The Yale women’s hockey team played its first rematches of the season this past weekend at Ingalls Rink. In a late surge, the Yale women’s hockey team overcame a wide deficit to defeat Union in overtime but ran out of luck the next day, falling to Rensselaer in the last conference game of the semester.
Entering the weekend winless in their last five games, the Bulldogs (3–7–4, 2–6–2 ECAC) returned to league play this weekend against Union (4–10–2, 3–3–0) and RPI (7–7–4, 4–1–1). The Elis, who fell to the Dutchwomen 3–1 earlier this season, entered the final period on Friday down 3–0, but they rallied to 4–4 before notching one more goal in overtime to win the rematch. The next afternoon, the Engineers defeated Yale 3–1 in a tight two-goal final period by RPI.
“This season our team has shown a lot of resiliency, and not just in the game against Union but several times this weekend,” defender Mallory Souliotis ’18 said. “Our team never gives up, and that’s something that has been missing in my first three seasons here at Yale. We have been extremely positive and supportive of one another going into the third period no matter what the score is.”
Although the Bulldogs outshot their opponents 14–9 in the first frame, the Dutchwomen kept Yale off the scoreboard in the first period while scoring two goals of their own. Entering the second period, Union added another tally just one minute into play. The next 19 minutes saw both teams go scoreless.
The Bulldogs have delivered several impressive third periods so far this season, but none as tremendous as the one on Friday night. They seized early opportunities, earning a power play two minutes into the frame. Forward Greta Skarzynski ’21 capitalized on the player advantage, notching her fifth goal of the season to finally put Yale on the scoreboard, with assists from Souliotis and forward Emily Monaghan ’18.
Union responded quickly to thwart the Elis’ momentum, earning a power play of its own and firing a series of shots before bringing the score to 4–1 with a goal just two minutes after the Skarzynski tally.
Facing a three-goal deficit with just 14 minutes left to play, the Bulldogs were undeterred. Twenty seconds after the Dutchwomen widened the lead, the Elis cut it to two, as forward Kirsten Nergaard ’20 scored her first goal of the season.
Although Union earned another power play, the Bulldogs kept the Dutchwomen in check. Just 16 seconds after Yale returned to playing five-on-five, rookie defender Lauren Moriyama ’21 scored her first career goal to pull Yale within one.
In the next six minutes, neither team could find the back of the net despite each earning a power play. Yale took a flurry of shots, but each was met by a Union defender or goalie Coco Francis. The Elis’ golden opportunity came when the Dutchwomen were called for tripping with just under three minutes remaining in the match. Head coach Joakim Flygh called a timeout, and the Bulldogs returned to the ice with an empty net and extra attacker in the offensive zone.
On the player advantage and with an additional attacker, the Elis’ first attempt on the Union goal, from the stick of defender Julia Yetman ’19, was met by a Francis save, but Monaghan tapped the rebound home to complete the improbable comeback.
In overtime, Skarzynski repeated herself with a power-play blast from the top of the zone to hand her team the 5–4 redemption victory.
“It’s always emotional, obviously, especially when you’re down 4–1 in hockey and find a way to come back,” Flygh said. “It’s very uplifting and certainly very good for morale for our group.”
The Elis fell to RPI the next day, who they tied 2–2 earlier in the season, despite putting up a fight for all 60 minutes. The Bulldogs carried the momentum from the previous night’s thriller into the first frame, with forward Sophie Veronneau ’20 knocking home the puck for her first goal of the season just four minutes into play.
The Bulldogs played a remarkably clean game, giving the Engineers just one power play late in the first frame. But Rensselaer converted on its lone advantage of the night to even the scoreboard at one entering the second frame.
Neither team could break the stalemate in the second period, despite Yale and RPI firing nine and six shots respectively. In the final frame, the score did not change until a mid-frame deflection past Yale goalie Tera Hofmann ’20 gave the Engineers a one-goal lead. The Bulldogs, searching for a repeat of the previous night’s performance, left the net empty again for another attacker with two minutes left in the game. This time, a stray puck found its way into the unguarded net and handed the Engineers a 3–1 victory in a close game.
“As a team, we played really well, but again we struggled to finish our chances and put pucks in the net,” Souliotis said. “RPI had some good goaltending, and we just didn’t put enough pucks in the net to win.”
The Elis host Boston University at home before finishing the semester against New Hampshire.
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