It was a tough weekend for the Yale women’s hockey team as the Bulldogs made their home debut, losing 5–4 in overtime against Dartmouth on Friday and getting shut out 4–0 by No. 6 Harvard the following day.
Both games were marked by a huge shot differential in favor of the Bulldogs’ opponents. In the first game of the weekend, Dartmouth outshot Yale 44–22, and the Harvard squad had 48 shots while Yale managed only 12.
“We need to play more physical in our defensive zone and not let it be so easy for the other team to get to our net,” forward Janelle Ferrara ’16 said.
After Yale took an early lead on Friday with goals from Ferrara and forward Hanna Astrom ’16 less than a minute apart, Dartmouth came roaring back with four straight scores. An early third period goal by the Big Green put the Elis down 4–2, but a goal 8:27 into the period by Ferrara cut the deficit to one, and Kate Martini ’16 tied it up with 1:29 left amid a scrum of players in front of the goal.
“It was good to see that we didn’t just roll over and quit after Dartmouth got two goals on us,” forward Jamie Haddad ’16 said. “It sends a message that each team is going to have to earn their win against us.”
But Yale was unable to convert on a power play as time expired in regulation, giving Dartmouth new life. After goalkeeper Jaimie Leonoff ’15 was unable to corral Dartmouth forward Camille Dumais’ wrap-around shot from behind the net 3:49 into overtime, defender Morgan Illikainen slipped the puck past Leonoff for the game winner.
Haddad had three assists and was part of seven total points from the freshman class against Dartmouth. Overall, freshmen have scored eight of the team’s nine goals and amassed 17 of the Elis’ 23 points.
In Saturday’s game, Yale mustered a scant 12 shots and had no answer for the fierce Crimson attack, which scored twice in 20 shots on goal in the first period and coasted to a 4–0 victory. The Elis held Harvard scoreless in the second period, but allowed two more goals in the third, while never generating significant pressure on Crimson goalkeeper Emerance Maschmeyer.
Leonoff, who was named the ECAC Goaltender of the Week for her performance last week against Colgate and Cornell, currently leads the conference in saves and is first in the country in saves per game among qualified goalies. She had 39 saves against Dartmouth and 44 against Harvard and her play was crucial in enabling Yale’s attempt at a comeback against Dartmouth.
“Jaimie has played outstanding so far this year. We know she is such a solid goaltender, and our confidence in her is crucial for our success this year,” Ferrara said.
Haddad said the Bulldogs need to keep improving to remain competitive this week and beyond.
“We need to be more aggressive by taking the puck to the net more,” Haddad said. “Winning is about getting goals, regardless of how nice they look.”
Leonoff agreed that the team needs to improve and said that the Bulldogs must be in better shape than their opponents to be successful going forward.
The Bulldogs head north to take on No. 4 Clarkson and St. Lawrence this weekend.