While most students were home for vacation, the Yale women’s hockey team was hard at work last week, playing games on four of the nine days of Thanksgiving break.
The Bulldogs (3–8–1, 2–3–1 ECAC) lost 5–1 and then 4–1 to No. 1 Minnesota over the first weekend of the break. The next weekend, they played in the annual Nutmeg Classic at Quinnipiac and placed second in the four-team tournament.
Yale beat Connecticut 5–4 on Friday in the first round of the Classic, thanks to a late game-winning goal by defenseman Taylor Marchin ’17. In the championship game the next day, they fell 3–2 to No. 8 Quinnipiac, a team that they had tied 0–0 earlier in the season.
On Friday against UConn, Yale got help from five different goal-scorers in a game that had four lead changes.
UConn went up 1–0 early in the first period. Over the course of the next two and a half periods, Yale scored twice, but then relinquished the lead by allowing two goals. Yale came back and scored two more goals of its own to eventually take a 4–3 lead midway through the third period.
Forwards Janelle Ferrara ’16, Krista Yip-Chuck ’17, Stephanie Mock ’15 and Phoebe Stanz ’17 contributed goals for Yale.
The Huskies tied the game at four with a power-play goal, but Marchin finally put the game away with just 39.5 seconds left in regulation. Marchin’s goal was also on the power play because of a UConn hooking penalty.
Though the Bulldogs ultimately ended up with the win, the Huskies outshot them by at least one in every period and 28–24 overall. In Yale’s 12 games thus far, the team has been outshot in all but two of them.
“It was definitely not our best game,” said forward and captain Tara Tomimoto ’14. “We didn’t come out strong in the first, and that carried on throughout the entire game.”
Defenseman Madi Murray ’15 added that this season, the Bulldogs have had better play as a team against higher-ranked teams than against weaker teams such as UConn.
Yale advanced to the championship game hoping to upset Quinnipiac (12–2–5, 3–2–4). Early in the game, it appeared that the Bulldogs were going to do just that, as Staenz and Mock each tallied a goal within the first five minutes of the game.
But the Bobcats came back with three consecutive goals, one in each period, and Yale was unable to respond. The final goal was initially an off-target shot, but it deflected off a Bobcat forward’s leg and into the net to give Quinnipiac the lead.
Tomimoto said that the game against Quinnipiac was one of the best that Yale has played all year.
“We came out really strong in the first period, which is something we wanted to change after playing UConn,” Tomimoto said. “At the end of the day, we have to bury our chances and we had a lot against Quinnipiac. The score could have been a lot higher on our end.”
The previous Saturday and Sunday, the Bulldogs faced off twice against Minnesota (17–1–0, 11–1–0 WCHA), which had just lost its first game in almost two years the weekend before.
In both games, the Golden Gophers brought an offensive onslaught in the first two periods. They scored five in the first two on Saturday and four in that same time frame on Sunday.
The Bulldog defense was able to stop the bleeding both times, and the offense could only respond with one goal in each game — by forward Hanna Astrom ’16 on Saturday and Ferrara on Sunday.
Though the result was not in the Bulldogs’ favor, Tomimoto said that playing such a strong team was a learning experience.
“There are a lot of things that Minnesota does that we want to be able to do,” Tomimoto said. “They receive passes, no matter whether it’s a bad pass or a good pass, they work very hard every shift and they play their systems to a tee.”
Goaltender Jaimie Leonoff ’15 saved 33 shots through two periods on Saturday before Hanna Mandi ’17 replaced her in net for the third and saved 19.
On Sunday, Leonoff played the entire game and stopped 48 Golden Gopher shots, the most saves she has had in a game this season.
Heading into the Bulldogs’ final game of 2013 against Providence, defenseman Kate Martini ’16 said that the team will be focusing on its zone defense in practice.
“We want to make sure we’re spending as little time in our zone as possible and we have those systems down pat,” Martini said. “Against Quinnipiac especially, we had three breakdowns, and they scored three goals.”
Yale will face off at Providence, R.I. this Friday at 7:00 p.m.