After losing to Boston University on Tuesday night, the Yale women’s ice hockey team will return to the road this weekend to take on No. 6 Cornell and Colgate in two more ECAC conference matchups.
The Bulldogs (5–2–0, 3–1–0 ECAC) rolled into Walter Brown Arena with momentum, having defeated both Union and Rensselaer without giving up a goal the past weekend. Prior to Tuesday night’s 3–1 loss to the Terriers (7–3–1, 3–3–1), goaltender Tera Hofmann ’20 had posted three consecutive shutouts, facing a total of 52 shots in the process. Those numbers earned her not only ECAC honors but also national recognition as she was named one of NCAA’s Three Stars of the Week. Hofmann is the second Eli to earn such honors, with the first being forward Elle Hartje ’23. Hartje has emerged as a solid first-line winger thus far and will be critical to Yale moving forward.
“Even though we lost Tuesday against BU, we worked hard and stayed positive all game,” defender Emma Seitz ’22 said. “The team has been playing better and better every week, and we are looking to carry that momentum into this weekend for two big league games.”
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, their momentum did not carry into the matchup against the Terriers. While the Blue and White kept the game even after 20 minutes, Boston claimed the lead midway through the second period and never looked back. Yale successfully killed a penalty early on but later gave up the puck in its defensive zone, which BU forward Kristina Schuler capitalized on by going blocker side to open up the scoring.
Midway through the third frame, BU forward Deziray De Sousa took the puck from the Terriers’ defensive end across the ice before setting up forward Nara Elia for an easy tip-in in front of the net. After Elia broke by defender Lauren Moriyama ’21, there was nothing Hofmann could do to stop the puck from finding its way into the net.
Yale managed to get one back as forward Grace Lee ’23 scored off a beautiful assist from Seitz. With just a couple of minutes left to play, Yale pulled Hofmann — who saved 16 of 18 shots — for the extra attacker. Unfortunately, BU was able to collect the empty netter to end Yale’s winning streak with a 3–1 victory.
The Bulldogs were without star forward Rebecca Vanstone ’22, who led the team in goals last season and has been a major contributor thus far.
“We lost the services of [a] great player Friday during the game to injury,” head coach Mark Bolding said of Vanstone. “We hope she returns healthy very soon.”
Cornell (5–0–1, 3–0–1) will prove to be a formidable opponent. The Big Red won its first five games in decisive fashion, with the only hiccup of the season thus far being a tie against No. 4 Clarkson. In addition to Cornell’s aggressive offense, the Big Red is anchored by junior netminder Lindsay Browning, who has exceeded expectations between the pipes. She posted three consecutive shutouts earlier in the season and has let in just one goal in each of the other three games.
Colgate (6–5–2, 1–2–1) lost two of its ECAC games against Clarkson and No. 7 Princeton, winning just one game against Quinnipiac. The Raiders reached a scoreless tie against No. 17 St. Lawrence on Saturday and will be playing Brown on Friday before facing the Bulldogs the next day. The squad poses a big threat to the Eli defense, with high-scorers like forwards Danielle Serdachny and Noemi Neubauerova netting four goals and five assists each this year so far. In last season’s matchup, Colgate defeated Yale 6–3, and the Bulldogs have not defeated the Raiders since 2015.
“The team is excited for the weekend,” forward Greta Skarzynski ’21 said. “Cornell is always a tough opponent, so it will be a big test to see how we stack up against a top competitor both in the ECAC and nationally. We know we’ll have to work hard every shift and have everyone contributing what they can in order to get the final we want. We’ve had a strong couple of games this past week, so we’re hoping to carry the momentum from that into the weekend.”
The women’s ice hockey team will travel to New York on Friday and Saturday for matchups against Cornell and Colgate. The puck drops at 6 p.m. on Friday in Ithaca and 3 p.m on Saturday in Hamilton.
Akshar Agarwal | firstname.lastname@example.org
Alessa Kim-Panero | email@example.com