When the women’s hockey team last faced crosstown rival Quinnipiac, the game was won by the visiting Braves, who came away with a 1-0 win despite being outshot 29-25.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs (8-14-3, 2-9-1 ECAC-North) took sweet revenge, turning the tables by beating Quinnipiac (3-22-2, 0-17-0 ECAC-East) 6-2 on the road, even though the Braves outshot the Elis 26-19.
Forward Deanna McDevitt ’03 recorded her second hat trick of the season to seal the victory. In the Bulldog’s last four games, McDevitt has contributed nine goals and two assists, a breakout indicative of Yale’s improved offensive output. In the past two weekends, the Elis have combined for 22 goals.
“The first time we played Quinnipiac, we weren’t patient and kept throwing the puck away,” McDevitt said. “Yesterday, we were moving the puck and also working harder in the corners and with the one-on-one battles. We controlled the game and didn’t allow ourselves to play down to their level.”
Playing with equally short benches due to injuries, the two teams battled hard in the first period, in which Quinnipiac outshot Yale, 9-2.
“Both teams had 12 players, so we had no excuses against them,” forward Erin Duggan ’05 said. “We came out to play, and we were prepared to win.”
One of the Elis’ two shots made its way into the net when Wallis Finger ’04 carried the puck into the zone and dished to Keely Macmillan ’05, who shot low and past the glove of Quinnipiac’s Mel Courtemanche to put the Bulldogs up 1-0 at 7:10 of the first period.
“It’s a situation where we’re utilizing everybody,” said head coach John Marchetti. “Everybody has the chance to go out there and contribute to the team.”
After two penalties for each team in the remainder of the first period, the score remained tied until 3:15 into the second, when McDevitt scored her first goal of the evening on a breakaway assisted by Sara Wood ’02.
“We were much better with our good scoring chances [than in the last Quinnipiac game,]” Marchetti said. “It seemed like Quinnipiac ran out of energy about ten minutes into the second period.”
It was at around that time that the Bulldogs began to extend their lead. After cycling the puck behind the net, Duggan and McDevitt connected on a give-and-go pass which Duggan tipped high over Courtemanche.
A timeout by the Braves proved to be in vain, as Finger soon stole a Quinnipiac pass and dealt the puck to McDevitt, who was standing in the slot and turned around to put the goal through Courtemanche’s legs.
The Braves attempted to stage a comeback when Gillian Gallagher beat Yale goaltender Nicolette Franck ’04 for an unassisted tally at 18:52. But McDevitt notched her third goal 2:40 into the third period, after Duggan tipped a shot from the point from defender Kaitlin Porcaro ’03. McDevitt found the rebound to cement the Elis’ lead.
“She’s on fire,” Marchetti said of McDevitt. “She’s made a major contribution to our offense this year.”
With 6:58 remaining in the game, the solid defensive play of blueliner Erica Hockinson ’03 enabled Duggan to extend Yale’s lead to 6-1 with a slapshot from the top of the circle. Quinnipiac’s Elizabeth Jankowski responded 45 seconds later, but her efforts proved too little too late as Franck shut down the Braves for the rest of the game. The Eli goaltender finished the game with 24 saves.
At the other end, Courtemanche, who had stifled Yale in the teams’ last matchup on Dec. 8, looked much more human than she did in that 29-save shutout victory.
“We didn’t get a lot of shots on goal, but the ones we did get were quality shots.” Duggan said. “We were able to solve the goaltender; she stood on her head last time we played them.”
Since they last played the Braves, the Bulldogs have also had the benefit of additional time together, which has given the players increased experience while also improving their camaraderie.
“We have many more hours of working with each other under our belts, and that much more experience playing stronger teams, and that much more time growing closer as a team and knowing each other better on the ice,” Macmillan said.
This experience will come in useful in the team’s next two weekends, when the Bulldogs face four league teams in games critical for the playoff prospects of all involved.
“I’m cautiously optimistic with the idea that we’re finally figuring out as a team how to play as a team,” Marchetti said. “Next weekend is our last home weekend so hopefully we can do something for our seniors.”