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Post #10

***Breaking NCAA News: Recruiting Dead Period Extended Until April 15, 2021***

DI and DIII Women’s Coaches Have Monthly Zoom w/ NCAA and Conference Commissioners, No New Women’s Cancellations or Postponements

At 6:20pm tonight the NCAA’s DI Council announced it is extending the recruiting dead period until April 15, 2021. It was set to expire January 1. You can read the NCAA’s announcement HERE. Interestingly the Ivy League’s University of Pennsylvania Athletic Director, M. Grace Calhoun, is the NCAA DI Council chair. The dead period means no off-campus evaluation or face-to-face contacts for DI coaches and no official or unofficial visits to campus for recruits and their families. DI coaches were hoping for a April 1 or earlier date leaving the all of April when many high-level events take place.

We are coming up on more than 24-hours without a NCAA DI women’s hockey related COVID postponement or season cancellation. Needless to say it’s been a tough week for positive news. Women’s coaches across DIII and DI, the five D-I conference commissioners, along with members of the NCAA all met today for their monthly Zoom to discuss national tournament and recruiting issues. 10 games is the minimum needed to be played to qualify for the NCAA tournament. Conferences that start the year with at least 4 teams will retain its automatic bid. The ECAC stands at four, Hockey East at ten, WCHA at seven, CHA at five, and NEWHA at five as well. One piece of good news did come out as Hockey East commissioner Steve Metcalf announced all Hockey East women’s games would be streamed live FOR FREE this season. We’ll get the details and pass them along.

Men’s DI hockey took a bit of a COVID hit in the last 24-hours. Colorado College is pausing all hockey activity after a player tested positive. CC is scheduled to be a part of the NCHC bubble Dec. 1 in Omaha. Sacred Heart has postponed its games with AIC and Quinnipiac this weekend as well as games with Army slated for Nov. 27-28, after a few a small number of cases and contact tracing came back on the team.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our regularly scheduled post with an update on the program as we wind down the Fall semester and part-II of our Understanding the Process series on how academics play into our recruiting process.

Stay safe and be well everyone.

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Post #9

Union College Cancels 20-21 Season, RIT Reconsiders, 2021 Women’s & Men’s Beanpot Tourney Cancelled

Another ECAC Hockey member school has cancelled its 20-21 season. Union College becomes the 10th DI program to put hockey on pause for the 20-21 season. Athletic Director Jim McLaughlin made the announcement just before noon today. You can read it HERE. The ECAC is now down to 4 teams on both the women’s and men’s side–Clarkson, Colgate, Quinnipiac, and St. Lawrence.

RIT which announced it was cancelling its women’s and men’s 20-21 hockey seasons on Nov. 9, is now reconsidering its decision. RIT president David Munson states as long as the state of New York accepts Atlantic Hockey and College Hockey America’s return-to-play plans, hockey for the 20-21 season will continue at RIT. Details can be found on USCHO.com HERE.

Another hockey casualty of the pandemic is not a hockey program, but an in-season tournament, The Beanpot. The 2021 four-school annual event in February between BC, BU, Harvard, and Northeastern has been cancelled. The Boston Globe has the story HERE.

Stay tuned later this week for our regularly scheduled post with an update on the program and part-II of our Understanding the Process series on how academics play into our recruiting process.

Stay safe and be well everyone.

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Post #8

Another COVID Casualty, RPI Cancels 20-21 Season

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) becomes the 9th women’s and men’s hockey program to cancel it’s 20-21 season due to COVID concerns. RPI, a member of the ECAC, made the announcement Monday afternoon. You can read the official announcement HERE.

This leaves the ECAC with five remaining schools planning, at least for now, to play—Clarkson, Colgate, Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence, and Union. The ECAC lost six schools when the Ivy League announced it would cancel all winter sports last week.

One has to wonder if more schools will follow the six Ivy programs, RIT, RPI, and Post University with cancelling their seasons. If you include St. Cloud and Vermont who have recently postponed upcoming games between Bemidji St., UCONN, BC, and BU respectively, that’s 15 programs affected already. 41% of DI teams impacted.

We’ll keep you updated on more COVID related developments.

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Post #2

IN THIS POST…

  • ‘Spark’ Some Interest
  • Numbers Don’t Lie
  • Understanding The Process
  • NCAA COVID Update

‘Spark’ Some Interest…

Coaches, one area of recruiting we feel strongly about is helping educate you about Yale University, how our recruiting process works, and what our hockey program is all about.

So to help, we created the Yale Women’s Hockey ‘Spark’ document—a visually stunning informational web-based tool to explore and share with families you think might be a great fit for Yale. Designed by asst. coach Danielle Blanchard, you’ll swipe up-and-down on everything from how housing works with our 14 residential colleges, to what it’s like to be a member of the program, as well as how the academic, admissions and financial aid process works. This is jammed-packed with videos, testimonials, and additional links. So click the link below and ‘Spark’ someone’s interest!

Yale Women’s Hockey ‘Spark’ Document.

Numbers Don’t Lie…

To give you a sense of just how much improvement there was a season ago, here is a comparison between last year vs. the 18-19 season as well as some individual player stats. The numbers tell quite a story.

Understanding The Process…

Getting to an Ivy League school such as Yale isn’t easy. Great grades, awesome teacher recommendations, and high ACT or SAT scores are just a few of the things players will need to even be considered for admission. But there is so much more to the process as a hockey player and since recruiting is not an exact science, it can be confusing. So, to help shed some light and understand how our ‘process’ works, we’ve identified a few ‘key’ pieces, in somewhat of an order, we think you should pay attention to. We’ll expand on each one in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. You won’t want to miss this 4-part series.
     1) Player Identification/Evaluation–I put ‘Player Identification/Evaluation’ number one because honestly, it’s what happens first and is the most important because we want to win.
     2) Academics–Is the second thing we look at. Who’s a great fit hockey-wise… that’s the easiest to answer. Can she get admitted to Yale? That is quite a bit harder.
     3) Affordability–Know this, a Yale education can be affordable and you don’t have to be a millionaire. We want to educate and answer the ‘affordability’ question early. 
     4) Do You Want Yale?–We want players who want to be at Yale. Because they truly want a world class education and help establish a tradition of excellence for our hockey program within the Ivy League, in the ECAC, and nationally in the NCAA.

We’ll tackle Player Identification/Evaluation next week… stay tuned!

NCAA COVID Update…

-Yale University will have a direct impact on NCAA sports, such as Basketball and Hockey, potentially having their respective seasons.
-Hockey conference commissioners are watching as the NCAA announced an update to its ‘Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Basketball document — read it HERE

The Yale University Medical School teamed up with the NBA earlier this summer and developed a low-cost, quick turnaround time, saliva based COVID test called SalivaDirect. Each test cost are somewhere between $5-$30 and results are known in a matter of hours. In its resocialization updated document, the NCAA recommended SalivaDirect was one of the tests sport programs could use as they develop safe and effective testing protocols.

Hockey people are paying close attention to what happens with Basketball. We’re similar sports in that we play indoors, have indoor locker rooms, and have close personal contact with many groups of individuals–coaches, players, officials, school administrators, medical people, etc. The NCAA has recommended Basketball tests ‘Tier I’ individuals–players, coaches, trainers, and essential staff etc., 3 times per week once the season begins. Figure each DI Basketball program between players, coaches, and essential staff could be around 20-25 personnel. The math gets pretty pricey without a SalivaDirect option. Other tests on the market could be used but cost as much as $150. Put into hockey terms… teams with an average group of 28 players coaches, staff etc. and testing three times per week within a shortened 10 week season… could cost programs anywhere from $4,200 to $25,000 for SalivaDirect tests.

Until next time everyone… Enjoy your weekend and be well!

Post #1

IN THIS POST…

  • 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.

NCAA COVID Update…

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…