The Yale women’s hockey team continued its trend from the last couple weeks by splitting another weekend against conference opponents.
The Elis (10–12–1, 7–9–0 ECAC) upset No. 8 Clarkson on the Golden Knights’ home ice, starting the weekend on a different note than last week’s overtime defeat at the hands of Brown, which is tied for last place in the ECAC. Playing two ranked teams was too much for the Bulldogs to handle, though, as they stumbled on Saturday, falling 4–3 to No. 9 St. Lawrence after nearly coming back from a three-goal deficit.
“We showed this weekend that we are a team that can skate with any team in the country,” forward Hanna Åström ’16 said. “Both games this weekend, we really played within our systems as a team. I think that’s what it all comes down to in the end — trusting your system and your teammates.”
Starting from the first period on Friday, Clarkson tried to establish itself as one of the top shooters in the ECAC, taking nearly double the number of shots that Yale did. Despite the Golden Knights’ active offense, all 17 shots were blocked by goalkeeper Jaimie Leonoff ’15, who has a .919 save percentage this season.
The Bulldogs took the lead early on when forward Jamie Haddad ’16 pushed in a rebound from a shot taken by fellow teammate and forward Janelle Ferrara ’16 at 6:55.
Clarkson did not find the back of the net until the next period, in which the team also took more shots than the Elis.
The Bulldogs broke the 1–1 tie in the last few minutes of the second period. The first of the pair of goals came from captain and defenseman Aurora Kennedy ’15. Just over a minute later, forward Courtney Pensavalle ’18 took a shot that tipped off of the glove of Clarkson goaltender Shea Tiley before falling into the back of the net and putting Yale up 3–1.
The Elis never relinquished their lead and largely dominated the third period. The Golden Knights did not take a shot on goal until nearly eight minutes into the frame. Clarkson made an attempt at a comeback after scoring a power-play goal midway through the third, but without success. The Bulldogs took the game against the defending NCAA champions 3–2.
“The win against Clarkson was obviously a huge win for the team,” forward Brittany Wheeler ’18 said. “They played really well, and it is exactly what you want going into the final stretch of the season.”
On Saturday, Yale traveled to St. Lawrence to face the ranked Saints. St. Lawrence got off to a quick start, scoring its first goal just 2:01 into the game. The Elis kept pace, however, when Haddad found the back of the net for a tying goal less than five minutes later, scoring for the second time on the weekend.
Entering the second period down by one, the Bulldogs faced a rough stretch where the Saints put in a pair a goals. But St. Lawrence would not keep their 4–1 lead for long. The Bulldogs came back fighting, putting two goals of their own on the board by the end of the period, scored by defenseman Taylor Marchin ’17 and forward Jackie Raines ’15.
Despite Yale’s comeback attempt, the team could not manage to upset the Saints, who took the game 4–3 and extended their win streak to seven games. Just as in the game against Clarkson, the Elis had noticeably fewer shots than St. Lawrence, especially in the first two periods of action. Even though 22 out of Yale’s 54 shots this weekend came in the third period, the team failed to capitalize on any of them.
“Overall this was a pretty good weekend for us moving forward,” forward Krista Yip-Chuck ’17 said. “More so than just the results, we were really happy with our effort in both games. Obviously, defeating Clarkson was a huge win for us in the standings, but it also gives us a lot of confidence moving forward with our season knowing we can play with the best teams in the country.”
The Bulldogs will move on to face Ivy League opponents this weekend, with Friday’s match at No. 4 Harvard and Saturday’s at Dartmouth.