In its second scrimmage this season, Yale’s women’s ice hockey team lost to McGill 1-2 in overtime at Ingalls Rink on Sunday.

“[The result was] upsetting, [but] we were saving our best for next weekend,” forward Natalie Babony ’06 said. “Nobody played to their whole potential. We were figuring stuff out, figuring out where we belonged.”

The Redmen drew first blood in the second period, seizing upon a breakdown in the Yale defense to counterattack. Yale goalie Sarah Love ’06 stopped a McGill shot and was about to cover the puck to stop play. But in the ensuing confusion before the crease, an Eli defender accidentally jarred the puck loose and knocked it into the goal.

Yale did not let the accidental goal slow them down. The Bulldogs went right back on the offensive, making the McGill goalies work to maintain the shutout. The Elis outshot the Redmen for the game 50 to 23.

“We just had to finish on our chances,” forward Jenna Spring ’07 said.

The Bulldogs’ efforts finally came to fruition in the third period when an effective Yale power play knotted the game at one goal apiece.

“Our goal came off a power play that worked extremely well yesterday,” Yale head coach Hilary Witt said. “[Forward] Erin Duggan [’05] had a nice low shot that got tipped by Jenna Spring and passed McGill’s goalie.”

In overtime, another Yale defensive lapse created a two-on-one situation for McGill. The Redmen jumped on the Elis’ generosity, redirecting the game-winner past the outstretched Eli goalie Carrie Horbatuck ’07.

“[Both McGill goals] came off of defensive breakdowns,” Witt said. “Those are certainly things we need to find a way to prevent in the future.”

Despite the outcome of the game, the Bulldogs remained optimistic about their outlook for this season. The eight new members of the Eli squad looked particularly strong.

“We added a lot of fire power with our freshman class,” Yale associate head coach Harry Rosenholtz said. “Jenna Spring had an outstanding game. She made a lot of great plays. She was particularly good at passing and she also scored our only goal. Forward Christina Sharun [’07] looked very good on both power play and penalty-killing situations.”

But this batch of rookies has a lot of expectations to live up to. Last year’s freshman class was the fourth-highest scoring freshmen class in the country and Love was named ECAC Rookie of the Year last year.

“This year’s class of freshmen is exceptional and it is very well-balanced along all eight players. We have lots of reasons to be optimistic,” Rosenholtz said. “We have very high expectations for the entire season.”

Despite the battles for positions that are sure to arise, the Eli rookies have already formed an immediate bond with veteran members of the team.

“We get along great [with the upperclassmen],” Sheila Zingler ’07 said. “There isn’t any tension in the team at all. There is a lot of great team chemistry.”

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