In yet another Beantown showdown, the women’s ice hockey team fell just short of upsetting No. 12 Boston University. The Terriers squeaked out a 2–1 victory against the visiting Bulldogs, who had previously fallen 4–3 to No. 6 Boston College.
Yale (0–2–0, 0–0–0 ECAC Hockey) is still seeking its first victory on the young season, but the team showed promise on Saturday afternoon. BU (3–1–1, 0–0–0 Hockey East) found itself in an unfamiliar position when it entered the second period in a scoreless tie. The Terriers had scored in three of four first periods prior to Saturday.
Captain and defenseman Tara Tomimoto ’14 acknowledged that Saturday’s play was not Yale’s finest, but said that it was encouraging nonetheless.
“It’s nice to know that we can be within striking range of two nationally-ranked teams even though we weren’t playing our best hockey,” Tomimoto said.
In the second period, BU jumped ahead when forward Maddie Elia scored on a rebound at the 6:48 mark. Yale answered soon after, though, as forward Stephanie Mock ’15 notched her first goal of the season at 12:31.
Forward Paige Decker ’14 was credited with the assist as her shot was sent back by BU goaltender Kerrin Sperry, only to be cleaned up by Mock. The 1–1 tie held steady through the end of the second period and well into the third.
At 6:08 in the third period, the Terriers lit the lamps once more for what would end up being the deciding goal on the day. BU forward Sarah Lefort managed to beat Yale goaltender Jaimie Leonoff ’15 for her team-leading third goal of the season.
The Bulldogs were unable to fight back, as the 2–1 tally would last until the final horn. Not to go unnoticed was the play of Leonoff, as her 36 saves kept Yale afloat. Her play also helped kill three BU power plays over the course of the game.
Though the penalty kill was effective for the Elis, the team struggled to take advantage of its own opportunities. Yale ended the day 0 for 6 on power play opportunities, signaling the potential for a disconcerting trend for the Bulldogs. Yale was also shut out on power plays (0 for 5) in the team’s opening loss to Boston College on Oct. 19.
Leonoff said the key to turning these close losses into close wins is in paying attention to the details.
“The games always come down to minor details,” Leonoff said. “It is just really important that we capitalize on the other team’s mistakes and limit our own mistakes.”
The Bulldogs will seek to right their wrongs this weekend as conference play gets underway with back-to-back road outings against St. Lawrence (2–6–0, 1–1–0) and Clarkson (6–2–1, 1–1–0).
“The key for this weekend is staying disciplined in our defensive zone as well as playing our style of fast-paced hockey.” Tomimoto said.
The puck will drop at St. Lawrence at 7 p.m. on Friday.