After handily defeating Brown on Tuesday at home, the Yale women’s hockey team will travel to Providence to take on the Bears again next week.
The Bulldogs (12–8–0, 9–4–0 ECAC) are on a five-game win streak heading into next Tuesday’s matchup. After leaving Ingalls Rink with a 3–1 win over the Bears (2–15–1, 2–10–1) in their first bout, Yale has just nine games remaining on the season — all of which are in-conference matchups. The Bulldogs currently sit in fifth place in the ECAC with 18 points, just four points out from first place. The Bears have just two wins on the season, both of which came against Rensselaer — a team that has not won a single game since March 2019, over 10 months ago. Given Brown’s record and its lackluster defense, the Bulldogs are aiming to come out of Providence with their sixth win in a row.
“These are two very important games that we cannot take lightly,” defender Saroya Tinker ’20 said prior to Tuesday’s brawl. “It is important that we play our game and get the four points we need from these two games in order to come out on top. We’re letting everyone know that we’re up and coming, and we are not the team we used to be.”
In their previous road trip to New York, the Bulldogs fought hard and came away with a pair of victories over Rensselaer (0–24–1, 0–14–0) and Union (3–17–5, 3–7–3). There was little doubt heading in, as Yale defeated both teams easily earlier in the season, but these wins were nevertheless crucial for maintaining its spot in the conference standings.
After all was said and done in Troy, the Elis walked off with a 4–1 win over the Engineers. Despite falling early in the first period, the Bulldogs pulled it together and emerged triumphant. The game saw four different skaters collect tallies, including forward Kiersten Nergaard ’20, who was playing her 100th game for Yale women’s hockey.
The next day, Yale defeated the Dutchwomen 4–2 without ever relinquishing its lead. Although the Bulldogs were outshot 30–28, they clearly made their shots count.
“Goaltending was strong and we fought through both games to get another four points which is huge to maintain a good spot in the ECAC standings,” head coach Mark Bolding said after last weekend’s pair of wins. “It’s again time to buckle down and work together to try and get another pair of conference wins.”
In their first matchup against Brown, the Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead after forward Elle Hartje ’23 slipped the biscuit past the Brown netminder on a powerplay. After this goal, Yale did not look back in the subsequent periods. Forward Sophie Veronneau ’20 went bar down in the second frame to extend the Elis’ lead, and her goal was followed up by forward Rebecca Vanstone ’22 who capitalized on an odd-man rush. Overall, Yale had a whopping 44 shots on net that translated into three goals.
Brown would go on to slip one past the Yale defense with 22 seconds remaining in the third, but it proved too little too late. Goaltender Gianna Meloni ’21 had herself a night, shutting out the Bears in her 50 minutes manning the crease and stopping 14 shots. The low number is a testament to Yale’s stellar defense, as well as Brown’s lack of offense. First-year netminder Courtney Denaut ’23 got a chance to take over once Yale had established its lead late in the third frame. The Greenwich native faced six shots and let the lone Brown goal in at the end of the game.
“We had a good win at home last night,” captain and forward Laura Anderson ’20 said. “We know we have to bring the same effort next Tuesday when we’re away at Brown and continue to work hard for the games ahead.”
Tuesday’s game at Ingalls Rink was also marked as Yale Faculty/Staff Night. The Elis collected a victory in front of their home crowd and will look to do the same in Providence next Tuesday as they come into this final stretch of the season.
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