The women’s hockey team played strongly in the first two periods of its away games against St. Lawrence and Clarkson this weekend, and if hockey games consisted of only two periods, the team might have managed to tie a game.

Women’s hockey was just trailing by one point at the end of the second period in both Friday’s game against the Saints (17–8–4, 11–5–2 ECAC) and Saturday’s game against the Golden Knights (18–7–5, 12–4–2 ECAC). But the Bulldogs (1–24–0, 1–17–0 ECAC) met their Waterloo in the third period of play and ultimately lost 6–2 to St. Lawrence and 7–0 to Clarkson.

Assistant coach Jessica Koizumi said saw improvement in the team, which has struggled to compete for a full 60-minute game all season.

“Instead of being out of games early on, we were competing and finally believing that we could win,” she said. “From the energy on the bench to the amount of scoring opportunities we created, we saw glimpses of what our team could really do.”

Goaltender Genny Ladiges ’12 said she agreed the team was improving and added that the small goal discrepancy going into the third period indicates “we were in both games.”

In Friday’s game, St. Lawrence managed to score in the first period. But the bulk of the Bulldogs’ action occurred in the second period. Three minutes and 39 seconds into the second, forward Lynn Kennedy ’15 scored one for Yale, off an assist from team captain Aleca Hughes ’12.

The Saints scored again quickly after, but capitalizing on a power play, forward Danielle Moncion ’13 tied the game 2–2 at 14:52.

In the second period, the Bulldogs were “keeping up with St. Lawrence” and “even outskating them at times,” Ladiges said.

Twice during the period, the Elis were able to even the score.

But with less than a minute left in the second period, St. Lawrence managed to slip one in past Ladiges and reclaimed the lead, which the Saints would not relinquish for the rest of the evening.

“That goal was the game changer,” Koizumi said. “St. Lawrence took the momentum we had gained in the second period by scoring that goal, and we just couldn’t get it back in the third period.”

St. Lawrence scored three times in the third period for the win. Overall, Yale was outshot 16–41, and Ladiges made 35 saves.

On Saturday, the goals-against floodgates opened similarly for the Bulldogs in the third period, solidifying Clarkson’s overwhelming victory — and Yale’s third shutout in its past four games.

The Golden Knights scored at 15:22 of the first period, and the scoreboard held steady at 1–0 for the next 30 minutes of the game.

But the game soon turned treacherous for the Bulldogs. Clarkson scored six times during the third period. Six minutes from the end of the game, Erin Callahan ’13 took to the net to relive Ladiges partway through the period, and she also let in one goal before the buzzer. The Golden Knights scored in nearly regular intervals throughout the period at 5:23, 7:17, 9:31, 10:33, 13:16, and 17:38.

“We didn’t generate a great deal of offense, but we were still very much in the game up until the third period,” Ladiges said. “It’s tough to explain what happened in the final period — it was both a physical and mental meltdown. Once Clarkson scored on early in the third, we crumbled.”

She added that the period was likely her most frustrating this year.

Koizumi reiterated that the team struggled to stay in the game for its entirety.

“Clarkson showed up for sixty minutes and we didn’t — that’s the difference,” she said.

Forward Stephanie Mock ’15 said some positives came out of the weekend’s defeats. The team dynamics, she said, stayed strong as the team members kept a positive attitude on the bench and supported one another despite the lopsided scoreboards.

“This season the importance is not our record, but it’s about making sure we don’t ever give up,” Koizumi said. “I am proud of our team and how they are responding to the adversity. They may not see it now, but it is a life lesson that will create better character in the long run.”

Clarkson is ranked third in the ECAC, and St. Lawrence is tied with Dartmouth for fourth place.