W. HOCKEY | Bulldogs keep struggling

cheung_whockey-197
Photo by Jennifer Cheung.

While the women’s hockey team did not find success on the ice, the team made its mark in another way.

At Friday’s White Out for Mandi, the team exceeded its goal of raising $15,000 for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation by 67 percent. The scoreboard itself was lamentable ­­— Yale (1–14–0, 1–7–0 ECAC) suffered a 5–1 loss to Princeton (6–7–1, 5–4–1 ECAC) on Friday and a 3–2 overtime loss to Quinnipiac (11–7–1, 7–2–1 ECAC) on Saturday. But the Bulldogs brought hundreds of Yale students and local athletes to cheer on the team during the Princeton match on Friday, with a White Out event that raised money for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation. Initiated by Aleca Hughes ’12 in 2010 to honor of a teammate, Mandi Swartz ’11, who lost her battle with leukemia in April, the foundation aims to support youth hockey players diagnosed with cancer in the United States and Canada.

The foundation surpassed its goal and raised just over $25,000 through T-shirt sales, a silent auction of hockey memorabilia and donations, Hughes said.

“It’s fun to get a good crowd out to Ingalls,” goaltender Genny Ladiges ’12 said, adding that the spectators bring energy to the arena.

Audience energy, however, was not enough Friday. The team struggled to play consistently, and its responses to Princeton’s goals were too little, too late.

The Bulldogs offense got off to a slow start. The Elis made only their second shot on goal half-way through the period. The Tigers scored on goalkeeper Jaimie Leonoff ’15 after 15 minutes of play.

But the team levied offensive pressure on the Tigers early in the second period. Forward Lynn Kennedy ’15 missed a breakaway shot that sailed just above the crossbar about two minutes in. But Princeton managed to tip the puck over Leonoff and into the net at 12:11, just after a Tigers’ powerplay. In response, forward Jackie Raines ’14 nearly made a rebound shot but the Tigers’ keeper blocked the shot. With three minutes left in the period, the red light flashed behind a scuffle at the Yale net, and the Tigers secured their three-point lead.

“Princeton got a couple of lucky bounces to put them up 3–0, and that is a steep hole for us to climb out of,” head coach Joakim Flygh said.

He added that he thought the team improved in the third period. But despite its efforts, Princeton scored five minutes into the last period, and a series of Yale penalties, including about 10 seconds of 5-on-3 play, gave the Tigers a power-play goal half-way through the period. The Bulldogs pulled Leonoff for an extra player with about two minutes left in the game, and Ashley Dunbar ’14 managed to score the Elis one and only goal of the game. Leonoff made 42 saves.

“We wanted to win Friday’s game for Mandi,” Ladiges said. “But we failed to capitalize on most of our scoring chances. On Saturday, though, we competed hard con consistently and things just came together.”

Ladiges said the team capitalized on its scoring chances and blocked shots Saturday, and she added that the Bulldogs were able to speedily break the puck out of Yale’s end.

The Bulldog’s opened the scoring with a goal at 3:56 in the first period from defender Heather Grant ’12. The Bobcats tied the game half-way through that period, but three minutes into the second, the Bulldogs regained the lead when Kennedy scored.

It was a clean and fast game with only three penalties in total, and the Bulldogs held the lead until the last five minutes of the game, when the Bobcats tipped one past Ladiges to even the score. The game went into an extra overtime period, and Quinnipiac managed to secure the win.

Flygh said he thought the team made a good 60-minute effort on Saturday, and it’s impressive that the Bulldogs lost by such a narrow margin when they were out-shot 39–21 he added.

Ladiges said the team has progressed considerably in the past three weeks, despite its losing record. Last time the team played Princeton and Quinnipiac, it lost 7–1 and 3–0 respectively.

The team will have a short holiday break before returning to full practice on Dec. 27 in preparation for the Jan. 4 game against Brown.

“Right now I think our challenge is to maintain the strides we’ve made over our last few games,” Ladiges said. “We’re still in the race for a play-off spot, so we must continue to compete and improve in the coming month so we can make it to the post-season and pick up some wins in the second half of the season.”

The team has its work cut out for it.

Yale is ranked last in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, whereas Quinnipiac is ranked first and Princeton is tied for fifth place.

Comments