The Yale women’s hockey team will take on two ECAC foes this weekend: St. Lawrence on Friday and No. 7 Clarkson on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (13–10–0, 10–6–0 ECAC) ended their six-game win streak this past weekend, dropping two in-conference games against Princeton (17–4–1, 12–3–1) and Quinnipiac (15–10–3, 7–7–2). They look to turn things around this weekend and pick up two important ECAC wins on the road.
The St. Lawrence Saints (11–11–6, 6–7–3) are currently eighth in the conference and were defeated by the Bulldogs back in January. The Clarkson Golden Knights (18–4–6, 9–3–4) sit just two points ahead of Yale in fourth place, so this will be a crucial matchup as the Elis fight for home-ice advantage seeding in the ECAC playoffs. The last time these two teams faced off, Yale collected a dominant 5–2 victory over the NCAA No. 7 powerhouse.
“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,” head coach Mark Bolding said after Yale lost its game against the Bobcats last weekend.
The Bulldogs came into their tilt against Princeton on a six-game win streak, but that ended at home as Princeton skated away with a 2–1 victory in a tight contest. While Gianna Meloni ’21 made a whopping 26 saves, the Tigers managed to sneak two by her early on. Though, the Bulldogs attempted to equalize the score late in the third and fell just short. Notably, Meloni held down the space between the pipes on all four Princeton power plays, including a late five-minute one-man advantage in the third. The Tigers currently sit in 2nd place in the ECAC, behind only Cornell.
Quinnipiac defeated Yale in their first matchup back in the fall 3–1 in the finals of the Nutmeg Classic. The story of this game centered around the superb goaltending on both sides. Meloni made 27 saves on 30 shots from a resilient Bobcat offense. Meanwhile Abbie Ives made 30 saves on 31 shots while manning the crease for QU. While both offenses had their moments, it was Quinnipiac which capitalized on more of its opportunities to claim a 3–1 victory.
“Mandi’s jersey is still hanging in the locker room and we see it every day,” captain 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 last time Yale played St. Lawrence in January, they pulled off a 2–1 victory at home. The Bulldogs never fell behind, opening the scoring early in the first period and then never looking back. Historically, the Bulldogs have not won any of their past 20 matchups on the road against the Saints, but they’ll look to change that around this weekend.
Prior to defeating the Saints back in January, the Elis knocked off the Golden Knights 5–2 in what was then the most significant win so far this season for Yale. Although things were even at the end of the first, the Bulldogs began to pull away with a lead in the second frame and netted two uncontested goals in the third. Each of five goals came from a different skater, a testament to Yale’s teamwork in that game. Meloni was once again spectacular in net, stopping 20 shots and allowing just two goals, one of which came on a two-man advantage.
“We had a very good weekend against St. Lawrence and Clarkson [two weekends ago], so hopefully we’ll have positive momentum going into those games,” forward Emma Seitz ’22 said. “As long as we stick together as a team, we should be looking good for that weekend.”
Puck drops at 6 p.m. in Canton, New York on Friday and at 3 p.m. in Potsdam, New York on Saturday.
Akshar Agarwal | firstname.lastname@example.org
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