Providence simply could not solve goaltender Sarah Love ’06 at Ingalls Rink Sunday.
Love’s 36 saves led a stellar defensive effort by the women’s hockey team (4-12-2, 1-5-0 ECAC) en route to a 1-1 tie against the nationally ranked No. 9 Friars (10-5-6).
The freshman turned her body into a wall at times, putting it in the path of rifling pucks. From full-extension dives to sprawling glove saves, Love frustrated a potent Friar offense and kept the Bulldogs in a game that, on paper, they had no business being in.
“Sarah [Love] is a phenomenal goalie,” Erika Hockinson ’04 said. “She makes saves that aren’t supposed to be saved. She was definitely MVP for us.”
In the final minute of the first period, Jenn Butsch beat Love for the 1-0 lead, but Providence would be held scoreless for the remainder of play.
The Friars had plenty of chances, including six power plays. They just could not figure out Love.
Yale got on the board early in the second period. In a shooting flurry at the Elis’ goal, the puck squirted loose toward mid-ice. Natalie Babony ’06, whose skate-speed is virtually unparalleled, recovered the puck and with only the goalie to beat, nestled it inside the left post for the 1-1 tie.
The Elis, outshot 36-21, were unable to sustain pressure in the offensive end. Neither team could find the back of the net again, and the game headed into overtime.
“We were intense all three periods, all 60 minutes,” Hockinson said. “That’s the first time we’ve done that all season.”
Yale dominated in overtime, outshooting Providence 4-2, but was unable to produce a goal.
“We were running on adrenaline,” Hockinson said. “We were playing our best game of the season.”
The Bulldogs were unfazed by a bigger, taller Providence squad. In fact, the physical play favored the Bulldogs, who outmuscled the Friars for most of the game.
“[Providence] is a very physical team,” Hockinson said. “We knew we had to take it to them. We couldn’t let them go right through us.”
Yale’s physicality resulted in six penalties, but the Bulldogs successfully killed all six.
Everything is clicking for the Bulldogs right now, who came off a thrilling come-from-behind 4-3 win over Quinnipiac on Wednesday. The win ended a four-game losing streak.
“This is a great experience and a great start for us,” Hockinson said. “It’s just too bad it didn’t happen sooner.”
Yale next hosts Sacred Heart on Wednesday. The Bulldogs routed the Pioneers last year 8-0 and look to do the same this week.