BOSTON — The women’s hockey team completed its four-game series against Hockey East opponents with a pair of away games against Boston University and Boston College this past weekend.
The Bulldogs (4–10–3, 2–7–1 ECAC) fell 4–1 to BU — which was ranked No. 10 entering Friday’s contest — but rallied for a 3–3 tie with BC the following day. Freshmen players came up big in both games, accounting for Yale’s sole goal against BU and two of the three scores against BC.
“It’s always nice when the freshmen get on the board,” head coach Hilary Witt said, noting that the class of 2013 makes up eight of the team’s 21-person roster. “I think they are getting a lot more confidence.”
Yale held BU (8–6–8, 4–4–3 Hockey East) scoreless for the first 14 minutes of play, but forward Melissa Anderson — who leads the Terriers with 23 points — capitalized on a power play fifteen minutes into the opening period, tapping in a rebound that Eli goaltender Jackee Snikeris ’11 was unable to control.
Anderson widened the Terrier lead in the second period — this time scoring at even strength — with a wrist shot past Snikeris. Forward Jillian Kirchner made it 3–0 on another BU power play a few minutes later.
Yale finally generated some offense shortly into the third period, after being outshot 27–17 by BU in the first two stanzas. Forward Alyssa Zupon ’13 put the Bulldogs on the board when she hit in the rebound from a shot taken by teammate Bray Ketchum ’11 at 3:27. It was Zupon’s first career goal.
“She played very well,” forward and captain Caroline Murphy ’10 said of Zupon. “In the past few weeks she has gotten better and better … I think she is one of the players that has had the most points on our team in the past couple of games.”
Unfortunately for Yale, Zupon’s effort was not enough to turn things around. BU scored once more ten minutes into the third period to solidify the 4–1 final. Snikeris totaled 30 saves.
“I think that we were kind of disappointed as a team with our performance with the BU game,” Murphy said, adding that BU was one of the better teams Yale has faced this year.
The next day’s game against BC (5–7–8, 4–4–4 Hockey East) ended up being all about a fast-paced, back-and-forth second period — the two squads combined for five goals in a two-minute, 58-second stretch.
Neither team appeared able to capitalize in the first period, and it looked like they would head into the second tied at zero.
But the Eagles broke the scoreless block with seconds remaining in the first period. BC capitalized on athree-on-one situation, maneuvering the puck past Yale’s lone defenseman before forward Ashley Motherwell sent a hard shot into the left side of the net.
And BC’s opening goal — while it was the only one of the first period — was just the beginning of the scoring spree that followed.
A pair of Bulldog freshmen struck shortly into the second period when defenseman Tara Tomimoto ’13 scored at 9:50 for her first career goal. Fellow defenseman Emily DesMeules ’13 pushed the Elis ahead less than a minute later, breaking through a scramble in front of the net to beat Eagle goalie Corrine Boyles.
The lead did not last though, as BC equalized at 11:23, putting the puck past goaltender Genny Ladiges ’12 on the right side of the net.
Ketchum tied the game up again at the 12-minute mark, but then BC responded at 12:42 when forward Kristina Brown sent a high shot flying past Ladiges.
Then the scoring slew ended, leaving both teams with three goals apiece for the rest of the game.
“I think maybe everyone was offensive-minded and maybe forgot about the defensive zone a bit,” Tomimoto said. “We focused mentally during the second period.”
Added Ladiges: “Our lines finally clicked and we got some offense going, and whenever we scored BC countered back.”
The Bulldogs had a few chances in the third period and five-minute overtime, but traffic in front of the net repeatedly kept players from finishing opportunities.
Ladiges finished with 26 saves in her 65 minutes.
The loss to BU and tie against BC followed a loss against Northeastern and victory against Vermont — the other two Hockey East opponents the Elis faced over the winter break — the previous weekend.
Ladiges said she thinks the team is finally starting to come together.
“Our last two weeks of games before Christmas we started to really click, and it’s been carrying over through break,” she said. “I think we’ve been putting in a full 60-minute effort each game, which has really helped and hopefully we can continue that.”
The Bulldogs will take the ice again Friday when they welcome ECAC rival Union to Ingalls Rink at 7 p.m.