The women’s hockey team snagged its first wins of the season this past weekend in away games against ECAC opponents Rennselaer and Union.
The weekend’s games played out in different fashions, as the win over Rennselaer (4–8–1, 3–3–0 ECAC) was a 2–1 defensive battle, while both offenses exploded in the 6–4 victory over Union (5–9–0, 2–4–0). The Bulldogs’ six goals in the latter were the most that Yale (2–5–1, 2–3–1) has scored in a game since 2009.
“It’s a great feeling [to win],” defender Kate Martini ’16, who scored twice against Union, said. “It was long overdue, and it feels good to have it under our belts. Going into a big weekend against Minnesota, it gave us a lot of confidence.”
Against Rennselaer on Friday, Yale managed just 12 shots, while allowing the Engineers to take 40. Goaltender Jaimie Leonoff ’15 saved 39 of those, however, and raised her season total to 254.
Two weeks before the game, the Engineers beat Harvard, currently ranked second in the ECAC, 2–1.
Defender Taylor Marchin ’17 put Yale up early with a power-play goal just three minutes into the game. Her goal was one of just two shots that the Bulldogs took in the entire period.
Rennselaer engineered a response early in the second period, as forward Toni Sanders put the puck past Leonoff after a scramble in front of the net.
Forward Krista Yip-Chuck ’17 scored with five minutes to go in the second period to put the Elis back on top, 2–1. The score would remain that way for the remainder of the second and third periods.
“Our game against RPI was not one of our best efforts, but we still found a way to win,” Martini said. “We capitalized on our opportunities, and coupled with a good effort by Jaimie Leonoff, we pulled out an ugly win.”
The Bulldogs again struck first at Union with a goal by forward Janelle Ferrara ’16 in the beginning of the opening period. Near the end of the frame, Union capitalized on a power-play opportunity to equalize the score.
Union went up 2–1 with a goal early in the second period, but forward Hanna Astrom ’16 would not let the Dutchmen keep the lead for much longer. She scored a goal just 13 seconds after the Union tally.
At the end of the second period, Union forward Mac Purvis was given a five-minute major for hitting from behind. But the Elis made the Dutchmen pay, scoring three goals in the five-minute power play. One of the goals came from forward Jamie Haddad ’16 and the other two from Martini.
Just after the five-minute penalty was up, the Bulldogs committed a penalty of their own and allowed the Dutchmen to score two goals in their power play. Yale warded off Union for the rest of the third period, however, and an empty net goal by Haddad at the end of the game made the final score 6–4.
Though it was a high-scoring game, the shot count was just 22–21 in favor of Yale.
“Something we have to keep working at is burying pucks,” head coach Joakim Flygh said. “We want to score a lot more on five on five. Our power play was great, and that gave us an opportunity to score some goals, but I don’t think we want to rely on our power play to win those games.”
Four of Yale’s eight goals over the weekend, and three of Union’s four goals on Saturday, came on the man-advantage.
Leonoff said that Yale worked heavily on its power play last week in practice.
“It’s good to see that the work we’ve been putting into it is helping us in the games,” Leonoff said. “The game was decided off of special teams, for the most part.”
The Elis now prepare for a set of home games against No. 1 Minnesota (13–1–0, 11–1–0 WCHA) on Saturday and Sunday.