No. 7 Yale women’s hockey (23–7–1, ECAC 16–5–1) faced off against St. Lawrence (15–14–7, 10–8–4) for the second game in the first round of ECAC playoffs this Saturday. Yale is seeded second in the ECAC, whereas St. Lawrence is seeded seventh.

After a disappointing 4–2 loss, the Bulldogs looked to force a Sunday game in the best-of-three series. 

“We got outplayed,” head coach Mark Bolding said following the Friday loss. “We had spurts of momentum and momentum is big in the playoffs. Scoring first is big this time of year. Give them credit, we have not been outshot a lot this year. We are a little frustrated, but I know we will respond tomorrow.”

Bolding was right about his team. 

St. Lawrence led in shots throughout game one of the series. On Saturday, the Elis turned it around. Yale improved its puck control and led the first period 13–6 in shots and continued to crash the net, leading to numerous chances.

“We knew they were going to come out hard. They really wanted to win,” goalie Gianna Meloni ’22 said. “Our team was very strong tonight, got a lot of shots on net, and made their goalie work. We’re really happy with how we played. Great team win.”

Within the first five minutes of play, Yale found itself on a power play after St. Lawrence forward Shailynn Snow tripped Charlotte Welch ’23 at the offensive blueline near the Saints’ bench. During the power play, the Bulldogs managed to put pressure on the Saints with four shots, but failed to place one on net. In Friday night’s game, the Elis did not have a full two minute power play due to lack of time in regulation.

Just three minutes later, St. Lawerence took the lead with a bar down shot from a Saints rush into the zone. 

After Saints’ defense Chloé Puddifant was sent to the box for a holding penalty against Claire Dalton ’23 in the neutral zone, the Bulldogs went on their second power-play of the game. 16 seconds later, Emma Seitz ’23 shot one past the St. Lawrence goalie from the left face-off circle after receiving a pass from Olivia Muhn ’25. The goal went under video review for goalie interference, but was later confirmed. 

The second period proved to be eventful for the Bulldogs, who led 27–10 in shots after 40 minutes. 

St. Lawrence called a timeout after less than four minutes into the second period after continuous Yale offensive pressure. The timeout paid off as the Saints knocked one in with fewer than eight minutes to go in the second period, making the score 2–1.  

Seitz tied the game at two with three minutes remaining in the second. For her second goal of the game, Seitz poked the puck past the Saints’ goalie from the right side of the crease after receiving the rebound off of her initial shot from the slot. 

Rookie Anja Trummer ’25 won the center ice faceoff and just 13 seconds later scored top-shelf blocker side from the slot after a give-and-go play with Rebecca Vanstone ’23. Trummer’s goal made the game 3–2 and put Yale in the lead for the first time this series. 

“It started off with a great play. Vanstone made an amazing pass to the slot and then all I had to do was just snipe her,” Trummer said about scoring her second career goal on Saturday. “The feeling was amazing especially in such a big game to score the game winning goal; just a good team effort.”

The Elis’ momentum continued as Saints’ defender Claire Dudley got two minutes for checking with under 14 minutes to go in the game. While having her back to the net, Welch scored the second power-play goal of the game for Yale with a backhand shot after collecting the rebound off Vita Poniatovskaia’s ’25 shot from the point. 

“Everyone was dialed in. Every single member of this team really wanted to win and we worked really hard to get it,” Trummer said. “Everyone’s giving 100%.”

Yale’s special teams made the difference in the second game of the series, helping the Blue and White to both add pressure and fend off St. Lawrence’s attack. 

With a little more than four minutes left in the game, St. Lawerence pulled its goalie. 13 seconds later, Yale was faced with a 6-on-4 for two minutes after Kaitlyn Rippon ’23 got a penalty for checking. 

Yale successfully fended off St. Lawrence’s strong offensive pressure in the last minutes of play to stave off playoff elimination with a 4–2 win.

“You got to have a good goaltender to have a good PK, so it worked,” Bolding said when discussing Yale’s special teams. “Gianna was a true veteran and a leader today. Really, really happy with how she performed.”

Bolding put Meloni between the pipes of Saturday’s game after Pia Dukaric ’25 started in net on Friday, stopping 28 of 32 shots on goal. Last week, Meloni was tapped as a finalist for the ECAC Goalie of the Year award. 

According to Bolding, Meloni will start in goal for tomorrow’s game.

The two teams will meet again at Ingalls Rink tomorrow Sunday, Feb. 27 at 3:00 p.m. for the deciding game of the series. The game will also 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.