The Yale women’s hockey team (14–4–1, 8–3–1 ECAC) was busy in the early weeks of 2022. In its last five games, No. 8 Yale shook the dust off and continued its competitive play with a record of 4–1. 

The Bulldogs opened the new year with a 4–2 win at Dartmouth (8–13–0, 2–12–0) on Jan. 14, marking the Bulldogs’ first game in more than a month, and the team had to work hard to stay sharp. 

“The break from games is definitely long but it’s nice to have the time to recharge a bit and get ready for the second half of the season,” said forward Charlotte Welch ’23. “Because we have a uniquely larger team this year numbers-wise, we are able to scrimmage in practice which is super helpful in getting ready for games after a long time off.” 

The next day, the Bulldogs stumbled against No. 6 Harvard (14–5–0, 6–2–0), losing 3–1 in Cambridge after beating the Crimson 3–1 earlier this season at The Whale in November.

Harvard scored early in the game with two goals in the first five minutes of play. Shortly after Yale went down 1–0, defenseman Olivia Muhn ’25 was sent to the penalty box for checking. Just 22 seconds later, captain Greta Skarzynski ’22 joined Muhn in the box for tripping. While the Bulldogs attempted to fight off the 5-on-3 penalty kill, the Crimson managed to score the second goal of the night. 

Three minutes later, Welch cut Harvard’s lead in half with a backhand shot from the top of the crease that went five-hole. The score remained 2–1 after the second. 

After a hard fought second period, Yale pulled goalie Gianna Meloni ’22 from net with less than 90 seconds to go in the game. During the 6-on-5 play, Yale managed to secure five shots; however, their efforts were not enough. Harvard scored an empty net goal with just seven seconds left to solidify the 3–1 loss for Yale. 

After the Harvard defeat, the Bulldogs looked to rebound against a Sacred Heart team (10–10–1, 5–4–1 NEWHA) they had already beaten twice: once on the road 7–0 and once on neutral ice at the Nutmeg Classic 4–1

The Bulldogs looked to rebound against the familiar opponent, and left the ice satisfied with a 6–0 win on January 18. The Elis’ offense shined with Kiersten Goode ’24 and Elle Hartje ’24 each scoring two goals.

The Bulldogs shelled the Pioneers’ net all night, ending with 53 shots on goal. Meanwhile, on the defensive end, goalie Pia Dukaric ’25 made 17 saves for her second shutout of the season.

After the 6–0 win against Sacred Heart, the Bulldogs faced fierce competition from No. 9 Colgate (18–5–1, 8–3–1) on January 21. Meloni stood on her head to help secure Yale’s 3–0 win with her fifth shutout of the season after facing a total of 26 shots and shutting down three power-plays.

“The team was really dialed in for the Colgate game and played a hard sixty minutes at both ends of the ice,” Meloni said. “It’s fun to play in those games when you’re competing hard and everyone buys in one hundred percent.”

After 40 minutes of scoreless play, the Bulldogs scored three unanswered goals from three different players. Emma Harvey ’25 split the Colgate defense and found Rebecca Foggia ’22 down the ice for a pass. Foggia shot one past the Raiders’ goalie on a breakaway early in the third period to make the game 1–0. Later in the third period, Tess Dettling ’22 attempted a wrap-around shot. Welch crashed the net and capitalized on the rebound with a back-door, bardown shot for a short-handed goal for Yale. 

The Raiders pulled their goalie less than a minute after Welch’s goal. Hartje scored an empty net goal with under five minutes left to go in the game for her tenth goal of the season. 

The next day, Yale faced off against Cornell (7–8–1, 5–5–1) for a solid 4–1 victory. The game proved to be aggressive with a total of nine penalties between the two teams. 

“This was a terrific weekend of hockey for our team,” head coach Mark Bolding told Yale Athletics. “To get all the available league points was a huge success. We scored a lot of different ways and also defended well. I am excited to keep improving as the road to the playoffs gets closer.” 

After Cornell took the lead midway through the first period, forward Rebecca Vanstone ’23 evened the score early in the second with a backhand shot off of a breakaway. Claire Dalton ’23 gave the Bulldogs the lead going into the second intermission when she scored after following up on Hartje’s initial shot.

At the start of the third frame, Anna Bargman ’25 returned to the ice after serving time in the box for her second penalty of the game. As she went in on a breakaway that shift, she was tripped from behind by Cornell’s Izzy Daniel. On her penalty shot, Bargman beat the Cornell goalie top shelf glove-side. Bargman got her second goal of the night on an empty net goal after the Big Red pulled their goalie with a little more than three minutes left in the game. 

The Massachusetts native was named ECAC Rookie of the Week for her performance this past weekend as she now ranked seventh on the team for points with a total of seven goals and 13 points this season, leading all new Bulldogs.

After winning six of their last seven games, the Elis hope to continue their hot streak as they head into this week. 

“This week, RPI and Brown should be good tests — hopefully we can keep our structures in place and earn a couple wins,” Welch said. 

The Yale women’s hockey team is scheduled to face off at home against RPI on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. This weekend, the Bulldogs compete against Brown in back-to-back games. The team will first travel to Providence for a 6 p.m. game on Friday before returning to Ingalls Rink for their Saturday game at 6 p.m. All games will be streamed live on ESPN+.

Rosa Braceras covers Women’s Ice Hockey, Softball, and other sports news. She is a senior in Benjamin Franklin College majoring in History.
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.