Hard times continued for the women’s hockey team in their home opening weekend. The Elis (0–4–1, 0–4–0 ECAC) fell to Princeton (4–1–1, 3–0–1 ECAC) 4–0 Friday and to Quinnipiac (5–3–2, 3–0–1 ECAC) 2–1 the following day in what was another difficult weekend offensively for the Bulldogs.
After losing in their conference opener to two nationally ranked teams, No. 7 St. Lawrence and No. 2 Clarkson, the Elis looked to bounce back against the Tigers on Friday night at Ingalls Rink, but that possibility proved to be difficult early on in the game against Princeton. The Tigers knocked in a goal just 2:15 into the first period, continuing their momentum from what has been a promising start to their season. The Bulldogs had no answer.
With four power play opportunities after Princeton’s first goal, the Elis still remained scoreless. The Tigers continued to control the puck in the first period, with 13 shots on goal to the Bulldog’s five, and were able to capitalize on the disparity with another goal at 8:56.
During the course of the game, the Elis seemed to gain traction offensively with six shots on goal in the second period to the Tiger’s eight and a 9–5 advantage in the third, but it was too little too late. Princeton scored at 16:30 in the second period and 15:22 in the third period to put victory out of reach for the Elis.
The Tigers outplayed Yale on offense, and despite only having one power play opportunity in the game, were able to score all four of their goals at even strength. As of Friday, the Elis had not capitalized on any power play opportunities in conference play.
“We need to play more as a five-man unit on the power play,” head coach Hilary Witt said. “Everybody has to get involved. We have a lot of young players, and they’re learning. It’s really early in the season, and it’s important that we keep getting better.”
On Saturday, the Bulldogs were able to hold their own against Quinnipiac early on, outshooting the Bobcats seven to four in the first frame. But it was the visitors who would later take control in the second period. At 5:14 into the second, the Bobcats scored the first goal of the game and followed with another score at 19:07. Both goals were even-strength.
But unlike in their past three conference games, the Bulldogs answered back. Early in the third period, Quinnipiac goalie Victoria Vigilanti blocked a shot by defenseman Tara Tomimoto ’13, but forward Berit Johnson ’10 rebounded the puck and assisted forward Bray Ketchum ’11 to put the Elis back in the game 2–1. It was also Yale’s first power play goal in conference play.
But despite an advantage of 11 to nine in shots on goal in the third, the Bulldogs remained scoreless for the rest of the game. With 1:22 remaining in regulation, the Elis pulled goalie Jaclyn Snikeris ’11 out of the game to try to get a quick score. But the attempt failed, leaving the team with another winless weekend.
“We didn’t consistently work hard,” Witt said. “We have a really young team, and we don’t score a ton of goals so we have to be more disciplined and we weren’t this weekend.”
Snikeris, who was ranked eighth in the nation before the game against Princeton with a .931 save percentage, had another impressive performance with 41 total saves this weekend. But because the team has not been able to generate enough offense over the past two weeks (one goal in four games), her performance was not enough for a win.
“Our defense and goalies are playing great,” Ketchum said. “We need to produce more offensive opportunities and help our defense out. They’re doing a lot for us right now, and we really need to step it up.”
Johnson said that even though the team came out winless in its home-opening weekend, the Elis showed some improvement against Quinnipiac. Playing with more energy and paying better attention to details were improvements that she said she hopes the team will be able to maintain next weekend.
“We have had some disappointments early on in the season,” Johnson said. “But it’s a long season, and we’re going to have a lot more opportunities to play some better hockey and score some more goals and really improve what we can do.”
The Elis will go on the road this weekend to face Rensselaer and Union in New York state.