The Yale women’s hockey team defeated Colgate 5–2 on Friday before falling to No. 1 Cornell on Saturday in their last home game of the regular season.
The Bulldogs (15–12–0, 12–8–0 ECAC) defeated the Raiders (15–13–6, 9–8–3) in a dominant performance. The win, which put the Bulldogs one away from a program record, came after the Elis scored four straight to claw out a victory after finding themselves down 2–1 in the second period. The next day, the Big Red (23–1–3, 17–0–3) were expected to thrash the Bulldogs — coming into New Haven ranked first in the nation — but Yale made it one to watch.
“As we head into the playoffs, I think we definitely believe that all the teams we are matched up against are beatable,” goaltender Gianna Meloni ’21 said.
Although the score remained even at 0–0 for the majority of the first period, defender Emma Seitz ’22 gave Yale the lead heading into the locker room by scoring with just 20.1 seconds to spare in the period. Colgate wasted no time in responding, scoring nearly a minute into the second frame. While both teams battled hard, Colgate claimed the lead midway through the second. With a few minutes left in the period, the Blue and White evened things up as blueliner Greta Skarzynski ’21 scored, collecting her 50th career point.
In the third period, forward Elle Hartje ’23 found the back of the net twice and forward Claire Dalton ’22 picked up a tally as well. Colgate would go on to score once more with 30 seconds remaining in the game, but the Bulldogs skated off with a dominant 5–3 victory. Meloni also shined, making 30 saves.
“Unfortunately those are changing moments,” head coach Mark Bolding said. “Discipline is the only way you’re gonna survive and play playoff hockey: containing yourself, having composure, and handling the highs and lows of the hockey game. It’s brutal timing, we did a great job of trying to kill it, but at the end of the day it’s discipline.”
On Saturday, the Elis took on the Big Red at home in an afternoon matchup. The first period went by without any scoring, but Yale set the tone early, fighting for every puck and holding down the d-zone. The two teams were nearly even in shots as well, with Cornell leading 9–7 by the end of the first.
Midway through the second frame, forward Kirsten Nergaard ’20 knocked one in right at the doorstep to open up the scoring. The goal came after the Bulldogs staved off a brief penalty kill. Unfortunately, Cornell tied things up a few minutes later after Big Red forward Paige Lewis whipped a rebound in past Tera Hofmann ’20. Shortly thereafter, Yale picked up two penalties, one of which earned defender Saroya Tinker ’20 a game misconduct and a five-minute major.
While the Bulldogs steadily held off the two-man advantage, playing four-on-five for nearly four minutes ended up being too much as Cornell claimed the lead with just under a minute left on its power play and nearly three minutes left in the period. Facing the Cornell powerplay turned out to be a momentum shifter, as the Big Red went on to net five straight goals after that controversial call. Cornell showed fans who attended Saturday’s tilt why it was number one in the nation as they pulled away with a 5–1 victory.
“Anyone can beat anyone, the scores of the games are very close most of the time,” defender Tabea Botthof ’22 said. “This is why we are confident heading into the playoffs, knowing that anything is possible.”
The Bulldogs will take on No. 10 Quinnipiac and No. 5 Princeton this coming weekend, looking to make history and secure home-ice advantage in the postseason.
Akshar Agarwal | email@example.com
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