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The Yale women’s hockey team will hit the ice this weekend in conference matchups against Union and Rensselaer.

The Bulldogs (3–1–0, 1–1–0 ECAC) split their away games last weekend, defeating Dartmouth 1–0 but losing to Harvard 5–2. On Friday, the Elis will host the Dutchmen (0–7–1, 0–1–0) at Ingalls Rink for their third conference game. The following day, Yale and RPI (0–8–1, 0–2–0) will face off. Both challengers will be looking to find their first win of the season.

Now four games into the season, rookie Elle Hartje ’23 — who was indisputably the star of the first two games — is feeling at home.

“I know it could be hard and nerve-wracking to play in a new environment with a new team,” Hartje said. “But with this team, I feel at home on the ice.” The Bulldogs will look to grow and capitalize on this chemistry this coming weekend and throughout the season.

This past weekend, the Bulldogs traveled to Hanover to take on the Big Green in their first ECAC matchup. One goal from forward Kaitlyn Rippon ’22 decided the match, allowing the Elis to confiscate their first conference victory. Goaltender Tera Hofmann ’20 saved 20 shots to keep Dartmouth off the board and claim her first shutout of the season.

In Boston, the Bulldogs faced a difficult challenge, finding themselves down 3–0 early into the second period. Forward Claire Dalton ’22 and forward Rebecca Foggia ’21 managed to slip the puck past the Harvard netminder, but the Crimson answered back. Two more Harvard goals resulted in a final score of 5–2.

“I thought our goaltending was very strong both games,” head coach Mark Bolding said. “Particularly by our senior goalie [Hoff] to earn a shutout against Dartmouth.”

Union has faced difficulty so far this season and has yet to pick up a win. The Dutchmen played their first conference game on Nov. 1 against defending ECAC champion Clarkson, losing 4–0. Goaltender Bella McKee was undoubtedly the star of the match; in her fifth start of the season, she made 51 saves against a relentless Clarkson Golden Knight offense. While McKee has been excellent between the pipes, her performance alone has not proven to be enough to carry the Dutchmen to a win.

Rensselaer lost a tight match against Clarkson on Saturday, with a final score of 5–4. The Engineers were up 4–3 in the third period, but the Golden Knights proceeded to find the back of the net twice in a span of 16 seconds to overcome the deficit, crushing RPI’s hopes of notching its first win. Despite the loss, RPI’s Blake Orosz stood out; she scored two of the four goals and took six of the 19 total shots for RPI.

Yale will look to bounce back from its loss against Harvard and deny both challengers their first wins of the season at the Whale.

“We’re expecting the best from every player on the team and looking for everyone to contribute everything they have,” forward Greta Skarzynski ’21 said.

The puck drops between Union and Yale at Ingalls Rink this Friday at 6 p.m., and the Elis will go head-to-head with RPI on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Akshar Agarwal | akshar.agarwal@yale.edu

Alessa Kim-Panero | alessa.kim-panero@yale.edu