After suffering three losses at home over break, the Bulldogs (7-11-0, 3-8-0 ECAC) were looking to get back on track on the road this past weekend.
Instead they found a pair of tough opponents — including No. 5 St. Lawrence (14-5-3, 8-1-1) — who squelched the Elis’ hopes of pulling out of their five-game skid.
On Friday night, Yale traveled to New York to take on Clarkson (12-6-4, 6-2-2) for the second time this season. Earlier in the season, the Bulldogs defeated the Golden Knights, 3-2, in Ingalls Rink. Like the last match, the home team came away with the victory as Clarkson walked out of Cheel Arena with decisive 4-1 win over the Bulldogs.
In the opening minutes of the contest, the two teams played to a stalemate. The Golden Knights got an early power play opportunity after a two-minute tripping penalty was called on forward Kristen Stupay ’09. In Yale’s first penalty kill, goalie Genny Ladiges ’12 made two of her 21 saves to fend off the Golden Knights’ attempts.
The next power play fared even better for the Bulldogs. This time, the Elis had the five-four advantage, and they, unlike the Golden Knights, did not let their opportunity go to waste. A wrist shot by forward Crysti Howser ’09 was deflected by forward Aleca Hughes ’12 before finding the back of the net at 11:34 in the first period.
But after that it was all Clarkson.
The first period ended in a draw after Juana Baribeau of the Golden Knights scored a breakaway goal.
“Clarkson was a very disciplined team,” defender Helen Resor ’09 said. “They waited for us to make a mistake and capitalized on their opportunities.”
The last two periods saw the Golden Knights run away with the game when they scored three more goals. Clarkson’s second goal of the match would prove to be the game winner as the Elis could not find the back of the net. The Golden Knights’ goalie Lauren Dahm, who tops the conference with a 0.944 save percentage, denied the Elis 16 times in the match.
The following night, Yale took the ice once again against one of the conference’s top goalies. The Saints’ Brittony Chartier is second in the ECAC with a 0.939 save percentage.
Thirty-five of those saves came at the Bulldogs’ expense on Saturday afternoon. Ladiges also had a strong game, recording 29 saves. But in the end, St. Lawrence was too overwhelming for Yale as four different Saints found the back of the net.
“They just seemed to get the right bounces,” captain and forward Sarah Tittman ’09 said. “We got a lot of shots on net and controlled the puck pretty well, but we just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Perhaps the best scoring opportunity for the Bulldogs came at the end of the first period. Down 1-0, Resor blocked a shot and took it the full length of the ice for a shot on Chartier. Although Chartier did not immediately control the puck, defenseman Berit Johnson ’10 rebounded the puck for a second attempt. But Chartier spoiled the Elis’ chances to tie the game.
With the losses, the Bulldogs remain in 10th place in the ECAC, and only four points out of a tie for eighth place. But the Elis have 11 games left in the regular season and are anything but out of playoff contention.
“We still have a lot of games left that we need to focus on,” defenseman Alyssa Clarke ’10 said.