WOMEN’S HOCKEY: No. 2 Bulldogs extend win streak to 11
The Yale women’s hockey team continues to prove its status as an elite program with wins over Princeton and Quinnipiac.
With eight games left in the regular season, the Bulldogs are on track to have yet another record-breaking year.
The No. 2 Yale women’s hockey team (19–1–1, 12–1–1 ECAC) increased its win streak to 11 this past weekend after beating Princeton University (9–10–1, 5–9–0) and No. 4 Quinnipiac University (23–4–0, 13–2–0) on the road. Yale is also headed towards an Ivy League championship and will be strong contenders for the ECAC championship in the postseason.
Despite their continued success, the Bulldogs are not looking ahead to the postseason just yet.
“Right now the team is focused on finishing the regular season well,” captain Claire Dalton ’23 said. “All we can control is the games we have ahead, so there is no point in worrying about which opponent we might face as the postseason approaches.”
Vita Poniatovskaia ’25 started off the scoring less than three minutes into Friday’s game against Princeton. During four-on-four play, Dalton carried the puck into the zone on a 2-on-1 and passed across the slot for Poniatovskaia to slap past the Tiger goalie. Dalton is the all-time career assist leader at Yale with 80 assists, 12 more than the former record-holder Maria Dennis ’88.
About a minute later, Dalton sent the puck over the Princeton netminder’s right shoulder via her backhand, marking her fourth game-winning goal of the season. The Tigers scored at the end of the first period to make the game 2–1.
Yale goalie Pia Dukaric ’25 held the game at 2–1 through the second period, making a total of 20 saves throughout the game at Hobey Baker Rink.
Earlier this season, Dukaric was named to the 2023 National Goalie of the Year “Watch List” by the Women’s Hockey Commissioners Association. Against Brown, she broke the Yale women’s hockey record for single-season shutouts with a total of six.
With under nine minutes left in the competition, Elle Hartje ’24 cycled the puck behind the net and sent it back to Jordan Ray ’26 on the right face-off dot. Ray found Anna Bargman ’25 in the slot, allowing Bargman to bury one into the back of the net. The final score of Friday’s victory against Princeton was 3–1.
On Saturday, Yale made the short trip to Hamden to face off against its local rival, Quinnipiac.
The Bulldogs dominated the Bobcats in the first period of the Battle of Whitney Avenue. Yale worked the puck around the Quinnipiac net relentlessly, scoring three goals in the opening 20 minutes of play.
Dalton scored halfway through the first period with an assist from Charlotte Welch ’23, extending Welch’s point streak to seven games with 11 points (3–8) in that span.
Both Welch and Dalton have accomplished 100-point careers this season, the third and fourth players in program history to do so. Following Saturday’s game, Dalton ranks second in program history with 119 points (39–80) in 118 games played, while Welch sits at third with 109 points (39–70) in 115 games played. Hartje, who was named ECAC Forward of the Week on Jan. 17, joined the two seniors as members of the 100-point club last weekend against Brown.
“Being a very minor piece in the growth of this program through the last four years has been a great privilege for me,” Welch told the News. “I have complete faith that our success will continue after my class graduates.”
With less than four minutes left in the first period, Emma Seitz ’23 shot the puck past the Quinnipiac goalie to make it 2–0. Welch and Carina DiAntonio ’26 were given assists on the play. Two minutes later, DiAntonio scored with 43.4 seconds to go in the period.
This was only the fourth time this season that the Bobcats allowed three goals against in a single game. Quinnipiac’s game on Nov. 4 against Yale was one of those times.
“[Bolding’s] got his kids playing hard from the very beginning to the very end of the game,” Cassandra Turner, the head coach for Quinnipiac women’s hockey, said about Yale in a pre-game interview aired on ESPN+. “They fight no matter what’s happening in the game, whether they’re up or whether they’re down, they’re going to work and they’re going to work hard.”
After a scoreless second period, the Bobcats made a late third period push. Just before the halfway mark of the frame, Quinnipiac scored to narrow the score to 3–1. About four minutes later, Quinnipiac tightened Yale’s lead to one goal.
DiAntonio, with an assist from Welch, notched her second goal of the game 23 seconds after Quinnipiac pulled its goalie. The empty-net goal made the final score 4–2.
The Bulldogs are currently second in the ECAC with 37.5 conference points. Despite Saturday’s victory against the Bobcats, Quinnipiac remains in first place with 38 points in the ECAC.
“I think we built a lot of confidence over the break, being able to focus solely on hockey,” Dalton said. “Hopefully, we will maintain this confidence as we head into the semester. We have some tough games ahead that we need to win to win the regular season. We all know the importance of these games, so we will all be focused on hockey as much as possible while also balancing our school work.”
Yale women’s hockey will play in their first home game since students’ return to campus on Friday, Jan. 27 at 6 p.m. A Handsome Dan meet and greet is scheduled to occur during the game.