This past Saturday, the Yale women’s hockey team came close to an incredible upset, tying No. 6 Boston University 4–4.
The Bulldogs (2–2–1, 0–2–0 ECAC) barely missed out on taking down the Terriers (6–2–1, 3–1–0 WHEA) in a back-and-forth, high-scoring game that featured goals from three freshman forwards.
“We did a great job sacrificing our bodies and did everything we could not to lose,” captain Aurora Kennedy ’15 said. “We pushed right back and got a couple shots on their net. We did a good job. We stayed composed.”
The match started off with a shorthanded goal by Boston after a fellow teammate was called for tripping.
While this was the only goal scored in the first period, both BU and Yale’s performances during the next period more than made up for the deficit. Just 2:01 into the second period, forward Jamie Haddad ’16 evened the score, setting the tone for the team’s offensive drive for the remainder of the period.
With 21 combined shots and four goals in the second, Yale took the lead not once, but twice.
Forward Courtney Pensavalle ’18 had an impressive period as well, assisting on Haddad’s goal and scoring two of her own, both while in power plays.
Pensavalle’s two goals were separated by a second Terrier shorthand goal, this time after a boarding penalty, the only major infraction of the game.
“I think the second period started this tumultuous downfall,” Haddad said. “We were both playing very well, but we would each have these moments of mistakes. Consistency was lacking but the effort was there.”
Boston echoed Yale’s scoring in the third, with two power-play goals, one less than two minutes into the period — which reversed the momentum of the game. This gave the Terriers at 4–3 lead over the Bulldogs with only four minutes remaining.
With around three minutes left to play, Yale pulled goalkeeper Jaimie Leonoff ’15, which proved to be a success move when after a series of passes forward Eden Murray ’18 scored to tie the game on a one-timer shot and send the game into overtime.
But neither team was able to capitalize on their opportunities in the five-minute overtime period, leading to a draw.
Of the eight goals scored in the game, six occurred during special teams performances, including the two shorthand goals by Boston.
“We got a lot of penalties, and that kind of hurt us,” Murray said. “The momentum would shift to BU and when we received the penalty, it went back to us. Once we gained [momentum] back by scoring goals when we needed them, it was easier to maintain momentum throughout the game.”
The Elis also could not maintain the same volume of shots as BU, as the Terriers took 37 shots to Yale’s 28.
Murray said she believes that it is important for the Bulldogs to keep pushing the pace, even if they are in the lead.
“The score really doesn’t matter,” Murray said. “I know it sounds cliché, but whenever we get up a goal, our team can become complacent and it’s important to never be satisfied. We have to keep pursuing the puck. At any given moment their team can score and come back.”
This is even more crucial when playing tough teams, like ranked Boston and, in the previous weekend, Clarkson.
Despite a defeat against the Golden Knights, Yale kept the game close, proving their ability to compete with the top teams on the ice.
“It is a confidence booster in that you can kind of play with anyone, coming out of this game and Clarkson last weekend,” Haddad said. “It was also a wake-up call. We’ve played some pretty tough opponents and have kept up with them and tied then, but we haven’t beat them.”
In order to make that victory happen, the team is working particularly on its power plays and rushes, in addition to overall effort, said Haddad.
The Bulldogs will face both Colgate and Cornell away from Ingalls Rink this weekend, aiming to surpass the 0.500 mark.
“We need to learn that we need to play the whole game,” Kennedy said. “We can’t show up, get a couple goals, and hope we can just win. We need to learn to not take so many penalties and not respond when the other team is chippy.”
The pucks drops at 3 p.m. on Friday against Colgate.