WOMEN’S HOCKEY: Elis complete Union sweep in a rare come-from-behind victory
Two unlucky plays were not enough to stop No. 7 Yale from beating Union 3–2 Tuesday night. The conference-leading Bulldogs are set to face No. 9 Clarkson and St. Lawrence at home this weekend.
Melanie Heller, Staff Photogapher
The No. 7 Bulldogs learned the parameters of the 20-minute period in a Tuesday night matchup against Union.
Last time the Elis (19–5–1, 13–4–1 ECAC) took on the Dutchwomen (4–25–1, 1–17–0) was in Schenectady, New York last Saturday, where the Blue and White froze the home team solid, winning 7–0.
“I think that it’s important that we have a short-term memory and not to underestimate a good Union team that will be hungry to get three points and some redemption,” Tess Dettling ’22 told the News ahead of Tuesday’s game.
The second leg of the home-and-home series proved more difficult than the first, with Yale edging ahead of Union 3–2 despite a 37–15 shot advantage.
Midway through the first frame, Elle Hartje ’24 dangled through traffic in the slot to set up a rebound for Dettling. As goalie Sophie Matsoukas made the second save, Hartje dove to finally knock it home. As the puck was making its way through the crease, a Union defender checked Dettling into the goal, displacing the pipes off-center. The play was declared a no-goal upon video review. After twenty minutes, the Bulldogs outshot the Dutchwomen 12–5, but the scoreboard still showed zeros.
Union was the first to score after taking advantage of a crosschecking penalty called on Kaitlyn Rippon ’23. Five minutes later, the Dutchwomen got lucky again and dug a 2–0 hole for the Bulldogs.
“When you miss your chances early, it can come back to bite you,” head coach Mark Bolding said. “We haven’t come back from two before this year.”
The two-goal deficit did not last long as just 29 seconds after the center ice faceoff, Charlotte Welch ’23 fed the puck to Rebecca Vanstone ’23, who shot it in from the backdoor.
As time was expiring in the second period, the Elis bombarded netminder Matsoukas. Emma Seitz ’23 found an opening and made it through, beating the goalie but not the buzzer.
Midway through the third, Vita Poniatovskaia ’25 fed the puck to Hartje from the corner, who shot a one-timer past the goaltender from the slot to tie the score at two.
With just over three minutes remaining in regulation, a boarding minor from Emily King gave the Bulldogs an opportunity to secure the victory. Despite converting on three of five power plays last Saturday, the Bulldogs were unsuccessful across four advantages. The final minute of even-strength play showed desperation on both sides as they were looking to collect three points and avoid overtime.
Hartje put a shot on net while Claire Dalton ’23 and Grace Lee ’24 got to work crashing the net and battling to get past Matsoukas. It was Lee who had the lucky poke to put the Elis ahead 3–2 with 26.3 seconds remaining in the game.
“Luckily it was headed toward the net and I got a piece of it,” Lee told Yale Athletics. “It was not our best game, but we had [the] resilience and came through at the end.”
The victory set the Yale squad up in a favorable position going into the last few games of the regular season, catapulting them over No. 9 Clarkson and No. 6 Harvard and into first place in the ECAC. Tuesday night’s 13th conference win also tied a season-best for the Bulldogs.
Lee’s goal was the team’s 97th, breaking a program record for most goals in one season. Besides scoring the game-tying goal, Hartje’s assist on the Lee tally was her 29th on the year, giving her sole possession of the program’s single-season assist record. With 29 apples over 24 games played, Hartje is currently ranked third in the country for assists per game.
This weekend, Yale will remain at Ingalls rink to play No. 9 Clarkson (21–6–3, 12–5–1) and St. Lawrence (14–10–5, 10–5–2). During the first half of the season, the Bulldogs traveled to New York to face the Saints and the Golden Knights, coming home with four of six possible points.
A five-minute period of three-on-three overtime couldn’t settle the score in Canton, New York as the Yale team skated off the ice in a 4–4 draw. The next day, the Bulldogs came hungry, collecting a 4–2 victory over the Golden Knights.
Last weekend, Clarkson suffered an overtime loss to Quinnipiac, who shares the No. 9 national ranking with the Golden Knights. They ended the weekend on a high note after walloping Princeton 7–1.
St. Lawrence has won seven of its eight games, including back-to-back victories over Quinnipiac last weekend.
In its last home games of the regular season, Yale will face off against Clarkson on Friday, Feb. 11 at 6:00 p.m. and against St. Lawrence on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 3:00 p.m.