Despite being short one Olympian and one nationally-renowned coach, the women’s hockey team still managed to hold the edge on their opponent at the end of last night.
The Bulldogs (3-3-0, 2-2-0 ECACHL) skated, skidded and shot their way to a 3-2 victory over the Providence Friars (3-5-0) yesterday at Ingalls Rink, picking up their third win of the season. Even though the one-goal victory was a far cry from Sunday’s one-sided loss to Princeton, the players still described their performance as subpar.
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With Helen Resor ’09 playing for Team USA at the Four Nations Cup in Canada this week, the offense played without the aid of the forward, who has scored one goal and assisted with five of the twelve the team has netted during the season so far. Crysti Howser ’09 was up for the challenge, though, putting in one goal in the first period to give the Elis a short-lived 1-0 edge, nullified just 45 seconds later when Providence scored. Howser managed another goal midway through the second period, and that lead held up until the Friars netted their second score at 9:36 in the third. Sheila Zingler ’07 brought the Bulldogs’ total up to three with only 5:32 remaining in the last period, a lead which the Elis refused to relinquish in the final few minutes.
“We got off to a slow start,” forward Christina Sharun ’07 said. “We were really [scrambling] in the first period. But we picked it up as the game went on. It wasn’t our best game, but we showed a lot of composure in coming out with a win.”
The game, scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m., was delayed unexpectedly and did not begin until about 7:30. Forward Mandi Schwartz ’10 said this may have been a factor in her squad’s slow start.
“It was tough to get our legs going [in the first period] because the game was delayed for half an hour,” she said. “We played better in the second and third periods, though.”
The face-off against Providence, against whom Yale had an ugly record of 3-25 before last night’s win, was riddled with unusually high numbers of penalties on both sides, with both the Bulldogs and the Friars forced into a five-on-three power play at least once during the game.
Notably, Providence did not score either of their two goals during that power play, which the acting head coach said was a sign of the Elis’ impressive effort and hard work.
“The way we responded to adversity [was excellent],” said associate head coach Harry Rosenholtz, standing in for head coach Hilary Witt, who was also in Canada coaching Team USA. “When we can come through [that kind of situation] in such good shape, it gives the rest of the team confidence. We did a good job in critical situations [last night].”
In the final few minutes of the game, the Friars pulled their goalie in an attempt to tie the score with the aid of extra offensive power. Goalie Shivon Zilis ’08, who played the entire game, stymied that drive, making sure the Bulldogs’ 3-2 lead became the game’s final score.
“[Throughout the game], there was a lot of cohesion, a genuine excitement on the bench,” Rosenholtz said. “The kids were having fun, they were skating really hard, and they utilized their speed to their advantage.”
In fact, this year’s team seems to be made for speed. Since the start of the 2006-’07 campaign, players have consistently cited the Bulldogs’ quickness as their biggest asset heading into the critical part of the season.
Though last night’s victory was gratifying, Schwartz maintained the match was not by any means their best.
“[In Saturday’s game against Brown,] we’ll have to play better because they’re going to be faster,” she said. “We have to play smarter. We have to work hard three periods, not just two periods.”