A single, late-game Quinnipiac goal ended the women’s hockey team’s playoff hopes.
The Elis (10–15–3, 8–12–1 ECAC) suffered a 1–0 loss to the Bobcats in Friday night’s away contest, while Dartmouth notched a 4–1 win against No. 8 Clarkson in New York. Heading into the weekend, the Bulldogs and the Big Green were tied for eighth place in the league — the last spot that earns a ticket to the conference playoffs later this month. But the combined Eli loss and Dartmouth win pushed the Big Green ahead in the ECAC standings and clinched Dartmouth’s playoff bid.
The night’s results brought an abrupt end to a late-season push by the Bulldogs that strove to compensate for the team’s 0–5 start to the season. Yale began to turn things around with a 2–2 tie against Cornell and a 3–0 victory over Colgate right before winter break, and then pulled out a series of wins in mid-January to keep the streak going.
“The team could have easily just sat back in the second half,” head coach Hilary Witt said. “Instead, they came together and just worked a lot, and I’m really proud of them.”
But the late-season efforts just weren’t good enough, as the Eli run finished with the loss to Quinnipiac.
Yale held off the Bobcats (17–8–8, 10–4–7) for most of the 60-minute contest, but a Bobcat goal in the ninth minute of the third frame was enough to give Quinnipiac the win.
“We tried hard, but unfortunately it just didn’t go our way,” Witt said.
While Quinnipiac outshot Yale 15–5 in the opening period, Eli goaltender Jackee Snikeris ’11 was perfect with 15 saves. The Bulldogs didn’t even get their first shot on goal until halfway through the first frame, when forward Bray Ketchum ’11 managed to send a blue-line pass from defenseman Samantha MacLean ’11 toward the net. Yale also incurred three consecutive penalties near the close of the period but kept the Bobcats from capitalizing — even when Quinnipiac had a 40-second five-on-three advantage.
Both teams also remained scoreless during the second stanza. Snikeris added another 11 saves to her tally, and the Bulldogs had a few good attempts on Quinnipiac’s net from Ketchum, forward Becky Mantell ’12 and forward Aleca Hughes ’12, but were unable to finish any of their chances.
Then Quinnipiac broke the tie midway through the final frame. Forward Kallie Flor bypassed Snikeris at the 8:46 mark to put the home squad on the board, and up by one. The Bulldogs pulled Snikeris with 49 seconds remaining in the game but couldn’t rally before time expired and they recorded the 1–0 loss.
“I’m proud of the team and the way they battled throughout,” Witt said. “We’re not going to give up — we’ll try to do well tomorrow, and hopefully end on a good note.”
The Elis will take on the Tigers today in Princeton, N.J., for their final game of the 2009-’10 season. The puck is scheduled to drop at 4 p.m.