The Yale women’s ice hockey team fell 6–0 to No. 6 Cornell and 4–0 to No. 11 Colgate on the road this past weekend for its first conference losses since losing to Harvard on Nov. 2.
The Bulldogs (5–4–0, 3–3–0 ECAC) came off Tuesday’s nonconference loss to Boston University looking to redeem themselves against their ECAC opponents. In Ithaca, the Elis had 15 shots on goal but were unable to find the back of the net. Traveling to Hamilton the next day, Yale outshot the Raiders 23–22 but again did not get on the scoreboard. The pair of losses marks the first time the Elis have been shutout this season, a notable decline from nine goals in the season opener.
“The team never quit and kept fighting, and there were definitely some positives,” forward Elle Hartje ’23 said. “It is still early in our season, and we know we will have another crack at the two teams in our own barn, so we are excited for that.”
The Bulldogs looked to bring energy and aggression to the ice against Cornell (7–0–1, 5–0–1) but were quickly overrun by the dominant Big Red offense. Within the first minute of play, Cornell forward Amy Curlew picked up a pass from forward Kristin O’Neill to score the first goal of the game. After that, the shots came quickly, with O’Neill notching her own goal just two minutes later. In the sixth minute, forward Finley Frechette nabbed a third tally for Cornell. Shortly after, goaltender Gianna Meloni ’21 substituted for goaltender Tera Hofmann ’20, making five saves to close out the first period 3–0. Before Friday’s contest, Hofmann was named one of the NCAA’s Three Stars of the Week earlier in November for her shutouts against RPI and Union.
Returning for the second frame, the Bulldogs put together more shots, with Meloni continuing to block attacks on goal. But halfway through the period, enemy forward Maddie Mills snuck another shot by Meloni to get the fourth Cornell goal and her fifth of the season. With three minutes left in the period, two more Big Red goals were scored by Frechette and Curlew to bring the tally up to 6–0. This closed out the scoring for the match. While both teams continued to make attempts throughout the third period, neither found the back of the net again.
“When we aren’t successful on the defensive end, it’s hard to generate offense,” defender Saroya Tinker ’20 said. “We are now looking forward and putting those games behind us. We have the opportunity to watch film and learn from our mistakes to allow ourselves to improve and be prepared for our upcoming tournament.”
Yale took on Colgate (8–5–2, 3–2–1), another conference powerhouse, in Hamilton on Saturday. The Bulldogs dropped their first of four goals 16 minutes into the first period, when forward Coralie Larose scored a shorthanded goal to bring Colgate into an early lead. Three minutes later, forward Noemi Neubauerova grabbed another tally to bring the Raiders up to a 2–0 lead at the end of the first period.
On the hunt for a goal, the Elis outshot Colgate 9–4 in the second period, but Raider goaltender Liz Auby denied every shot. The Yale defense was able to keep out its opponents’ shots throughout the second period and much of the third, but finally dropped another goal 13 minutes into the last period. Forward Eleri MacKay took a pass from her twin sister, forward Delani MacKay, to bring the Raider lead up to 3. Two minutes later, forward Malia Schneider added one last tally, closing out the game 4–0.
The double defeat against highly ranked opponents nudges the Elis backwards in the ECAC conference, in which they now rank sixth out of 12 teams. The shutouts are the first time this season the Elis have been denied a goal under newly appointed head coach Mark Bolding.
The Elis will next travel just up the road to Hamden, Connecticut for the 16th Annual Nutmeg Classic. On Nov. 29, they will take on the University of Connecticut. The next day, they will either play the University of Maryland or the hosts of the tournament, Quinnipiac.
“It’s early in the year, but already impressions are being made within the group to be a more structured, team-oriented and hard-working team, and I think it’s paying off,” Bolding said.
The puck drops between the Bulldogs and the Huskies on Nov. 29 at 1 p.m.
Akshar Agarwal | firstname.lastname@example.org
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