The women’s ice hockey team faced down two league foes over the weekend and moved up in the ECACHL standings, now tied in the sixth slot out of 12 as the playoffs loom ever closer.
The Bulldogs (11-8-1, 7-7-1 ECACHL) flattened struggling opponent Cornell (2-18-1, 2-12) in a 5-1 home game Friday, a repeat performance of the Elis’ 4-1 triumph over the Big Red in Ithaca earlier in the season. Saturday afternoon, they hosted Colgate (11-10-2, 10-3-1) in a match that went into overtime, the second time this season the Elis and Raiders went past regulation. But this time, there was a happier ending than the 4-3 overtime loss back in October, as they held Colgate scoreless during the five-minute period, coming out with a 2-2 tie.
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“Cornell and Colgate are two very hard-working teams — it’s grit that gets them points,” goalkeeper Shivon Zilis ’08 said. “I was proud of our team for stepping up and working hard to win each individual battle.”
Zilis, who played both games in full, made 19 saves against Cornell and 25 against Colgate, including several midair glove snatches and one second-period grab in which the puck bounced across the ice before she stopped it. She made two key saves in overtime, ensuring that Yale would get at least a point in the ECACHL standings against the Raiders.
The Elis’ offense was also in high gear, as the squad outshot its opponent in both games. Cornell struggled to contain an onslaught of 34 shots on goal, while Colgate contended with 33 — a statistic which is slightly disappointing, defender Ann-Renee Guillemette ’08 said.
“We definitely outshot Colgate, which makes it harder to be satisfied with a tie,” she said. “But we all know that we played a very strong game, and getting the tie after overtime compared to a loss like the beginning of the year allows us to keep moving forward and improve with each game to come.”
Coming off a natural hat trick against Clarkson last weekend, forward Sheila Zingler ’07 continued her blazing offensive streak, prompting teammate Caroline Murphy ’10 to call her an “offensive powerhouse.” She earned the name, snagging two goals and an assist against Cornell and putting another one in the net against Colgate. Against the Big Red, the line of Zingler, Jenna Spring ’07 and Crysti Howser ’09 racked up an impressive 10 points total, with Howser putting away two goals and an assist and Spring lending her aid to end the game with four assists.
Still in the midst of their seven-game home stay, the Bulldogs will face Brown (6-13-2, 4-11-1) tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. The match is an opportunity to push even higher in the ranks of the ECACHL against a weak opponent.
“We definitely have our eyes on the quarterfinals,” defender Nina Resor ’07 said. “And it would be great to get home ice, but regardless of where or whom we play, I think we will be very well prepared. It’s still important, however, not to overlook any of our opponents, because they’re all good teams.”
With this weekend’s victory and tie, the Bulldogs are now even with Rensselaer at 15 points. The first game of the quarterfinals will take place on Feb. 23, and home ice privileges will go to the top four teams of the eight teams that qualify.
“We are trying to treat each game equally,” Guillemette said. “Every game that we play from here on out will be the most important game of the season. If we can play at our fastest and strongest against each team, we will be closer at guaranteeing ourselves a spot in the playoffs.”