The Yale women’s hockey team played hard in the annual Mandi Schwartz Memorial Tournament on Saturday, but was unable to defeat in-state rival Quinnipiac.
The Bulldogs (13–10–0, 10–6–0 ECAC) dropped both their home games this weekend, losing 2–1 to Princeton on Friday and 3–1 to Quinnipiac just a day later. Saturday’s game marked the annual “White Out for Mandi” contest, celebrating the legacy of Mandi Schwartz ’10, a former player for the Elis. The event raises awareness for the need for bone marrow donations through Be The Match, and also supports the Mandi Schwartz Foundation, created by Schwartz’s teammates in her memory.
“The White Out game is one of the most special events that anyone can ever do for a person,” Schwartz’s mother Carol Schwartz said. “It’s a game dedicated to Mandi, a game honoring our special young hockey player that loved the game and everything it represented in life.”
The Bulldogs came into their matchup against Princeton on a six-game win streak, but that came to an end as they fell 2–1. The Tigers’ offense was clicking, but Yale’s defense and stellar goaltending kept the game from getting out of hand. Princeton came into that game having scored 28 goals in their past five matchups, but the Bulldogs kept them at bay.
Although Yale was down 2–0 for much of the game, Emma Seitz ’22 found the back of the net on a rebound from a shot by Grace Lee ’23. Despite picking up some momentum, it was too little too late. With just half a period remaining and Princeton having a one-man advantage off of a five-minute major, the Bulldogs failed to tie it up.
Yale looked to rebound from its loss against Princeton, but unfortunately, history would repeat itself as the Bulldogs fell 3–1 against the Bobcats in a similar fashion as in their previous matchup in the Nutmeg Classic. Both goaltenders played their hearts out, with Gianna Meloni ’21 making 27 saves on 30 shots, and QU netminder Abbie Ives letting just one of 31 shots in. QU opened the scoring late in the first; with just five seconds remaining, the Bobcats fired one into the back of the net just before heading off into the locker room.
Midway through the second period, the Bulldogs tied things up with a redirection from Charlotte Welch ’22 nine minutes into the frame. The game remained tightly contested with both teams fighting hard, but Quinnipiac got a lucky bounce late in the third and netted two more goals for a final scoreline of 3–1.
“Mandi’s jersey is still hanging in the locker room and we see it every day,” captain and forward Laura Anderson ’20 said. “She had a big impact on Yale women’s ice hockey. This game means a lot to us because it gives us the chance to honor her legacy and continue to raise money for the foundation.”
The White Out for Mandi game was of utmost significance to the players, despite the fact that they never played with Mandi themselves. Although the current team members are far removed from when Mandi suited up in the Blue and White, her legacy lives on and continues to inspire the team, which fought hard but unfortunately could not pull out a win against Quinnipiac.
Yale currently sits at fifth place in the ECAC, nine points out from first place. The Elis are just two points behind Clarkson, whom they take on this weekend in what will be an important matchup. Given that all of their remaining games are against ECAC teams, the Bulldogs must dial in and finish off the season strong to attain advantageous seeding in the ECAC tournament.
“We’ve had a really good home stretch of success and wins, but two goals for the weekend is not what we envisioned,” head coach Mark Bolding said. “But we’re putting pressure on, we’re trying to find the right combinations, and I think the takeaway is if we’re going to be successful and get where we want to in the playoffs and get a good seeding, we’re going to have to do it together.”
The Bulldogs will play St. Lawrence and Clarkson in New York this Friday and Saturday.
Akshar Agarwal | firstname.lastname@example.org
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