The Yale women’s hockey team downed the visiting Boston University Terriers by a score of 3–2 on Wednesday night. 

Even with over a week’s gap since their last games at the Nutmeg Classic, the No. 7 Bulldogs (10–3–1, 5–2–1 ECAC) proved they are a force to be reckoned with. The final game of 2021 was a success for the Elis as they skated away with a 3–2 victory over the Terriers (9–6–3, 8–4–3 Hockey East), who came into the game with high ambitions of taking down the Yale team. 

“I think this is a good test for us to be able to go down and play Yale,” BU associate head coach Kerstin Matthews said prior to the game to The Daily Free Press. “They’re nationally ranked, and we’d like to be able to show what we can do here.”

The Elis controlled much of the first period, but it took nearly 18 minutes for them to find the back of the net. It was a pass from Elle Hartje ’24 in the corner to Rebecca Vanstone ’23 in the slot that put the Blue and White on the scoreboard.

In the second period, a BU goal tied the game causing the Bulldogs to roar to life as they quickly scored two goals in the final five minutes of the second period to put them in the driver’s seat entering the third. 

While playing an aggressive game, the Bulldogs showed their mettle by recording no penalties all night, in comparison to the Terriers’ four minor penalties.

The second goal of the game came on the Bulldogs fourth power play of the night, as Anna Bargman ’25 shoveled in a shot from the point by leading Bulldogs scorer Emma Seitz ’23. The Elis have proved to have a successful power play, often taking them over the top in tight contests. Their 0.317 conversion percentage on the power play is the second highest in the nation, behind only Ohio State University.

The unique part of the Bulldogs’ power play units is that they have two defenseman on both the first and second units, while most teams usually opt for four forwards and a single defenseman. 

Seitz really wants it, and Vita [Poniatovskaia ’25] is fantastic. Then [Olivia] Muhn [’25] and [Greta] Skarzynski [’22] on the other power play. Just going low to high and trying to move their P.K. around and throw pucks at the net,” head coach Mark Bolding said when asked about the defensemen on his power play units. “We’ve scored a lot of nice tic-tac-toe power play goals this year, but sure enough just a D-to-D, hammer it to the net and we bang in a rebound. Sometimes that’s your best power play, just shooting the puck.”

The Elis did not wait to strike again, as only 57 seconds later Vanstone and Hartje linked up for the second time in the night when Vanstone finished in tight after a sweet move from Hartje to beat her defender. 

In the third frame, however, the Terriers showed their firepower. Forward Mackenna Parker roofed a shot crossbar down to pull her team within one of the Bulldogs.

The final minutes of the game were tense as Boston University pushed to tie the game, but goalie Pia Dukaric ’25 stood tall with a couple of timely saves and once the dust settled the Bulldogs emerged with a 3–2 victory. 

Vanstone credited both her teammates and the coaching staff for her big night. Her two goals makes her the second leading goalscorer on the team behind star player Seitz. 

“Both the plays were just really good forechecks by my linemates, Elle Hartje and Anna Bargman,” said Vanstone on her two goal outing. “We’ve been working on forecheck a lot this week, and I really thought it paid off.”

Vanstone (2–0–2) and Hartje (0–2–2) were recognized for their efforts with first and second stars of the game, respectively.

Spencer King is an Editor for the Sports desk. He has covered the Yale football and women's ice hockey teams. He has also previously covered the Yale men's lacrosse team and most things Bulldogs sports. Spencer is a junior in Davenport College and is majoring in Political Science.