WOMEN’S HOCKEY: Two Eli ties show improvement

Earlier this season, the Yale women’s hockey team fell to No. 6 Clarkson and St. Lawrence by a combined margin of 10 goals. This past weekend told a different story.

The Bulldogs (6–10–3, 4–5–3 ECAC) tied both ECAC opponents at home, 3–3 against Clarkson (17–4–3, 8–2–2) and 1–1 against St. Lawrence (6–14–2, 5–2–2). In the Elis’ last three games, they have played opponents above them in the ECAC standings and have earned at least a point each time.

“I thought we played really well,” captain and defenseman Tara Tomimoto ’14 said. “We definitely came out hard each game, so I was really proud of our effort the entire weekend.”

The Elis drew first blood on Friday with a shorthanded goal by forward Jamie Haddad ’16. Forward Phoebe Staenz ’17 won a faceoff in Yale’s zone and passed it to Haddad, who skated all the way to the other end of the ice and sniped it past Clarkson goalie Erica Howe.

Clarkson would respond to tie the game a minute later and took a 2–1 lead near the end of the second period. By the second intermission, the Golden Knights were outshooting the Bulldogs 38–13 and were up by just one goal.

Forward Gretchen Tarrant ’17 evened the score early in the third period with her first career goal. Tarrant got the puck just inside the blue line and put it in through the five hole.

The Golden Knights again responded quickly, taking the lead back just a minute later.

Staenz refused to let Clarkson put Yale away, however, and tallied her 15th goal of the year with 10 minutes remaining in the game. Tomimoto shot the puck off the goalie’s pads, allowing Staenz to grab the rebound, skate past a defender to the left side and snipe the puck top right while diving to the ice.

“I didn’t see it go behind the goalie, I just saw the red light go on and knew that it went in,” Staenz said.

In the final minutes of regulation and five minutes of overtime play, both teams pushed hard to put the game away, but neither could come out with a goal. Goaltender Jaimie Leonoff ’15 made a diving save in front of the net and a clutch glove save three minutes later to keep Clarkson from scoring.

Leonoff finished the game with 52 saves, her most this season.

“She stood on her head,” Tomimoto said. “She saved 50-plus shots and only let in three goals, so she was absolutely terrific for us. She’s definitely one of the best goaltenders in the league.”

Yale had an opportunity to score in the final minute of overtime, when a checking penalty gave the team a power play for the remainder of play. The Bulldogs were able to keep the puck in Clarkson’s zone and get two shots on Howe, but the clock ran out before they could put one in.

The next day against St. Lawrence, Yale dug itself into a hole midway through the first period by committing two successive penalties, giving the Saints a 5-on-3 power play for 60 seconds early on.

The Bulldogs held off the Saints until both penalties expired, but just as Staenz was coming out of the penalty box, St. Lawrence forward Rylee Smith scored on a redirected shot.

Yale could not tie the game up in the first two periods despite outshooting St. Lawrence 25–12 in that time frame.

The equalizer came in the third period, when a scrum in front of the St. Lawrence net caused goalie Carmen MacDonald to lose her stick. Staenz passed the puck out to defenseman Taylor Marchin ’17 just inside the blue line, and Marchin easily ripped the shot into the net.

The referees reviewed the play to check for goalie interference, but the ruling was upheld.

Yale maintained control of the puck for much of the end of regulation but could not get another shot past MacDonald.

The teams went back and forth multiple times during the overtime period, and the Saints allowed the Bulldogs just two shots in the five minutes.

After a major Yale opportunity in front of the net in the final seconds, a St. Lawrence forward took the puck all the way down the ice to try one more shot, but Leonoff made a glove save to end the game.

“The game against St. Lawrence didn’t have to be [a tie],” Staenz said. “We could have won, and it would have been better if we did win, but gaining at least one point out of a game always feels good.”

Yale outshot St. Lawrence 34–31 in the game, marking just the fourth time this season that the Bulldogs have outshot their opponents.

The Bulldogs next host Brown on Friday in the “White Out for Mandi” event in honor of Mandi Schwartz ’10.

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