In the last two home games of the regular season, No. 6 Yale (21–5–1, 14–4–1 ECAC) swept No. 10 Clarkson (22–7–3, 13–6–1) and St. Lawrence (14–11–7, 10–6–4). 

The two wins this weekend propelled the Bulldogs into first place in the ECAC with a solid two point lead over second-place Harvard. The Elis further surpassed the program record for number of wins in a season and are now on a six game winning streak. 

Friday night’s game against the Golden Knights proved to be tough competition, but the Bulldogs fought hard for the 3–1 win. 

“This was a great effort and win for the team, it sure felt like a playoff tilt tonight,” head coach Mark Bolding told Yale Athletics.

After a scoreless first period, captain Greta Skarzynski ’22 scored just 14 seconds into the second frame with a high shot from the point. 

Clarkson tied the game up at 1–1 just four minutes later after Charlotte Welch ’23 was sent to the penalty box for tripping earlier in the second period. 

Welch redeemed herself after scoring a powerplay goal of her own less than two minutes later making the game 2–1. After a smart look from Emma Seitz ’23, Welch found herself on a breakaway where she beat the Clarkson goalie with a glove-side bar-down shot.

The score remained 2–1 late into the third period. In desperation, Clarkson pulled its goalie with a little over 90 seconds to go in the game.

After a defensive zone faceoff for Yale with just 12 seconds remaining, Tess Dettling ’22 provided the fans at Ingalls Rink a sigh of relief as she scored an empty net goal with five seconds left in regulation. Dettling celebrated her 100th career game on Friday night along with her 13th career goal. 

“I thought it was an all around great team win with a playoff-like intensity,” Dettling told Yale Athletics after Friday night’s win. “Clarkson brought the best out of us tonight, and it was three points that we really needed. Our goaltending was outstanding and I think this is a huge confidence booster going into tomorrow.”

Gianna Meloni ’22 helped keep Yale in the lead, stopping 26 of the 27 shots she faced. Clarkson led in shots on goal throughout the game ending the game with a 27–19 shot advantage.

Saturday’s game at Ingalls Rink marked the last home game of the regular season. The Bulldogs celebrated their seniors with a 3–1 win against St. Lawrence on Senior Day. The Bulldogs have five seniors on the team: Skarzynski, Meloni, Rebecca Foggia ’22, Dettling and Maya Kerfoot ’22. Foggia’s night was made extra special as she played in her 100th career game that same day.

After a little over six minutes of play, Welch found Claire Dalton ’23 in the slot for the one-timer. Dalton started off the game by scoring her tenth goal of the season and making the score 1–0. Yale dominated the first period and led shots on goal 12–6 going into the second.

“We were super excited for this past weekend and were very happy to get two wins for our seniors,” Welch said. “SLU played us tough and it was a high-quality back-and-forth game — Gianna made some difficult saves on the back end and we were able to sneak a couple through up front.”

With less than 20 seconds to go in the first period, St. Lawrence’s Kristina Bahl got a two-minute penalty for checking. The Bulldogs started the second period with 1:42 remaining in the power-play. With 35 seconds left in the power-play, Yale got a penalty for too many players on the ice. Vita Poniatovskaia ’25 served the time for the Bulldogs. The two teams played four-on-four for those 35 seconds.  

Elle Hartje ’24 joined Poniatovskaia in the box for cross-checking 27 seconds into the penalty kill leading to a five-on-three disadvantage for Yale. The five-on-three penalty kill lasted for a total of 62 seconds. 

After Poniatovaskaia was released from the box and the penalty-kill returned to five-on-four play, the Saints shot one past Meloni, tying up the score at one each.

Ten minutes later, Becca Vanstone ’23 took back the lead for the Elis with a goal assisted by Welch. 

The Saints decided to pull their goalie with less than two minutes to go in the game. Both the St. Lawrence and Yale teams used their timeouts in the last three minutes of the game. With 15.5 seconds left on the clock, Skarzynski sank an empty net goal from Yale’s defensive blue line.

“It’s nice to know we’ll have home ice for the playoffs so it didn’t feel as emotional as maybe it would’ve if we were uncertain,” Skarzynski said. “We also knew we had to focus on playing well before we could celebrate our success.”

The puck drops at No. 9 Quinnipiac on Friday, Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. Yale’s last game of the regular season will be at Princeton on Saturday, Feb. 19 at 3 p.m. Both games will be streamed 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.