For the women’s hockey team, this season can be summed up in perhaps the most cliché saying ever: “Sometimes things go your way; sometimes they don’t.”
This weekend, the Bulldogs (12-16-1, 8-13-1 ECAC) played in two close games, losing to Princeton 4-1 after topping Quinnipiac 1-0. A late third period goal against Quinnipiac (3-26-5, 2-15-5) earned the Elis a 1-0 victory and proved that the Elis can fight through to the end.
But three goals by Princeton (18-9-2, 15-6-1) in three minutes was a testament to things just not going Yale’s way, and the Bulldogs lost 4-1.
“We were looking to end the season with a four game winning streak. In the Quinnipiac game I thought we outplayed them but it was just a matter of putting a puck in the back of the net,” forward Crysti Howser ’09 said. “Against Princeton I thought we brought a great effort for the first two and half periods and then we just had a few mental lapses that cost us.”
ONE LAST VICTORY
At the Whale on Friday night, Yale looked as if it were invincible.
With the playoffs out of reach, the Elis skated for the games at hand and wanted to end the season on a high note, players said.
The Elis controlled the puck early in the game against the Bobcats. Even when Quinnipiac went on their first power play, it appeared as though Yale had the extra player. The Bulldogs were on the attack for the majority of the two minute frame and Quinnipiac did not even get a shot on goal until midway through the first stanza.
But as the game progressed, the Bobcats began to get shots on goal. But compared to Yale’s relatively clean looks at the goal after quality passes around the net, Quinnipiac took sloppy shots into a crowd around the crease, hoping for an irregular bounce.
Goaltender Jackee Snikeris ’11 was always quick to spot a shot on goal or a loose puck in the crease. (Snikeris skated away with 20 saves on the night and her third consecutive shutout.)
In the second period, the roles reversed. Quinnipiac came out in a fury and did not stop its attack. It wasn’t so much that the Elis never had control of the puck — once again they held the Bobcats to a scoreless period — but the Elis had difficulty crossing the red line. When they did get a shot on goal, Quinnipiac’s Nanna Holm-Glaas was there to squelch the Elis attempts to take the lead. Holm-Glaas had 30 saves on the night.
The Bulldogs looked like they would, however, take the lead in the last 30 seconds of the second period. Defender Helen Resor ’09 got the puck at the top of the right circle. Her shot went wide left, but on its way a diving Bray Ketchum ’11 was inches short from redirecting it into the net.
The stalemate was finally broken in the third. After two back-to-back penalties by both squads, the teams were playing 4-on-4 with less than five minutes left in regulation. The Elis played patient defense and finally stole the puck away from Quinnipiac. Quick passes from Howser to forward Helen Resor ’09 found the sophomore Ketchum forward skating from the middle of the ice straight at the net. Ketchum split two Bobcat defenders and hit it over Holm-Glaas’ right shoulder for the game’s only goal.
“Our focus during the Q-Pac game was to get a lot of shots,” Ketchum said. “We did just that, and in the end, one finally bounced our way.”
LOSS ON SENIOR NIGHT
But Saturday’s season finale attested to the Bulldogs tough luck in games.
No. 11 Princeton came to Ingalls Rink hot off a win against Brown the previous night and was looking to move up in the standings to guarantee home ice in the first round of the ECAC tournament.
After a draw in the opening period, it looked as though the Bulldogs would take the lead in the second. After penalties were called on both teams, the Bulldogs found themselves on offense and skating like they had nothing to lose. They scrambled for every loose puck, and it seemed as though their scrappy play paid off when a shot by forward Danielle Kozlowski ’09 appeared to hit the upper part of the inside of the net for a goal. The crown roared, but play continued. Fans were left in disbelief when no goal was called. When play finally came to an end, captain and forward Sarah Tittman ’09 and head coach Hilary Witt spoke with different referees to no avail. The referees did not rule it a goal because the light behind the net did not light up.
Things turned for the worst in the third period. In the span of 2:10, the Tigers scored three goals.
“In that three minute span, we gave up a couple odd-man rushes, and they capitalized on the opportunities,” Ketchum said.
The first goal came when a Princeton shot from the top of the left circle was stopped by Snikeris but left floating in the crease. Snikeris and the Bulldogs tried to get to it, but Princeton’s Christine Foster poked it in.
Foster added insult to injury when she and Annie Greenwood found themselves on a two on one against Snikeris. Greenwood waited until the last minute and hit a crossing pass to Foster, who one timed it into the net.
Finally, a failed clear moments later allowed Melanie Wallace to extend the Tigers’ lead to 3-0.
“It was a little bit of a breakdown and they just finished on some good opportunities,” Snikeris said.
But the Elis were not willing to give up. As Princeton tried to clear the puck out of their zone, Kozlowski broke up the play and passed it to Tittman, who immediately started to skate right at the net. At the last minute, she passed it to a trailing Resor, and Resor hit a wrist shot right past Princeton goalie Kristen Young.
The goal rekindled the Bulldogs’ flame, but Greenwood added an empty net goal for Princeton in the final minutes.
CLASS OF 2009 BIDS FAREWELL
Although the game ended on a somber note, the Bulldogs’ spirits were quickly lifted when it was time to recognize eight seniors in the class of 2009.
Tittman, Hoswer, Kozlowski, Resor were joined by Kristen Stupay ’09, Maggie Westfal ’09, Carlee Ness ’09 and Carry Resor ’09 to give flowers to their parents and take pictures with each other.
The Class of 2009 retires with 49 wins, the third most for any graduating class.
“I’m so proud of the effort that we put in day in and day out, and I think we grew a lot as individuals and as a team,” Tittman said. “We overcame a lot of obstacles this year and finished the season playing excellent, team-oriented hockey.”