The Yale women’s hockey team continued this season’s string of improvements this weekend, although its strides failed to produce victories as the Elis lost 5–1 to St. Lawrence on Friday and 1–0 against No. 6 Clarkson on Saturday.
After being blown out by St. Lawrence due to the absence of starting goaltender Jaimie Leonoff ’15, the Bulldogs (2–14–1, 1–7–1 ECAC) rebounded with a strong defensive performance against one of the top 15 offenses in the country. Despite their efforts, Yale came up a goal short against Clarkson.
Leonoff missed Friday’s game due to a concussion she suffered in the team’s game against Providence on Jan. 5, forcing backup Erin Callahan ’13 into action in just her second career start and her first since the 2010–’11 season. After an early first-period goal from St. Lawrence forward Abbey McRae, who had a hat trick in the Saints’ previous game against the Bulldogs, Callahan kept the high-powered St. Lawrence offense in check until the third period, when three goals in a 4:21 span doomed the Elis.
“[Leonoff’s absence] put the pressure on everyone to play well,” forward Jamie Haddad ’16 said. “She’s [our] backbone and our foundation.”
Forward Janelle Ferrara ’16 scored the only goal for Yale with 3:35 left in the third period, tying her with defenseman Kate Martini ’16 for the team lead in points with 10.
“I definitely didn’t expect [to be leading the team], but I’m excited to contribute in any way that I can in order to finish the season off well,” Ferrara said.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the team could not match its one-goal total in Saturday’s game against Clarkson. Leonoff’s 39 saves proved to be one too few, and the Golden Knights’ short-handed goal late in the first period proved decisive. Leonoff described the showing as “one of our better defensive performances of the year.” However, Yale managed a combined 40 shots between the two weekend games, while its opponents had at least 40 in each.
“If we possess the puck more, we will create more quality shot opportunities,” Ferrara said. “It’s time we start capitalizing on these opportunities.”
Over break, the Elis fell 3–2 to Providence in overtime on a goal with 17 seconds left in the extra frame. Leonoff made 47 saves in that contest, three short of her season high, but was shaken up on a hit with 35.6 seconds left in overtime. The team’s goals were scored by Patricia McGauley ’14 — her first goal of the year and second career goal — and Ferrara’s game-tying goal with 4:01 left in the third period.
Yale plays Brown on Thursday night at Ingalls Rink before traveling to Providence for Saturday night’s matchup against the Bears.