The Yale women’s ice hockey team stands in fourth in the ECAC rankings after emerging from this weekend with its first two conference wins.
The Bulldogs (4–1–1, 2–1–1 ECAC Hockey) defeated both Rensselaer (4–7–1, 2–2–0) and Union (2–10–0, 0–4–0) by wide margins. Yale outshot its two opponents by a total margin of 73–53 over the weekend, while goaltender Tera Hofmann ’20 recorded a combined 50 saves while conceding just three goals on the weekend.
“Every point has to be fought for at this level of hockey and I think this weekend was no different,” Hofmann said. “I think the true display of character and passion we have on our team showed [this weekend].”
The Elis entered Ingalls Rink Friday night after opening their season with a winless weekend against No. 5 Quinnipiac and No. 10 Princeton. However, less than five minutes after the opening face-off against RPI, Yale took the lead.
Forward Krista Yip-Chuck ’17 started off the scoring for the Bulldogs on a power play with help from fellow forward Phoebe Staenz ’17 and defender Taylor Marchin ’17. Staenz, trapped on the far left of the rink, passed the puck directly in front of the net but was unable to find any of her teammates on the pass until Yip-Chuck sprinted from across the ice to slap it into the goal.
Yale also tallied the second goal of the game near the end of the first period when forward Eden Murray ’18 and Yip-Chuck assisted defender Julia Yetman ’19 on her second score of the season. Yip-Chuck had control of the puck and skated from behind the goal until she found Yetman open just inches away from the net.
RPI’s forward Katie Rooney opened up scoring in the second period. The Engineer senior found the goal during a power play after forward Brittany Wheeler ’18 was penalized on a tripping call in the early stages of the second period. But Yale answered with back-to-back goals from Staenz and Murray to further improve its advantage. Staenz’ strike was the first of what would be a hat trick for the senior on Friday night.
Just under two minutes after Yale’s fourth goal, RPI again closed the gap by putting up its second goal. Forward Sabrina Repaci secured a loose puck off of her own missed shot to find the open goal and score for the Engineers with under seven minutes to play in the second period.
The Bulldogs held a 4–2 lead going into the third period and continued to dominate the game offensively in the final 20 minutes. Staenz completed her hat trick with two consecutive goals and defender Saroya Tinker ’20 found the back of the net to record her first goal as a Bulldog, putting the score at its final mark of 7–2.
“My teammates did a great job retrieving the puck off a board battle to pass up to [Mallory] Souliotis and once I got the pass I realized I was in perfect position to shoot.” Tinker said. “I didn’t know it when in at first but I’m glad I got my first goal out of the way.”
Yale followed up the win on Friday with an equally dominant performance against Union on Saturday afternoon. Yale lit the lamp just nine seconds into the game when Staenz received a feed from defender Kara Drexler ’18 and subsequently blasted the shot past Union netminder Amelia Murray.
The Dutchwomen got even when Union forward Haley Shugart scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season to tie the battle at 1–1 with less than three minutes remaining in the opening frame. Yale quickly responded: Forward Jordan Chancellor ’19 received a pass from across the crease and rocketed it into the Union cage just 42 seconds later. The Bulldogs netted the third goal in 62 seconds when Yip-Chuck tallied her second score of the weekend with 40.4 seconds to go in the third period.
“After Union scored a goal to tie the game in the first, our team responded really well by scoring the two goals to get the lead back to end the period,” Drexler said. “The first-period goals show the ability our team has to push the pace in games.”
Coming out of the first intermission with a 3–1 lead, Yale successfully executed a five-on-three penalty kill after Marchin and Wheeler were whistled for penalties midway through the second period. Once Marchin came out of the box, Murray was able to steal the puck from Union and hammered the shot home on a shorthanded breakaway.
With a three-goal advantage, the Elis continued to force the issue as Staenz tallied her fifth goal of the weekend off of assists from Yip-Chuck and defender Mallory Souliotis ’18 to give the Bulldogs a 5–1 lead with six minutes remaining in the second period. Union pulled its goaltender after Yale’s fifth score and replaced her with Celine Tessler, who did not concede any additional goals in the remainder of the game.
Despite a combined three power play opportunities, neither the Dutchwomen nor the Bulldogs scored in the third period, as Yale held on for the 5–1 victory.
The Bulldogs will travel to upstate New York this weekend for a pair of conference games, facing Colgate on Friday and Cornell on Saturday.