Game Notes: New York Trip Up Next for Yale

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's ice hockey team is off to its best six-game start in program history (4-1-1), and heads into this weekend looking to continue the momentum from last weekend's ECAC Hockey sweep. Yale visits No. 5 Colgate Friday (6:00 p.m., Patriot League Network) and Cornell Saturday (3:00 p.m., Ivy League Digital Network).


Yale (4-1-1, 2-1-1 ECAC Hockey) gained its first two conference wins of the season with a sweep of Rensselaer and Union at Ingalls Rink last weekend, giving the Bulldogs their best six-game start ever. They outscored their two opponents 12-3, led by five goals from senior forward Phoebe Staenz (Zürich, Switzerland). That included a hat trick Friday (the second of her career) and two goals Saturday -- one of which came just nine seconds into the game. The line of Staenz, junior forward Eden Murray (Medicine Hat, Alta.) and senior forward Krista Yip-Chuck (Whitby, Ont.) combined for nine goals and 12 assists in the two games. Freshman goaltender Tera Hofmann (Toronto, Ont.) made 50 saves. Freshman defenseman Saroya Tinker (Oshawa, Ont.) scored her first career goal Friday.


Senior forward Phoebe Staenz (Zürich, Switzerland), who is tied for second in the nation in points per game (7-4-11 in six games, 1.83 points per game), was named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week on Tuesday. Staenz had a hat trick and five points in Friday's 7-2 win vs. Rensselaer, then had two goals and an assist in Saturday's 5-1 win vs. Union. That included a goal nine seconds into the game.

Staenz has extensive international playing experience, including scoring the game-tying goal in Switzerland's come-from-behind 4-3 win over Sweden for the bronze medal at the 2014 Olympics. At Yale, Staenz has been an impact player throughout her career despite missing multiple games while playing for the Swiss National Team.  She tied for second on the Bulldogs in goals last season with nine, and was fifth in points with 17. She needs 25 points this season to become one of four players in Yale history with 100 or more career points.


Senior forward Krista Yip-Chuck (Whitby, Ont.) leads the nation in points per game (4-8-12 in six games, 2.00 points per game). She was fourth on the team in scoring (5-15-20) last season, and extended her streak of consecutive games played to 92. Last spring the team voted her captain, a role which reflects her leadership both on and off the ice. She established a career high in assists last season while earning ECAC Hockey All-Academic honors for the second time.


Freshman goaltender Tera Hofmann (Toronto, Ont.) has started three straight games, propelling herself to the top of the nation in save percentage (.955). Her 1.30 goals-against average ranks sixth. Hofmann was named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week after her first career game Oct. 29, making 35 saves as the Bulldogs earned a 1-1 tie in overtime with No. 10 Princeton.

Hofmann is a graduate of Ursula Franklin Academy and played for the Durham West Jr. Lightning prior to coming to Yale. She attended the Team Ontario U18 selection camp last year.


Senior defenseman Taylor Marchin (Algonac, Mich.) leads the nation in points per game among defensemen. She has two goals and seven assists for nine points in six games, an average of 1.50 points per game. Junior defenseman Kara Drexler (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) is tied for third (0-5-5 in six games). Marchin has already topped her goal, assist and point totals from last season (1-5-6).


Five of the Yale's top seven scorers from last season return, including the top two scorers: junior defenseman Mallory Souliotis (Acton, Mass.) (4-21-25) and junior forward Eden Murray (Medicine Hat, Alta.) (7-16-23). The Bulldogs lost their No. 3 scorer, forward Janelle Ferrara '16, to graduation, but scorer No. 4 is back: senior forward Krista Yip-Chuck (Whitby, Ont.) (5-15-20). All told, players who return accounted for 42 of 71 goals (59 percent) and 93 of 117 assists (79 percent) from last season.


Junior defenseman Mallory Souliotis (Acton, Mass.) is coming off a breakthrough season in which she led the team in scoring (4-21-25). That was a remarkable a 16-point improvement over her total from the previous year, and her assist total placed her third on Yale's single-season assists list. Souliotis earned second team All-Ivy League honors.


Junior forward Eden Murray (Medicine Hat, Alta.) is eighth in the nation in points per game (3-7-10 in six games). She finished second on Yale in points last season (7-16-23) and followed that up this past summer by earning an invitation to Hockey Canada's National Team Development Camp for the fourth year in a row. Murray, who established career highs in all three scoring categories, was an honorable mention All-Ivy League selection. She is the younger sister of Yale defenseman Madi Murray '15, and has two other sisters who played at the collegiate level as well: Kelly Murray was a defenseman for Cornell and Logan Murray was a forward for McGill.


Yale welcomes five freshmen to the roster for 2016-17. The Class of 2020 includes three forwards, two defensemen and one goalie. The group includes three Americans and three Canadians.

The incoming freshmen have had many accomplishments on the ice, including one who won a silver medal playing for Canada's Under-18 team at the IIHF U18 Championship (defenseman Saroya Tinker (Oshawa, Ont.)) and another who was part of four straight trips to the National Tournament by the Mid Fairfield Stars (defenseman Kate Tewksbury (New York, N.Y.)). They have served in leadership roles, with five having been captains or assistant captains of teams. One was a semi-finalist for the prestigious Minnesota Ms. Hockey Award -- forward Laura Anderson (Lino Lakes, Minn.).

The incoming freshmen have also been recognized for their work in other fields, including one who earned honorable mention in the short story category from Scholastic Arts and Writing (goaltender Tera Hofmann (Toronto, Ont.)). They have also taken on significant projects such as inventing a product and bringing it to market (forward Kirsten Nergaard (Stamford, Conn.) and the "Kick-it Trainer").

The members of the Class of 2020 have been active in their communities as well -- for example, forward Sophie Veronneau (Ottawa, Ont.) has volunteered with both Do it for Daron (raising awareness of youth mental health issues) and at the at the Centretown Emergency Food Centre in Ottawa.


Yale routinely has some of the best teams in the country on its schedule, and that remains the case in 2016-17. The Bulldogs will play three of the eight teams that participated in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. The schedule also includes the 13th annual Nutmeg Classic tournament, which takes place at Quinnipiac Nov. 25-26.

The ECAC Hockey playoffs, which determine the recipient of the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament, start Feb. 24. The top four teams in the regular season standings host teams five through eight in the best-of-three quarterfinal series. The ECAC Hockey semifinals and championship are held the following weekend. The NCAA Tournament selections get announced Mar. 5 and the NCAAs start Mar. 10. The NCAA Frozen Four is in St. Charles, Mo., Mar. 17 and 19.


Colgate (10-0-1, 3-0-0 ECAC Hockey) is one of three unbeaten teams left in the country. The Raiders have hit their stride in recent seasons under fifth-year head coach Greg Fargo, improving their winning percentage from .235 in 2014-15 to .671 last season to .955 this season. They set a school record with 22 wins last year, and opened a new rink this year (Class of 1965 Arena). The Raiders are fourth in the nation on the power play (20.9 percent), fifth in scoring defense (1.36 goals per game) and fifth in scoring offense (3.65 goals per game). The Raiders and Yale have three opponents in common so far, with both teams going 2-0-0 against RIT and adding ECAC Hockey wins against Rensselaer and Union. Colgate outscored those teams 16-5 while Yale outscored them 24-6.


Cornell (3-2-0, 1-2-0 ECAC Hockey) is looking to bounce back from a 13-14-4 season, the Big Red's most losses in a year since 2008-09. Cornell features a veteran goalie in Paula Voorheis, a senior who is tied for eighth in the nation in save percentage (.944). Right behind her is sophomore Marlene Boissonnault, who is 11th with a .943 save percentage. Those two have helped the Big Red tie for the second-best scoring defense in the nation (1.20 goals per game). Seven of the team's nine goals have come from freshmen and sophomores, led by forward Kristin O'Neill (4-1-5). O'Neill, a freshman, has played for Hockey Canada's Under-18 team.