On its last weekend of home games this season, the women’s hockey team managed to break its 18-game losing streak with a tie against ECAC rival Colgate.
The Bulldogs (1–25–1, 1–18–1 ECAC) finished Friday’s game versus the Raiders (10–19–2, 5–13–2 ECAC) with an even score of one-all after three regular periods and a five-minute overtime. On Saturday, however, ECAC top-ranked and No. 3 Cornell (24–3–0, 18–2–0 ECAC) bested the Bulldogs 6–1.
“We got a lot of scoring chances against Colgate and put together one of our best 60 minutes of hockey,” defender Heather Grant ’12 said. “It was nice to finally get rewarded with a point (in the conference standings).”
Teammates Genny Ladiges ’12 and Stephanie Mock ’15 echoed Grant’s sentiments and said that although they would have liked to win the game, they were happy not to have suffered yet another defeat.
The last time the Bulldogs did not lose was on Nov. 11 when they defeated Union 3–2 in overtime, but this weekend they managed to break out of their dismal rut. Perhaps because it was the emotional and penultimate game at Ingalls Rink for the four seniors on the team. Or because of the tacit, and probably unintended, sartorial support from the Colgate coach, who was wearing blue and white checked pants. Or maybe former Olympic hockey player, Jim Craig, who was in attendance, brought a little “Miracle magic” to the rink.
Former Team US goaltender Craig — who helped the United States defeat Russia for the gold medal in the 1980 Olympics — was at the game to support his daughter, Taylor Craig, who is a forward for Colgate.
Craig said he attends as many of his daughter’s games as he can and has been at probably 90 percent of them this season.
He spent some of the game catching up with college pal Alison Hughes, team captain Aleca Hughes’ ’12 mother. Craig and Hughes both attended Boston University.
Although he was concentrated on he game — “My daughter’s out there, so I have to focus” — Craig did observe that Yale is heavy on the cross-check.
“They are tougher than the men,” he chuckled.
And the Bulldogs certainly gave a strong offensive effort on Friday, outshooting Colgate 18–10 in the first period. Colgate, however, scored with just three minutes left in the period.
“Our first period against Colgate was maybe our best period of the year,” Ladiges said. “We put a ton of pucks on net and had pressure in the zone for the duration of the period.”
Although it was eventually outshot 44–33, Yale maintained its energy throughout the entire game — something it has struggled to do all season — and managed to come back from one point behind after the first period.
Just one minute into the second period, forward Jackie Raines ’14, who leads the roster for goals scored with nine, scored off an assist from Mock, and the game remained tied until the end.
Even though no additional goals were scored, the game was still eventful. Approximately two minutes into the third period, play was stopped as Raiders forward Miriam Drubel hit the ice hard. Tendering her right leg, she was helped off the ice by Craig, and was later taken to hospital in an ambulance.
Reflecting on the final result of Friday’s game, head coach Joakim Flygh said, “We were all happy with our effort and how hard we played. It was a fun game to coach and play in.”
Ladiges finished with 43 saves; Colgate goaltender Kimberly Sass, with 32.
Mock added that the game was close and “could have gone either way.”
However, Saturday’s game against Cornell was a clear-cut loss for the Bulldogs, who were already down 3–0 within six minutes of play.
“We stood around and watched Cornell for the first six minutes,” Flygh said. “But after we started playing and got our competitive level up, we played them as tough as we have in my two years here. They had to earn their scoring opportunities after that.”
The Big Red, whom Ladiges said is “perhaps the most skilled team in the country,” was up to that challenge. It scored again twice in the second period, and by the end of the first 40 minutes of play had outshot the Bulldogs 41–5.
Raines, who scored both of the Elis’ two goals this weekend, put Yale on the scoreboard one minute into the third period, but Cornell jumped ahead to 6–1 halfway through the third. Even LMFAO couldn’t get the Blue and White to generate more scoring opportunities when its quintessential college party song “Shots” came on the loudspeaker between plays during the final period. The team was ultimately outshot 53–9.
Assistant coach Eddie Ardito noted that the Bulldogs improved during the Cornell game, as they managed to tie the third period. He added that this boosts the team’s confidence going into its final weekend of play.
On Friday and Saturday, the Bulldogs will finish their 2011-’12 season away as they take on Dartmouth and Harvard.
Although the Bulldogs are ranked last in the conference and are well out of the postseason cutoff, Grant said that she is proud of how the team played in its last home games and that she hopes the team can end its season “on a high note” with a win.