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  • Thanks For Reading
  • 19-20 Year In Review
  • 20-21 Program Review
  • NCAA COVID Update

Thanks For Reading…

Welcome to the first edition and issue of the official Yale Women’s Hockey Newsletter; we appreciate your time checking up on and taking an interest in our program. First, we hope all of you are staying safe and healthy. These are times unlike any of us have ever experienced and we hope you and your families are doing well. We’re really excited to give you an insider’s look at what’s happening with our program and around the NCAA as the season progresses. So sit back, relax, and enjoy!

19-20 Year In Review…

-Brand new coaching staff, Mark Bolding – Head Coach, Danielle Blanchard – Asst. Coach, Grant Kimball – Asst. Coach.
-17 wins – MOST in program history.
-13 wins in ECAC – MOST in program history.
-10 more wins than in the previous season, largest win improvement of any D-I program.
-Set program record for most consecutive wins with 6, from January 10 to January 28
-Highest ECAC finish since 2004-2005 (4th place) with a 5th place finish in 19-20.
-Sophomore D, Emma Seitz, named to the All-ECAC Hockey 2nd Team AND 2nd Team All-Ivy League.
-Sophomore F, Claire Dalton, named an All-Ivy League honorable mention.
-Senior Captain F, Laura Andersen, received the New England Hockey Writers Association’s Joe Tomasello ‘Unsung Hero’ Award.
-Junior F, Lucy Burton, Biomedical Engineering Major, wins the Mandi Schwartz Award for ECAC Student-Athlete of the Year and named to All-Ivy Academic Team.
-20 players earn Academic All-ECAC Hockey selections.
-5 players selected to receive the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) Krampade All-American Scholar award.
-Senior D, Soyra Tinker was the 4th overall and first-round pick of the NWHL’s Metropolitan Riviters of the NWHL’s 2020 Draft.
-Senior G, Tera Hoffman was the 16th overall pick and thrid-round selection of the NWHL’s Metropolitan Riviters.
-Mark Bolding was a finalist for the ECAC Coach of the Year Award in his first year as coach of the Bulldogs.

Needless to say it was a banner year for the Bulldogs and one of the best in programs’ 43-year history both on and off the ice. The level of improvement from the previous season was tremendous. With only 5 seniors lost to graduation and nearly all of the offense returning, the future looks very bright for this program.

20-21 Program Review…

With the Pandemic now in its seventh month, there is a lot of uncertainty around the 20-21 season taking place. The coaching staff has kept a close eye on what’s happening on the NCAA front as well as with the team while participating in numerous Zoom’s and calls with the team and with other DI coaches. Here is what we know:
-On July 1, Yale University announced it would limit the undergrad on-campus in-residence population for the 20-21 academic school year to no more than 60% of its normal capacity. The Fall semester would allow incoming freshman, juniors and seniors to live in residence while Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors would be allowed to live in residence during the Spring semester. Students were given the options to return to campus and take classes, enroll but take classes remotely, or take a leave-of-absence for the year and return to take classes in 2021.
-On July 8, 2020 The Ivy League Council of Presidents announced it would not be possible for Ivy League teams to participate in intercollegiate athletics prior to the end of the Fall semester. Thus, winter sports such as hockey could not begin competition until after Jan. 1, 2021. You can read the official Ivy League announcement HERE. Yale athletics announced a four-phased approach to normalizing athletic activity during the fall semester which will range from quarantine & test screening, limited physical activity strength & conditioning activity, all the way to normal practices being held. No firm dates have been given for each phase to begin.
-July 20th was the deadline for all Yale College (undergrads) students to notify Yale of their Fall attendance intentions.
-The week of August 24th was the first week back in the office at Ingalls Rink for the coaching staff.  was the first day of classes
-As of August 31st, the first day of classes, our program had a variety of freshman choose to defer their initial enrollment until the Fall of 2021. A number of returning players chose to continue on their current academic path and enroll to take classes beginning in the Fall Semester. We also had a number of players take a ‘leave-of-absence’ for the 20-21 academic year.


On September 16th, the NCAA DI Council voted to extend the recruiting dead period through January 1, 2021. You can find the DI Council’s official report PDF HERE. Certainly, this has a major impact on recruiting not only for coaches to evaluate players live, but for players and families not being able to visit campuses. NCAA programs have resorted to watching games online or streamed live. We would encourage any club/team with the capability to stream live or tape and upload video of games to the web with NCAA coach access to please do so.

-On September 10th the five NCAA Division I Women’s Ice Hockey conferences, along with six men’s hockey conferences, made a joint statement represented by the Hockey Commissioners Association, that the hockey season will be delayed. A link to the announcement can be found HERE.

-Assistant Coach Grant Kimball has been on the front lines of the COVID discussions with the women’s DI coaching body as a member of the Women’s Ice Hockey Executive Committee and as a Governor within the American Hockey Coaches Association.
-With a delayed season comes challenges:
     1) Will each conference play the same amount of games?
     2) Will there be an opportunity to play out of conference games? If so, how many and vs. whom?
     3) If players opt out, what does that do to their NCAA eligibility?
     4) With a shortened season, how will the NCAA tourney field be determined? All of these questions are being evaluated. Individual conferences will make announcements as to their season starting on a case by case basis. The impact is hardest hit on the Ivy League as no hockey will be played until Jan. 1 at the earliest women or men. Within the ECAC, Union, St. Lawrence, and RPI are following the Ivy lead and not allowing winter sports to resume until Jan. 1. That leaves, Clarkson, Colgate, and Quinnipiac to potentially play games earlier than Jan. 1 should a ECAC decision allow them to.

We’ll certainly be keeping you up to date on any additional program and NCAA news as it relates to the start of the 20-21 season.

Until next time…