The Yale women’s hockey team endured a weekend of highs and lows, suffering a devastating defeat to rival No. 4 Harvard on Friday, but rebounding with a big win Saturday against Dartmouth to hold its position in the ECAC.
Although the Bulldogs (11–13–1, 8–10–1 ECAC) fell to the Crimson (18–4–2, 14–3–1) gave up six goals, ultimately losing 6–1, they managed to end their last away weekend on a high note, taking down Dartmouth 6–2 after an impressive series of goals in the final period.
“The weekend gave us two great games,” forward Phoebe Staenz ’17 said. “The games were intense and [were] played at high speed. Harvard was the better team this weekend and beat us accordingly. However, Dartmouth was a good opponent and allowed us to play our game and play the way we should be playing for the rest of the season.”
On Friday, the Elis faced tough opposition from Harvard, who had offensive momentum after coming off of a 9–2 victory against No. 6 Boston University on Tuesday. The Crimson pulled away early in the game, scoring just 3:10 into the first period on a power play and then again towards the end of the frame when the puck deflected off one of the Bulldogs’ skates. Both teams took relatively few shots in the first period, with only five for Yale and seven for Harvard.
Trailing 3–0 after another Crimson goal at 4:52 into the second period, the Elis scored their lone goal of the game when forward Janelle Ferrara ’16 found the back of the net on a power play midway through the period.
Goaltender Hanna Mandl ’17 relieved Jaimie Leonoff ’15 entering the third period, but it was too late for Yale. Harvard did not let up the pressure, increasing its lead with a pair of goals later into the second and another early in the third period.
“We got blown out,” forward Jamie Haddad ’16 said. “They didn’t crush us. It just so happened that they had a few lucky goals right off the bat and that deflated us. It’s not like they were having great shots. It’s our responsibility to keep pushing and keep fighting.”
The Crimson went on to beat Brown on Saturday 7–1, moving up to the top spot in the ECAC. They are now one point ahead of the previous leader, Quinnipiac.
On Saturday, the game took a different direction. In the matchup against Dartmouth, both the Elis and the Big Green kept pace, starting off the game with a power-play goal from each team. Yale’s opening goal was scored by Staenz, who took the shot from behind the goal line.
“We came out strong against Dartmouth and never gave them a chance to get their bearings,” captain and defenseman Aurora Kennedy ’15 said. “We let them back in the game with penalties, but five on five we were the better team so kept taking it to them.”
Although the first frame ended in a 1–1 tie, the Bulldogs pushed to regain the lead. At 6:05 into the second period forward Jackie Raines ’15 scored off of a backhand shot that regained the lead for the Elis.
The back-and-forth continued, however, when Dartmouth scored another power-play goal 7:34 into the third to even out the score, but it did not stay that way for long. In the final 10 minutes of the third period, Yale scored four times, including a pair less than a minute apart from Haddad and forward Stephanie Mock ’15. Barely a minute later, Raines scored her second goal of the night to push the Bulldog lead to 5–2. An empty net goal by Staenz secured the 6–2 victory against the Big Green.
According to Haddad, the final score is not entirely representative of the game. Dartmouth did keep the game close, although Yale’s nearly flawless execution of their game plan prevailed for the win.
“We did a good job transitioning quickly through the neutral zone and generating scoring chances of the rush,” forward Hanna Åström ’16 said. “I believe that we simply outworked them and wore them down as the game went on with our forecheck and offensive puck possession, which in the end led to four late goals.”
The Elis will play fellow ECAC opponents Rensselaer and Union this weekend.