Young Bulldogs Battle to 3-3 OT Tie at BC

Tara Tomimoto celebrates her first career goal. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Tara Tomimoto celebrates her first career goal. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Tomimoto Scores First Career Goal

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - With a pair of freshmen providing goals and a sophomore minding the net, Yale's youth was on display Saturday afternoon against Boston College at Kelley Rink. Freshman defenseman Tara Tomimoto's first career goal got Yale on the scoreboard as part of a see-saw second period that saw the two teams combine for five goals in a span of less than three minutes. That flurry left the score 3-3, and -- thanks in part to 26 saves from sophomore goalie Genny Ladiges -- that was where it ended.

BC (5-7-8, 4-4-4-4 Hockey East) scored the lone goal of the first period (from forward Ashley Motherwell) with just five seconds remaining. Despite being outshot 9-7 in the first, the Bulldogs had some quality chances. The best came with 6:40 left, but BC goalie Corinne Boyles denied senior forward Berit Johnson's wrister from the slot following a pass off the boards, and Boyles also turned aside freshman forward Danielle Moncion's rebound attempt. Boyles would finish with 28 saves.

Freshman forward Natalie Wedell drew a hooking penalty on the Eagles with five minutes left in the first, giving the Bulldogs their second power play of the period. But sophomore forward Aleca Hughes' attempt to stuff the puck in at the left post was denied right before she crashed into the goal and knocked it off its moorings. A Yale penalty 40 seconds later ended the power play.

Midway through the second the duel between the two goaltenders momentarily turned into a shootout. It started with Tomimoto's goal, which came after freshman forward Danielle Moncion and freshman defenseman Jamie Gray got her the puck just inside the blue line above the right circle. She lofted a wrist shot towards the net that found its way through traffic and over the left shoulder of Boyle at 9:50.

Yale's freshmen appear to have learned the importance of getting pucks to the net, as illustrated less than a minute later by defenseman Emily DesMeules. DesMeules, who scored her first career goal a week earlier in a win over Vermont, was at a tough angle low in the left circle and decided to send the puck in front hoping for something good to happen. It wound up hitting off a BC player and going past a helpless Boyle to give Yale a 2-1 lead.

The Bulldog celebration was short-lived, however, as BC answered with a goal by forward Mary Restuccia 35 seconds later. But the wild sequence continued as the Bulldogs scored again right at the eight-minute mark. Junior forward Bray Ketchum and freshman forward Jen Matichuk were in perfect position in front of the net for a pass from the boards by sophomore forward Aleca Hughes. Ketchum knocked it in to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead. Matichuk, who picked up an assist on the play, wound up finishing with a team-best +2 for the game.

BC once again responded immediately, however, as forward Kristina Brown scored at 12:42 to give the game its third tie. That wound up being the last one, as the third period belonged to the goalies. Freshman forward Alyssa Zupon had a pair of Grade-A chances denied two minutes in, the first on a save by Boyles and the second when her attempt to chip in a rebound with Boyles out of position got deflected high over the net.

Zupon then drew a checking penalty on BC, but senior defenseman Alyssa Clarke sent a wrist shot wide of the far post and Boyles denied Ketchum's wrister and Hughes' attempt at the rebound right as the Yale power play ended.

Shortly after Boyles made a save on a slap shot from freshman defenseman Jamie Gray and also stopped Johnson's rebound attempt, the Bulldogs were hit with a holding call. Ladiges made two big saves, denying Restuccia and then forward Allie Thunstrom as she hacked away at the rebound. Another BC shot hit the post, and sophomore forward Becky Mantell eventually backhanded the puck out of the zone to help end the threat. Ladiges deflected away a shot by forward Danielle Welch off a faceoff right after the Yale penalty expired.

The Bulldogs incurred another penalty with 6:22 to play, but senior defenseman Alyssa Clarke drew a hooking call 35 seconds later that helped Yale finish 3-for-3 on penalty kills.

Hughes generated several quality scoring chances in the final minutes, including one where she beat two defenders for a wrister that just missed beating Boyles high on her glove side. The Eagles had the final scoring threat of regulation thanks to a 2-on-1 with a minute left, but junior defenseman Samantha MacLean shut down the passing lane and BC was not even able to get a shot off.

Boyles made three saves in overtime and Ladiges made two to preserve the 3-3 tie. Ladiges' biggest stop came when a turnover in front of the net gave Thunstrom the chance to try a wrist shot, but Ladiges got a piece of it with her blocker to keep it from going in.

As nice as it was to tie a team that was in the NCAA tournament last season, Yale had an even better reason to celebrate long after the game was over on Saturday. When the Bulldogs returned to New Haven, they were met at Ingalls Rink by a special guest: senior forward Mandi Schwartz. After being away for more than a year battling leukemia back home in Saskatchewan, Schwartz had returned to New Haven on Friday while the team was on the road in Boston. Saturday night was her first chance to reunite with her teammates. Now in remission, Schwartz is back in school this semester. She intends to start practicing with the team in preparation for a return to the ice for the 2010-11 season.

Yale (4-10-3, 2-7-1 ECAC Hockey) returns to conference play next weekend, hosting Union and RPI.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity