniors last year, including star goaltender Gianna Meloni ’22 and captain Greta Skarzynski ’22. Seven of the eight top scorers from the 2021-22 season, however, will return to the ice for Yale this season.

Goalie Pia Dukaric ’25 started her season strong in a 5-0 victory over McGill University at an exhibition game earlier this month. Dukaric started in 12 of Yale’s 36 games last season, earning a .929 save percentage in 15 total appearances. 

“We have been practicing hard for almost two months, which has definitely helped the younger players get used to our team’s style of play,” Emma Seitz ’23 told the News. “The two scrimmages we’ve had so far were also instrumental in giving the first-years a taste of the speed and skill that exists in women’s college hockey.”

In the game against McGill, rookie Naomi Boucher ’26 scored her first collegiate goal. Ciara Coleman ’26, another rookie, notched her first collegiate assist. 

Yale also scrimmaged against Brown University and Princeton University on Oct. 15 to help prepare the team for this weekend’s competitions against Harvard University and Dartmouth College.

Yale split its two matchups against Harvard last season. In their first matchup on Nov. 12, the Bulldogs defeated the Crimson 3–1 at The Whale. However, when the team traveled up to Cambridge on Jan. 15, Yale fell 3–1 to its Ivy League rivals.  

Harvard and Dartmouth began Ivy League play last week, competing against one another. Harvard managed to beat Dartmouth 3–0, despite the Big Green outshooting the Crimson 26–22.

Yale currently holds an eight-game winning streak against Dartmouth, dating back to 2017. Like Yale, Dartmouth competed against McGill in an exhibition game earlier this month, which they won 5–2.

This weekend, Yale hopes to get a strong start to the 2022-23 season as the team chases the Ivy League Championship.

“The expectations are high for this group, but they have put in the work and trained hard in the off-season and are ready to go,” head coach Mark Bolding told Yale Athletics.

The Bulldogs will hit the road this weekend, competing against the Crimson on Friday and the Big Green on Saturday. For both games, the puck drops at 3 p.m.

Rosa Braceras covers Women’s Ice Hockey, Softball, and other sports news. She is a senior in Benjamin Franklin College majoring in History.