The Yale women’s ice hockey team (2–0–0) started its new season at home with a set of dominant victories against Long Island University (0–0–6) this past weekend.
The Elis, fresh off of a 4–2 exhibition against McGill, carried that winning momentum into Ingalls Rink as they put on an absolutely thunderous display on the ice. The weekend was nothing short of commanding, as the Blue and White lit up the LIU Sharks, netting 14 goals over the course of the series while allowing just two to sneak in their own end.
“It’s nice to get the offense you always dream about,” head coach Mark Bolding said. “We got out early and left them in our taillights. We have to clean up some things, but this was a very satisfying win.”
In game one on Friday, Yale wasted no time getting into the groove of things. In less than a minute of play, forward Charlotte Welch ’22 found the back of the net, assisted by forwards Maya Kerfoot ’22 and Rebecca Foggia ’21. Both teams traded goals soon after, but the Bulldogs turned on the jets and went on to score three straight in the period.
Notably, forward Elle Hartje ’23 found the puck on her stick after a blocked shot and blasted the rubber over the LIU goaltender from the slot to score her first career goal. Before the buzzer sounded, Yale notched its fifth of the game with just 8.6 seconds left on the clock off of a goal from forward Rebecca Vanstone ’22, assisted by Hartje.
“I waited for four years to come here, so to finally be here and playing is just so surreal,” Hartje said.
The early flurry of five goals in the first period set the pace for the rest of the game. The Bulldogs showed zero signs of letting up, as they continued to assert their dominance from the moment the puck dropped. Hartje earned her second career goal just eight seconds into the second period by sniping the puck glove-side over the LIU netminder. Fellow forward Grace Lee ’23 also saw the puck find the back of the net for the first goal of her career, extending the Elis’ lead to 7–1 midway through the second frame.
The third period began with Yale holding a commanding 8–1 lead, but the Elis were still out for blood. If the Sharks weren’t done already, Hartje put the final nail in the coffin with her third goal of the game late in the third. Hartje collected the first hat trick of the year for the Bulldogs. Although LIU picked up another tally, the Bulldogs took care of business with a final score of 9–2. Besides goals scored, the Elis outplayed the Sharks in style — Yale led LIU 56–10 in shots on goal.
Returning to the ice on Saturday afternoon, Yale again asserted its dominance, defeating the Sharks 5–1 to take its second victory of the weekend. The Bulldogs came onto the ice strong, immediately putting pressure on their opponents and forcing LIU goalie Mia McLeod to make save after save.
The squad got its first chance just seven minutes in, with Welch taking advantage of a power play to slip the puck behind the goaltender. Shortly after, forward Kirsten Nergaard ’20 sent the puck to the center to Hartje, who quickly shot past McLeod to grab the second tally of the game. Not letting up on the attack, Yale continued to make shots before getting another scoring opportunity with five minutes left in the period. Defender Tabea Botthof ’22 and forward Claire Dalton ’22 assisted, setting up Vanstone to shoot. Leading 3–0 at the end of the first frame, Yale was clearly the dominant side.
In the second period, the Bulldogs again consistently outshot their opponents. Three minutes in, Hartje and Dalton led defenders behind the goal, allowing Vanstone to stand undefended in front and take a quick, direct shot after receiving a pass from Dalton to score her second goal of the game. LIU was determined to answer back, making a strong play against the Eli defense to allow Paula Bergström to slide the puck past Yale goaltender Gianna Meloni ’21. The Bulldogs bounced back on the attack, finding another tally from Welch during a power play before the end of the period. Though no goals were scored in the third frame, Yale continued to outshoot its opponents, ending the game with a shot tally of 55–18 and a final score of 5–1.
“We didn’t take them for granted. We are a more cohesive unit this year and there’s a lot more communication out there,” Vanstone said.
Hartje is certainly the headline coming out of this series sweep — the rookie picked up four goals and two assists to achieve a three-points-per-game average. The entire team put on a show, but the Michigan native has given a glimpse into the future of Yale women’s hockey. Hartje was recognized as ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week for her efforts.
The women’s ice hockey team will take its talents on the road this weekend to Boston to face rival Harvard, stopping in Hanover on the way to take on the Big Green.
Akshar Agarwal | firstname.lastname@example.org
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