The Yale women’s ice hockey team was stopped dead in its tracks this past weekend by No. 6 Cornell and Colgate, dropping both games and ending a five-game undefeated streak.
A three-goal third period gave Cornell (16–3–4, 11–2–3 ECAC) a 6–3 win on Friday, and Colgate (7–19–2, 4–12–0) tallied two goals on just 15 shots to overcome the Bulldogs 2–1 the next day.
“We just didn’t play well,” forward Jamie Haddad ’16 said. “I don’t think it’d be a surprise to my teammates to hear me say that. We lost all of our one-on-one battles and we weren’t very focused.”
The Elis (7–12–4, 5–7–4) had hoped to move upwards from seventh in the ECAC standings in the final games of the season, but the disappointing performance over the weekend kept them right where they were, even further out of reach of the top four spots.
If Yale relinquishes its one-point lead over Rensselaer and Dartmouth in the last six games of the regular season, it will be out of the ECAC playoffs.
The two contests this weekend were the first of Yale’s three-week span without leading scorer Phoebe Staenz ’17, who is currently playing for the Swiss national team in the Sochi Winter Olympics.
The Bulldogs were given a comparable substitute, however, with the return from injury of forward Jackie Raines ’15 — the team’s top scorer two years ago. Raines had just finished recovering from hip surgery a month ago when a broken wrist kept her out until this weekend.
Since her return in early January, Raines has six points in as many games.
“It’s good to help the team and be a positive influence as much as possible, especially with the regular season winding down and playoffs around the corner,” Raines said. “It’s definitely more exciting to be back on the ice now. You have a greater appreciation for the game and everything that comes with playing for Yale hockey.”
After being blanked by Cornell earlier this season, the Bulldogs quickly gave the Big Red a scare, as Haddad scored within 40 seconds of the opening faceoff.
Captain and defenseman Tara Tomimoto ’14 shot the puck off the pads of Cornell goalie Paula Voorheis, and Haddad was in perfect position to finish the rebounded puck.
Haddad has now scored in five of her last eight games and has tallied eight goals on the season.
Cornell would respond within four minutes to even the score, but Yale took the lead again late in the first on its first power play of the game. Defenseman Kate Martini ’16 fired a shot that deflected off Raines right to forward Janelle Ferrara ’16, who was waiting in front to put it in.
The Big Red again responded in less than three minutes with an equalizer, and five minutes later, they took their first lead of the game with a power play goal of their own.
Neither team could score again until the end of the second period despite two back-to-back Cornell penalties that gave Yale a four-minute power play midway through the frame. Yale tied the score at three later in the period when Raines fired a shot at Voorheis, grabbed her own rebound and put the puck in net.
That was the end of scoring for the Bulldogs, however, and Cornell proceeded to take the game away from there. The Big Red scored three goals in a five-minute span midway through the final period to eliminate any chance of an Eli upset.
“We had really good energy and effort from the whole team, so it was definitely disappointing that the game slipped away from us in the second half of the third,” Raines said. “But we really stepped up to the challenge, playing competitively against one of the top teams in the country, which is really encouraging moving forward.”
Yale had higher expectations playing Colgate the next day, as the Raiders entered the game second to last in the ECAC standings. The Bulldogs had beaten them 6–4 earlier in the season, but Colgate’s defense proved much harder to attack in the rematch.
The Raiders scored first with a power play goal late in the opening period, and they extended their lead to 2–0 six minutes later.
Yale would allow Colgate just six shots for the remainder of the game but could not garner enough offense to come back. The only Bulldog goal came on a 5-on-3 power play midway through the third period, when a pass by Haddad gave forward Hanna Åström ’15 plenty of time and space to put it past Colgate goalie Ashlynne Rando. Defenseman Taylor Marchin ’17 also assisted on the goal.
Yale put five more shots on net after the goal, but Rando stopped them all. Pulling Leonoff to get an extra attacker with 35 seconds left proved futile, and Yale headed home having earned zero points on the weekend.
“We were just really tired,” Haddad said. “We didn’t have that desire to push it into an extra gear and play hard until the end of the third period, and at that point it was just too late.”
The Bulldogs will be home this weekend playing Union and Rensselaer, two teams that they beat earlier this season.