After the Yale women’s hockey team defeated Brown in back-to-back games this weekend, they officially passed Rensselaer in the ECAC standings for an improved seventh-place ranking.
Yale (9–11–3, 7–8–1 ECAC Hockey) beat the Bears (5–18–0, 3–13–0) 2–1 at Ingalls Rink on Friday and then improved upon its own play, defeating them 4–2 the following night in Providence. The Bulldogs now claim a four-game winning streak that helped them beat out the Engineers in the rankings after RPI fell to top-seeded No. 3 Clarkson and No. 5 St. Lawrence this weekend.
“Although not always pretty, we took care of the details that we needed to this weekend in order to be successful,” captain and forward Krista Yip-Chuck ’17 said. “We moved the puck well, generated numerous quality scoring chances and closed out two close games which is what counted at the end of the day.”
In Friday’s contest, the Eli’s offense dominated play from the start. Although Yale outshot Brown 16–5 in the first 20 minutes, the score remained 0–0 as the clock wound down ending the opening period. The Bulldogs entered the second frame ready to turn offensive momentum into goals.
Forward Kaitlin Gately ’18 scored the opening tally off a deflected shot by defender Saroya Tinker ’20. Gately’s goal, her second in the last two games, gave Yale the 1–0 lead in the sixth minute of the second period.
“[Gately] entered the zone wide as I jumped up into the rush skating down center ice and then she threw the puck on net creating a rebound that bounced right onto my stick,” Tinker said. “I shot creating another rebound that [Gately] shot in.”
Until over halfway into the third period, the Elis’ offense was unsuccessful in shooting past Brown goalie Monica Elvin. The senior saved 40 of 42 shots on the night. With under 10 minutes to play, however, forward Phoebe Staenz ’17 delivered a much-needed goal that allowed Yale to go up 2–0.
Defender Mallory Souliotis ’18 hit a wide slapshot so forcefully that it shattered a pane of glass after it sailed past the goal. When the game resumed, Bears forward Bridget Carey mustered a late goal to come within one in the four minutes of play. Yale held off Brown to emerge from game one of the weekend with a victory.
“I think the key to helping the team win Friday was keeping things simple, remaining focused and not giving up many rebounds,” goaltender Kyra O’Brien ’19 said. “Our penalty kill units have continued to be reliable when we’re in the box which has definitely helped lead to our success.”
On Saturday, the Bulldogs traveled to Meehan Auditorium in Providence for the second game of their home-and-home against the Bears. Making her first start since last Saturday’s 3–2 victory over Harvard, goaltender Tera Hofmann ’20 and the rest of the Yale special teams successfully prevented Brown from grabbing an early advantage by killing off two power plays in the first 12 minutes.
But after the Bears were assessed a minor for roughing, the Bulldogs took advantage of the extra attacker and found themselves ahead 1–0 behind a goal from Staenz, who tallied her team-leading 13th score. Less than eight minutes into the second period, the Yale power-play unit, which was just 13 for 90 coming into the contest, lit the lamp again with a goal from Yip-Chuck to extend the lead to 2–0.
When defender Maybelline Beiring committed another infraction for Brown, this time a checking minor, the Bulldog power play proved it was up to the task yet again. Just 89 seconds after doubling its lead, Yale forward Eden Murray ’18 put another puck past Elvin off of assists from Staenz and Yip-Chuck to make it 3–0.
But the Bears continued to battle and cut the Bulldog lead to 3–1 after forward Dara Wais found the net for her first score of the season. The goals continued to mount in the second period as forward Jenna Kenda-Hewitt brought the Bears to within one, marking the first time Brown had scored multiple goals in a game since Jan. 13.
Coming out of the second intermission leading 3–2, Courtney Pensavalle ’18 sealed the victory for Yale with her second goal of the season. The Winchester, Massachusetts, native was making her first start since Oct. 29 and the score was her fourth point in the last three games. The Bulldogs would go on to win 4–2, completing a weekend sweep and gaining them a crucial four points.
“With so few games left, each one is really important for making sure we clinch a playoff spot,” O’Brien said. “Our Ivy match-ups are even more crucial given that we are making a strong push for an Ivy title.”
Yale will travel to New Jersey for a game against No. 9 Princeton on Friday evening before playing cross-town rival No. 10 Quinnipiac in Hamden on Saturday afternoon.