Sets Mark Just 49 Games into Career
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Sarah Love '06 earned her spot in Heritage Hall at Ingalls Rink with stats that place her as one of the best goalies ever to wear the Yale uniform. But when it comes to shutouts, junior goaltender Jackee Snikeris wasted no time in passing Love in the Yale record book. Snikeris posted her 13th career whitewash Saturday afternoon, a 3-0 win over Brown at Ingalls, breaking the record in fewer than half the games Love played. Sophomore forward Aleca Hughes, junior forward Bray Ketchum and senior forward Caroline Murphy provided Yale's goals.
"With about 1:30 to go in the game it hit me," said Yale head coach Hilary Witt. "This is a great accomplishment for her, especially considering the amount of games she has played."
Love's record was set over the course of 113 games, making the fact that Snikeris broke it in just her 49th career game all the more impressive. Snikeris platooned her freshman year, then was sidelined for parts of her sophomore season, so this is the first season in which she has played more than 16 games.
The team Snikeris got the record against was the very same team she started her run against. Her 3-0 blanking of the Bears Nov. 3, 2007 came in just her second game, and she added three shutouts more her freshman year. She tied Love's single-season shutout mark with five last season, and now has four this season -- including three in her last five games.
Yale had an early edge in shots on goal in the first period, but Brown goalie Katie Jamieson kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard. Brown was hit with a too many men on the ice penalty just four minutes into the game, but Ketchum just missed connecting with freshman forward Alyssa Zupon on a pass, and Jamieson then cradled a long-distance slap shot by Ketchum. Jamieson also made a nice kick save on a shot by sophomore forward Becky Mantell after the penalty ended, with the rebound just eluding freshman forward Natalie Wedell.
Snikeris made her first big save by gloving a slap shot from the right point by defenseman Jacquie Pierri with heavy traffic in front of the net. Right after that a penalty on the Bulldogs gave Brown the chance to start piling up shots on goal, but Snikeris stopped them all.
Hughes hit the post on a wrist shot with three minutes left in the period, and the Bears also broke up a chance for Ketchum in the final seconds. The teams went into the first intermission scoreless.
Hughes and Ketchum have been Yale's 1-2 scoring punch all season long, and on Saturday they got Brown reeling by scoring less than 90 seconds apart near the start of the second period. Jamieson made a nice save on a wrist shot from Hughes after a Ketchum pass 20 seconds in. She also gloved a slap shot by junior defenseman Samantha MacLean right after that, but MacLean tried again when Zupon won the ensuing faceoff back to her -- this time with better results. Ketchum deflected MacLean's low shot past Jamieson for a 1-0 lead at the 1:34 mark.
Shortly after that senior defenseman Alyssa Clarke got the puck down low to Ketchum, and she fed it from behind the net to Hughes in the right circle. Hughes stuck it past Jamieson's extended right leg at the far post for a 2-0 lead.
A penalty on the Bulldogs gave Brown a chance to reverse the momentum, but Ketchum started the penalty kill off with a block and Zupon finished it with a pair of blocks. MacLean wound up being on the ice for the entirety of the two-minute kill.
After the penalty kill Brown had another golden opportunity when a falling Yale defender gave Pierri the chance to come in all alone on Snikeris, but she sent the shot wide. The Bears also took advantage of a turnover during a Yale power play late in the period for another breakaway, but Snikeris denied forward Sasha Van Muyen. After the initial save forward Erica Farrer tried to stuff the puck in as a sprawled out Snikeris covered it in the crease. Farrer did eventually get it over the goal line, but by then the whistle had already blown. The call was upheld after a brief video review, and Yale took a 2-0 lead into the third period.
Yale finished off its third successful penalty kill of the game (and 22nd in a row) as the third period got underway. Murphy then gave the Bulldogs some breathing room on a power play with 14:05 left in the game. After Mantell won a faceoff in the Brown zone, Murphy took the puck down low and exchanged it with senior forward Berit Johnson. After getting the return pass Murphy headed to the net. Jamieson denied her first attempt, but Murphy kept chipping away and was able to knock the puck in with her second effort.
"It was a good play by Murph to go to the net and stay on her own rebound," Witt said. "Both of our power-play units did a nice job today."
Van Muyen used her speed down the left wing to generate a Brown threat with six minutes left, but Snikeris came up with another big save. After that the Bulldogs for the most part kept the pressure off their goalie, with freshman defenseman Emily DesMeules breaking up a potentially dangerous pass in the Yale zone with 11:20 to play and the Bears getting hit with another penalty right after that.
Snikeris ranged far out of the crease to keep the puck away from hard-charging forward Kath Surbey with 3:30 to play, then gloved a wrister by forward Alena Polenska with less than two minutes remaining. An icing call resulted in a faceoff in the Yale zone with a minute left, but the Bulldogs controlled the puck and ran out the clock on the historic shutout.
After the game the Bulldogs continued to keep one eye on the scoreboard and the ECAC Hockey standings. With a 5-1-1 mark in their last seven conference games they have moved into eighth place, holding down the last playoff spot. Right behind them is Colgate, which beat St. Lawrence 2-1 Saturday to leapfrog over Dartmouth into ninth place. Yale now has a two-point lead on the Big Green, as Dartmouth was idle Saturday. Seventh-place St. Lawrence is four points ahead of the Bulldogs.
Yale (8-11-3, 6-8-1 ECAC Hockey) and Brown (2-15-4, 0-12-3 ECAC Hockey) play again Sunday at Meehan Auditorium at 2 p.m.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity
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