The Bulldogs came away from this weekend with another split decision. But this time, the Elis ended with a win.
The Yale (9-13-0, 5-10-0 ECAC) suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Princeton (13-9-1, 10-6-0) on Friday night, but came away with a last-second goal against Quinnipiac (3-21-4, 2-10-4) to win 2-1 on Saturday.
In their first match, the Bulldogs had to play catch-up. The Tigers capitalized on their first shot of the match when Princeton’s Katherine Dineen hit a shot past goalie Genny Ladiges ’12.
Down 1-0, the Bulldogs were quick to respond. With the puck down in the Tiger’s territory, forward Danielle Kozlowski ’09 took the puck from the left circle and skated right towards the goal. She then found forward Bray Ketchum ’11 at the back post. Princeton goalie Kristen Young didn’t stand a chance, and Ketchum evened the score.
But the stalemate wouldn’t last long. Now tied in the first period, Princeton took the lead once more with a goal by Laura Martindale.
The Bulldogs, who seemed to be on the wrong side of lucky bounces lately, finally got some luck at the start of the second period. Right after the opening faceoff, defenseman Helen Resor ’09 hit the puck on net from the neutral zone. Just 14 seconds into the period, the two teams were tied once more when Young failed to control the puck with her glove.
The final goal of the game came in the third stanza for the Tigers. The Elis had been knocking on the door, but could not find the back of the net. After a tripping penalty was called on Resor, the Bulldogs found themselves down a player. In the last second of their power play, Princeton’s Dineen got her second goal of the night.
“We had a couple of breakdowns in our defensive zone, and they capitalized on our mistakes,” captain and forward Sarah Tittman ’09, who returned from an injury on Dec. 30, said.
But the Bulldogs were not willing to come home empty-handed. They were back on the ice Saturday afternoon, and this time they would not be denied.
“We just said that we have to keep playing hard,” head coach Hilary Witt said. “This is a game of mistakes and opportunities. We need to limit our mistakes and take advantage of our opportunities.”
Like the night before, the Bulldogs had to play catch-up at the beginning of the match. Although the Elis outshot the Bobcats 10-6 in the opening period, they simply could not convert their shots into goals. Quinnipiac’s Chelsea Illchuk, however, did find the back of the net midway through the period to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.
The Elis tied the game in the second period. With less than five minutes left in the stanza, the Bulldogs were up a player on the power play. Forward Crysti Howser ’09 got the puck up top to Resor, who hit a wrist shot past Bobcat goalie Nanna Holm-Glaas.
The Bulldogs’ go-ahead goal literally came in the last seconds of the game. Forward Aleca Hughes ’12, who had a goal disallowed in the second period due to a crease violation, finally got one to count. After a neutral zone pass from Howser, Hughes worked the puck up and hit a shot past Holm-Glaas with 3.3 seconds left in regulation.
“We knew that the Quinnipiac game would be important in order to make the playoffs,” Howser said. “Even though their record is not that impressive, Quinnipiac is a solid team and we were fortunate to be able to pull out a win. The way we won the game with only three seconds left was great, especially because it seems as though lately we haven’t been getting the lucky bounces.”
With the win in their second match, the Bulldogs moved out of a tie for ninth place in the ECAC. The Bulldogs currently have 10 points in the ECAC and are six points behind eighth-place Rensselaer. The top eight squads in the ECAC will head to playoffs, leaving the Elis the odd man out for the time being.