The Bulldogs bounced back this past weekend, with the Yale women’s ice hockey team tying conference foe Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in a 1–1 draw on Friday night and clinching a resounding 4–2 victory over Union on Saturday afternoon.
Yale (6–14–1, 5–8–1 ECAC Hockey), who played with only nine forwards, four defenders and a goalie instead of the normal 12 and six and two, dueled with the Rensselaer Engineers (10–10–5, 7–5–1) in a closely contested match Friday night that saw the two squads tie 1–1. The Bulldogs then locked horns with the Union Dutchwomen (3–20–2, 1–11–1) on Saturday afternoon and grabbed a 4–2 conquest to break their three-game winless streak.
“The win was huge and definitely much-needed,” forward Tess Dettling ’21 said. “Especially going into the last games of the season, we are all in good spirits in the locker room right now.”
The matchup against RPI got off to a hot start, as senior forward Jaimie Grigsby, the Engineers’ third-leading scorer this season, smacked the puck past goalkeeper Tera Hofmann ’20 just under five minutes into the first period. Whipping 20 shots on goal in the first period alone, Yale looked to respond quickly with its own goal.
Lovisa Selander, who leads all of ECAC Hockey in save percentage at a whopping .948, saved all but one of the 20 bullets. Rebecca Vanstone ’22 tipped home the lone successful strike after assists from forwards Charlotte Welch ’22 and Claire Dalton ’22. At the end of the first period, the Bulldogs edged the Engineers in shots on goal by a 20–3 margin, but the squads remained deadlocked at a 1–1 tally.
While the second period saw seven more shots from RPI and 12 more from Yale, neither team could find the back of the net. With offensive output remaining elusive, both teams racked up penalties, with five different players spending a total of 10 minutes in the penalty box.
Yale followed the testy second period with a 17-shot third period, but all of the shots again failed to restore the Elis’ lead. All of RPI’s seven shots in the third period fell short as well, and the two squads spiraled into a frantic overtime period. Up until that point, Yale had enjoyed a 49–17 lead on shots, but Yale’s offense disappeared in overtime. The Bulldogs had zero shots in overtime, while RPI heaved three last-ditch efforts on goal in the extra period. Still, in the end, both teams had to settle for a tie.
“Looking forward, we have a lot of must-win games coming up against conference opponents … Dartmouth, Quinnipiac and Harvard, including the White Out for Mandi game,” said Emma Seitz ’22.
Galvanized by the tight RPI result the night before, the Bulldogs came out firing on all cylinders against Union on Saturday afternoon. Forward Dettling had a breakout performance in the fixture, netting two slick goals to lead the Elis to victory. A dominant third period helped seal the win for Yale, as the Bulldogs put three goals past the Union keeper in the final 20 minutes of play.
The first period was a stalemate, with both sides searching for the opening tally to no avail. Yale went on the power play early after Union defender Cheyenne Harris was put in the penalty box for checking, but the Bulldogs were unable to find the net. Still, Yale held a healthy advantage in terms of shots in the opening minutes. The Bulldogs had 16 shots to Union’s seven. Hofmann easily protected the net, and the period finished scoreless.
In the next 20 minutes, the game started to heat up. Dettling tallied the first goal of her brace to open the scoring by blasting the puck past the Union keeper after Seitz travelled the length of the ice to pick her out with a pristine pass. Union answered 10 minutes later, with forward Rachel de Perio knotting the game at one apiece with a clean swing of the stick. The Dutchwomen surged into the lead when forward Katie Sonntag found herself in space on a power play to give Union a second goal. The period ended with Yale trailing 2–1.
The Bulldogs, recognizing the postseason implications of the game, refused to give up and took over in the third period. The Elis leapt on their second power play to equalize the score. A searing slapshot from Seitz forced a bobbled save from the Union netminder, which forward Becca Foggia ’21 pounced on to tie the game. Dettling then secured a goal off of Dalton’s blast just two minutes later, completing a brace and giving Yale its first lead. The winning goal came midway through the period. Defender Saroya Tinker ’20 drifted into the attack and fired a slapshot that left the Union keeper little chance. The Bulldogs took home the 4–2 win, a huge victory that could lead to a potential postseason run. “I think we need to bear down and realize what’s at stake here. This [upcoming] weekend dictates how playoffs will play out for us,” said Tinker. “We need to win both games, there’s no other option.”
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