In a tumultuous weekend for the Yale women’s ice hockey squad, a 2–2 Friday night tie versus Quinnipiac preceded a hard-fought 4–2 loss against conference leader and Ivy foe No. 4 Princeton.
“I think this weekend showed that we are right there with the top teams in the league,” said team captain and forward Emma Vlasic ’19. “Princeton is the best team in the league, and we gave them a great game. We have to continue to get better here down the stretch.”
Yale (7–16–2, 6–10–2 ECAC Hockey) faced Quinnipiac (10–16–4, 7–9–2) in an intense overtime thriller Friday night at Ingalls Rink, as neither team could find an advantage, and the scoreline remained even at two goals apiece. The Bulldogs then wrangled with Princeton (17–3–5, 14–1–3) in a tight contest on Saturday afternoon in this year’s White Out for Mandi matchup.The game was neck-and-neck until Princeton pulled away towards the end, resulting in a 4–2 loss for the Elis.
Yale entered Friday evening in a tie for the pivotal eighth and final playoff position in ECAC Hockey, alongside Quinnipiac. Due to an earlier victory over the Bulldogs, the Bobcats held the tiebreaker heading into the game. The search to secure a postseason bid raised the intensity and competitiveness of the match.
A quick Quinnipiac bullet from Lexie Adzija set the Bobcats up with a 1–0 lead less than ten minutes into the game. The Bulldogs bounced back late in the first, and their aggressive play paid off as Kenzie Prater was called for a holding penalty in the 18th minute. In the ensuing power play, Vlasic took matters into her own hands. She slapped a shot past Quinnipiac keeper Abbie Ives to tie the game at one all.
At the start of the second period, the Bobcats rebounded. Randi Marcon slid a shot just past goalkeeper Tera Hofmann ’20 in the second minute. The fast score gave Quinnipiac a small amount of breathing room, but forward Becca Foggia ’21 responded. Foggia collected a clean through pass from forward Claire Dalton ’22 and snapped the puck past Ives in the 13th minute. The second period closed with both teams tangled in a 2–2 tie.
The 2–2 scoreline would end up being the final scoreline of the contentious contest. Despite a game-high 21 shots between the two squads in the third period, neither team was able to capitalize and clinch victory. Instead, the two teams were thrust into an overtime period. Only the Bobcats were able to produce overtime opportunities, however, as Quinnipiac hoisted two shot attempts in the extra period compared to Yale’s zero, and the game ended in a draw.
Saturday afternoon saw the Elis battle the Princeton Tigers in this year’s annual White Out for Mandi game. Mandi Schwartz ’10, a three-time All-Academic ECAC Hockey selection in women’s ice hockey for the Bulldogs, passed away in 2011 after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in late 2008. The game featured fundraisers, raffles and a bone marrow drive.
“The White Out game in honor of Mandi is extremely meaningful because of her importance to our team,” forward Greta Skarzynski ’21 said. “It’s special to be a part of something bigger than hockey.”
On the ice, the Elis unleashed an early torrent of attempts on the Tigers. Forward Rebecca Vanstone ’22, who leads Yale scoring with 12 goals, snaked a shot past Princeton goalkeeper Stephanie Neatby less than a minute into the first period off of a clean opening pass from Dalton. However, a Yale tripping penalty in the 9th minute led to a power play goal from Princeton’s Carly Bullock just moments after the call. The first period ended in a 1–1 standoff between the Ivy rivals.
Princeton gained the upper hand early in the second period. Bullock slammed another shot into the back of the net in the eighth minute, and her teammate Karlie Lund notched her own score with a missile about a minute later. Skarzynski recorded her first conference goal of the season in the 13th minute, after she received a pair of picturesque passes from Vlasic and defender Lauren Moriyama ’21. The second frame saw the Tigers pull ahead to a 3–2 lead on the day.
Princeton sealed the deal in the third period. Maggie Connors, the leading goalscorer for the Tigers, wove a shot past a sea of defenders in the seventh minute to give Princeton an insurmountable lead. Proving once again that they deserve the top spot in the conference, the Tigers were able to hold off a furious frenzy from the Elis. The Bulldogs outshot Princeton in the period but couldn’t find a goal. Yale finally succumbed to a 4–2 loss.
“Our team is aware of our place in the standings, so I think we will go into these weekends fighting for that spot with a sense of urgency because we know we need points in order to make the playoffs,” said Dalton. “Our main takeaway was that we proved we can compete with a team like Princeton, now we just need to find a way to execute on our chances and win games.”
Yale faces Colgate this Friday at 6 p.m. in Hamilton, NY, followed by a road trip to face Cornell in Ithaca at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
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