WOMEN’S HOCKEY: Elis make playoffs

The Tigers tallied three goals against the Yale women’s ice hockey team on Saturday night, but forward Jackie Raines ’15 single-handedly one-upped the entire Princeton roster.

Raines netted four goals in the game, and an additional goal by forward Krista Yip-Chuck ’17 propelled the Bulldogs to a 5–3 victory over Princeton (13–10–4, 9–8–3 ECAC).

The win was part of a three-point weekend for the Bulldogs (8–13–6, 6–8–6) on the road, as they rallied from a 2–0 deficit to tie No. 10 Quinnipiac 3–3 the night before.

“[Raines] just proved how dangerous she can be and what an offensive talent she is,” said goaltender Jaimie Leonoff ’15. “She stepped up for us in a game that was really important for us to win, and a game that we really stole from Princeton. It was great for her.”

With the three points, Yale clinched a berth in the ECAC playoffs for the first time since 2008. The Bulldogs have secured a seventh-place spot in the standings, but can move up to sixth place if they can eliminate the three-point gap between them and Princeton in the final two games of the season.

Leonoff said that securing the playoff berth was particularly satisfying for the Elis because preseason polls had projected them to finish 10th in the 12-team ECAC.

Friday night at Quinnipiac (18–5–9, 9–4–7), the Bulldogs found themselves down 2–0 midway through the game after the Bobcats scored at the very end of the first period and again in the middle of the second.

Yale’s offense was stagnant for most of the game, having put just 10 shots on net with two minutes remaining in the second period.

But Quinnipiac committed an interference penalty to give Yale a power play at the end of the period, and the Bulldogs grabbed at the opportunity. Yip-Chuck  scored top right, assisted by Raines and defender Aurora Kennedy ’14, to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard.

Yip-Chuck’s goal created momentum for the Elis, as four minutes later, defender Kate Martini ’16 fired one of her signature slapshots past Bobcat goalie Chelsea Laden.

Neither Yale nor Quinnipiac could take advantage of power plays in the middle of the third period, but the Bulldogs took their first lead of the game with four minutes remaining when forward Stephanie Mock ’15 assisted a goal by forward Hanna Astrom ’16.

After going scoreless in the first 38 minutes of play, the Bulldogs had scored three times in an 18-minute span.

“We just came out with a lot more energy and intensity,” Raines said. “The whole game, but more so in the first, we struggled positionally and doing our system. We did a better job towards the end of the game.”

Yale needed to hold its lead for just three and a half minutes to secure the win, but Quinnipiac’s Kelly Babstock, the No.7 point scorer in the country, would not let her team falter. Babstock scored with 1:05 left on the clock to bring the score back to even.

The Bulldogs put just one shot on net in overtime, and Leonoff saved four as the game ended in a 3–3 tie. Leonoff made 27 saves in total during the game.

At Princeton the following night, Yale again fell into a 2–0 deficit early on. The Tigers scored three minutes into the game with an unassisted goal, and forward Fiona McKenna scored with 33 seconds remaining in the first period on the Tigers’ third power play of the game.

But Yip-Chuck won the ensuing faceoff and, eight seconds later, assisted Raines on her first goal of the night. The shorthanded goal put Yale within one heading into the first intermission.

After the first period, Princeton was outshooting Yale 25–5 but only led by a goal.

“They caught us a little by surprise with how good they were offensively,” Leonoff said. “They definitely cycled the puck well and gave us a hard time defending against them, but we went into the second period knowing what to expect, and adjusted from there.”

Seven minutes into the second, the same sequence of events occurred. McKenna scored for Princeton, but Raines responded 14 seconds later, assisted by forward Janelle Ferrara ’16 and defender Tara Tomimoto ’14, to make the score 3–2.

Later in the period, Yip-Chuck was on the forecheck when she stole the puck from a Princeton defender, skated in and netted a goal to even the score.

Raines then took control of the game with two goals in the third period, giving the Bulldogs their fourth unanswered goal.

When asked about her offensive performance, Raines credited her linemates during the game, Ferrara and Yip-Chuck.

“Putting the puck in net is always a good feeling,” Raines said. “My linemates gave me some great feeds and opportunities to score. Janelle [Ferrara] and Krista [Yip-Chuck] have tremendous vision on the ice and patience with the puck.”

The game ended with the score 5–3 in Yale’s favor, despite Princeton having the advantage in shots 50–16. Four of Raines’s six shots went in.

Yale committed just four penalties in the game, and only three against Quinnipiac the night before.

Leonoff said that after serving 26 minutes in the penalty box the weekend before, the Bulldogs have been focusing on playing with more discipline.

“We’re realizing that if we want to truly be a playoff-contending team, we have to stay out of the penalty box,” Leonoff said.

Yale will face off against Harvard and Dartmouth at home next weekend in the team’s final games of the regular season.

 

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