The No. 4 Yale women’s hockey team (28–3–1, 19–3–1 ECAC) fought hard against No. 9 Clarkson University (29–10–2, 15–6–1), but turned up short in the 4-3 double overtime loss at home.

The Bulldogs entered Friday’s game as the No.1 seed in the ECAC. With a win against Harvard University on Feb. 18, Yale won the ECAC regular season for the first time in program history. The team had also won both regular season competitions against Clarkson.

“The second game when we played here, I actually thought that was probably one of the better games we played,” Clarkson head coach Matt Desrosiers said after Friday’s game. “I think the confidence level in ourselves, knowing that we can get the job done against any team in the country kind of helped us through it.”

The heartbreaking loss saw Yale drop from No. 2 in the nation to No. 4 while Colgate, the only team to have beaten Yale this regular season, moved into third place in the NPI rankings. Colgate won the ECAC Championship for the third year in a row.

On Friday, Clarkson took the lead early in the game, scoring within the first three minutes.  Midway through the first period, Elle Hartje ’24 tied up the game at one. Extending her point streak to 18 games, Hartje, in the corner, sent the puck to the front of the net where it was tipped into the goal by Clarkson’s netminder.

Early in the second period, captain Claire Dalton ’23 helped the Bulldogs gain the lead as she passed to Charlotte Welch ’23, who slid the puck past the Clarkson goalie. Dalton holds Yale’s career assists record with 89. Hartje, at 87 assists, and Welch, at 83 assists, are close behind. 

Yale’s lead did not last long, as Clarkson scored just 12 seconds later. Less than three minutes after that, Emma DeCorby ’25 fired one home, leaving four Clarkson players lying in the crease after a scrum in front of the net. After two periods of play, the score was 3–2.

Clarkson tied the game at 3–3 late in the third period on the powerplay. The game remained tied at the end of regulation, resulting in overtime.

“It’s very nerve-wracking, but as long as it doesn’t go in, that’s all that matters,” Clarkson goalie Michelle Pasiechnyk said about Yale’s plentiful opportunities in overtime.

In overtime, the Bulldogs battled and had many chances in front of the net, but failed to convert.

With 11 minutes left in sudden-death overtime, Yale was caught on a line change and Pia Dukaric ’25 found herself facing two Clarkson players alone. Dukaric, ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Year, made a clutch glove save to keep Yale in the game.

Dukaric is also a top-three finalist for the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) National Goalie of the Year Award and a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. She made 27 saves for Yale in Friday’s game.

After a full extra 20 minutes of play, the game remained tied. Just 30 seconds into the second overtime period, Clarkson scored off the faceoff to win the game, marking Yale’s third loss of the season.

“We’ll be ready,” Yale head coach Mark Bolding said after the loss. “We just have to get back to work and clean up some details.”

Bolding, named the ECAC and Ivy League Coach of the Year, is already looking ahead to the next game in the Bulldogs’ fight to return to the Frozen Four.

The Bulldogs will have the opportunity to host No. 5 seed Northeastern in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship on Saturday, March 11 at 3 p.m. This is the second time in program history that Yale has made the NCAA women’s ice hockey tournament.

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