PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Brown women's hockey team wraps up it's third home game in just four days tomorrow night, when the squad welcomes Yale to Meehan Auditorium for a rare midweek game and a pre-Groundhog Day matchup at 7 p.m.
This battle was initially scheduled to be the second matchup in the home-and-home serious, but Providence's first blizzard of 2011 postponed the originally-scheduled game on January 12 at Yale. That game will now be played on February, 15th at 7:30 p.m.
Strength of Schedule
Brown has faced a grueling schedule, not only in the first half of the season in which with nine of its 12 opponents have received votes in the national poll and six cracking the top 10, but since a return from winter break, the Bears have faced No. 2 Cornell, No. 3 Boston University and No. 4 Mercyhurst (twice) this month.
The games have been just as tough in conference play as three of the Bears last six games have come against the top three teams in the ECAC, and four of six against top-five teams.
Yale is currently four points ahead of Brown in the ECAC standings. The Bulldogs are five points back of the eighth, and final playoff spot for the Conference Championship.
The Captain Returns
Senior captain Samantha Stortini (Sudbury, Ontario) missed seven games with a hip injury at the beginning of the season and has since returned after the winter break. Stortini's experience and leadership on the backline is needed with a plethora of young players seeing valuable minutes for the Bears this season. "Storts" looks to join fellow senior captains Erica Kromm (Naramata, British Columbia) and Jenna Dancewicz (Lake Forest, Ill.) at the 100 games played milestone. Both Kromm and Dancewicz hit the mark earlier this season. Stortini is currently at 95 career games with eight games left on the regular-season slate.
Sophomore Laurie Jolin (Lachine, Quebec) continues to be the Bears main offensive threat, leading the team with eight goals, 11 points and 47 shots. Jolin has been one of the most effective scorers in the ECAC this year. Her .148 goal percentage is 11th in the league among players with at least 50 shots.
Classmate Alena Polenska (Kutna Hora, Czech Republic) has really turned it on as of late, raking up four points in the past two games. Polenska had an assist on the first goal against St. Lawrence and had three points (a goal and two assists) versus Clarkson. "Czechy" is now second on the team in goals (four), assists (five) and points (nine).
Rookie defender Jennifer Nedow (Brockville, Ontario) has proven she can do it all, playing staunch defense while leading the team with six assists this season. Nedow even shifted up to center after injuries at Mercyhurst left the Bears shorthanded.
Classmate Jessica Hoyle (Toronto, Ontario) has played on the top line for the Bears all season and continues to be one of the hardest skaters on the team. Hoyle is tied for second on the team with four assists and fourth with 31 shots.
Freshman Vanessa Welten (Crysler, Ontario) scored her second goal of the season at St. Lawrence, unassisted, going coast-to-coast for the score. It was her first game back from a head injury.
Goalie Aubree Moore (Bowie, Md.) kept the Bears in both games this past weekend. Entering the game against SLU in the first period, she allowed just one goal while making 26 saves. She drew the start at Clarkson the next day and added 30 moves stops to her weekend total.
Yale (5-14-2, 4-9-1) starts a stretch of five-straight road games with its visit to Brown. Like Brown, the Bulldogs are coming off back-to-back losses to Dartmouth (2-1) and Harvard (5-3). Yale is on a four-game losing streak, with its last win coming against Colgate (3-1) on January 8, and 2-8-0 in their last 10 games.
Aside from the three goals against Harvard in their last game, the Bulldogs had only scored more than one goal in a game twice since November 26th.
They Bulldogs are led offensively by senior Bray Ketchum who has a team-high 15 points on five goals and 10 assists. Junior Aleca Hughes leads the team with seven goals.
In net, senior goalie Jackee Snikeris has made 12 starts and boasts a 2.40 goals against average and a .932 save percentage.
Next Time on the Ice
The Bears begin a five-game road trip on Friday, Feb. 4st at RPI at 7 p.m. The Bears will continue its Upstate New York trip with games against Union, Cornell and Colgate before concluding the 2010-11 road portion of its schedule with a February 15th matchup against Yale.
Pictured Above: Junior defender Paige Pyett