Even a stellar second period and an offense that outshot its opponents 29-19 could not propel the women’s ice hockey team to victory last night.
The Bulldogs (11-9-1, 7-8-1 ECACHL) fell to league rival Brown (7-13-2, 4-11-1), ultimately finishing the 7 p.m. home game on the short end of the 6-4 score. The Bears, coming off a 3-0 victory against Cornell, notched the most points they have scored in a single game all season. Their unexpectedly powerful offensive performance, combined with goaltender Nicole Stock’s 25 saves, left the Elis unable to keep up despite Brown’s underwhelming record.
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“A loss like this one certainly isn’t taken lightly,” forward Caroline Murphy ’10 said. “I mean, we should have beaten them. They’re way down in the standings.”
The Bears snagged two points from last night’s win but are still in ninth place with nine points. Yale’s loss leaves the squad tied for sixth place.
“We’re going to try harder and come back,” forward Mandi Schwartz ’10 said. “I don’t know if right now [last night’s loss] affects our standings in the ECACHL, but later on, we’re just going to play harder and come back.”
The game opened with a power-play goal for the Bears just 1:40 into the first period. But Bulldogs defender Alyssa Clarke ’10 netted her own power play goal just one minute and 44 seconds later, assisted by forward Jenna Spring ’07 and defender Berit Johnson ’10. The score stayed even until 1:40 remained, when Brown’s offense scored another power play goal, ending the first period with a 2-1 lead.
The second period opened poorly for the Elis, when the Bears netted the first equal-value goal of the game to break away to a 3-1 lead. But with 1:12 remaining, forward Crysti Howser ’09, assisted by linemates Sheila Zingler ’07 and Spring, flicked one past the goalie. Less than a minute later, Zingler notched a goal of her own to tie the game, with Spring racking up yet another assist.
But the third period saw the Bears rally, scoring after just 54 seconds. Things got tougher from there, as the Bulldogs struggled through a slew of penalties, including one brief stretch which had them facing five opponents with just three of their own on the ice.
“The penalty situation is something we’ve had trouble with all season,” Zingler said. “We’ve just had bad luck with it [so far] — we keep getting called; people stop moving their feet and get called on hooking. … Hopefully we can improve on that in the future.”
Brown snatched a lead they refused to relinquish for the remainder of the game, scoring the insurance goal with 9:53 to go. Even Howser’s power play goal a few minutes later left the Elis trailing by one, and when goalkeeper Shivon Zilis ’08 was pulled in an attempt to even the score with just over a minute remaining, the Bears took full advantage of the opportunity, scoring an open-net goal with 44.1 seconds to play. Though Zilis was pulled once more with mere seconds to go to give the Bulldogs a final desperate shot at tying it up, the game ended in disappointment, with the Bears still ahead by two.
The loss was a difficult one, and was the result of many small mistakes augmenting one another rather than one major flaw in the team’s play, Murphy said.
“We had a few lapses in our defense,” Zingler said. “And they capitalized on every mistake we made and scored on them. We played in bits and pieces — we didn’t play at full strength — and it’s frustrating.”
Now, the Elis will focus on the two games to come this weekend, including one against the No. 1 team in the nation, Mercyhurst.
“[Yesterday,] we beat ourselves,” Schwartz said. “So now, we’re going to try to have a good practice, get confident, and do the little things right.”