WOMEN’S HOCKEY | Elis fail to convert on early lead

The Bulldogs were outshot 49–17 against Dartmouth and failed to move up from 10th place in the ECAC standings.
The Bulldogs were outshot 49–17 against Dartmouth and failed to move up from 10th place in the ECAC standings. Photo by Jennifer Cheung.

The Elis headed into the weekend prepared to take on Harvard and Dartmouth, but the blizzard that coated New Haven with 34 inches of snow had other plans.

After its game was moved from Saturday to Tuesday, the Yale women’s hockey team (4–18–2, 3–12–2 ECAC) was unable to hold onto an early lead, falling 4–2 to Dartmouth and extending its winless streak against the Big Green to 14 games.

“I don’t think [the delay] mentally affected anyone,” goaltender Jaimie Leonoff ’15 said. “It’s our last road trip and I think people were ready to play.”

The Bulldogs struck first, starting with a goal by Lynn Kennedy ’15 with 14:20 left in the first period. It was her first goal since Feb. 3, 2012, and it gave Yale a lead they would keep throughout the remainder of the first period.

“Lynn’s been making contributions since she got back on the ice,” forward Jamie Haddad ’16 said in an email to the News. “The entire team is ecstatic she got on the board tonight, but she’s been contributing to our success long before she earned the tally.”

However, despite Kennedy’s early goal, the Big Green (14–7–4, 9–6–3 ECAC) were able to capture the lead in the second period with goals 54 seconds into the period and at the 15:14 mark. Dartmouth peppered Leonoff with 16 shots in the period, while the Elis managed only six in response.

The third period was more of the same, as Dartmouth continued its shooting onslaught, slipping one past goaltender Leonoff 5:37 into the period to take a 3–1 lead. The Big Green finished the night with a 49–17 advantage in shots on goal.

Leonoff had 45 saves on the night, just five saves short of her season-high attained earlier in the year against Boston College.

“Dartmouth played a different style than most teams,” Leonoff said. “Most teams are looking for the perfect shot, and Dartmouth shot from everywhere.”

Despite their two-goal deficit, the Elis kept fighting. Defenseman Kate Martini ’16 managed a slap shot past Dartmouth goalie Lindsay Holdcroft on a power play with 3:03 left in the game to narrow the deficit to 3–2. Defender Tara Tomimoto ’14 and Haddad combined for the assists on Martini’s goal, as well as on Kennedy’s first-period score.

“I though we had a chance to win the game,” Tomimoto said in an email to the News. “We had the momentum at the end of the game.”

That was as close as the Bulldogs could get, however, as they could not produce a tying goal even through pulling Leonoff for an extra attacker. Dartmouth forward Jessica Gagner scored on an empty net with 45 seconds on the clock.

The setback kept Yale from advancing in the conference standings, and the Bulldogs remain in 10th place in the ECAC, two spots shy of the final playoff berth. After Colgate’s 6–1 victory over No. 9 Princeton on Friday, the Raiders have possession of the final playoff spot in the conference, three points ahead of the Bulldogs.

This weekend brings RPI and Union to Ingalls Rink. Union sits in last place in the conference, but the Elis mustered only a tie in the teams’ last matchup.

“This weekend’s games are games that count,” Leonoff said. “They’ll determine if we get into the playoffs or not. … We know we can [sweep], and that’s our focus right now.”

Friday’s game against No. 5 Harvard was postponed due to the weather. It has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 26.

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