Sophomore Goalie Makes 32 Saves
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The entirety of sophomore goalie Erin Callahan's varsity experience prior to Friday night was 20 minutes in the third period of a 10-1 win over Sacred Heart last season, when she stopped four of the five shots she faced. But when senior goalie Jackee Snikeris was injured in the first period against No. 9 Harvard at the Bright Center, Callahan stepped in to the high-pressure situation and made 32 saves, helping Yale pull out a 3-3 tie with its archrival.
"I didn't know what to expect when we put her in there, but I was impressed," said Yale head coach Joakim Flygh. "She settled in nicely and made some great saves, and two of the goals she gave up were on power plays."
Other than a tie Feb. 3, 2006, Yale had lost every road game against Harvard since 1981. The Bulldogs were outshot heavily in this one, 42 to 13, but Callahan kept them in the game -- and came within 14 seconds of helping them pull out what would have been a stunning win. Yale had the lead at three different times during the game, but each time Harvard wound up coming back to tie.
"This was a great opportunity to win, but unfortunately it wound up in a tie," Flygh said. "Our kids battled so hard. We thought we had it."
Callahan came on to replace Snikeris 7:59 into the game. The Bulldogs grabbed a 1-0 lead on a power play goal by freshman forward Jackie Raines at 12:33 of the first, set up by senior forward Bray Ketchum. Harvard tied the game on a Katharine Chute goal two minutes later, but another Bulldog freshman -- forward Jennifer Lawrence -- scored on a power play at 17:25 to put Yale up 2-1. It was the first career goal for Lawrence and the first career point for freshman defenseman Aurora Kennedy, who assisted on the play.
The Bulldogs were unable to take advantage of a five-minute major early in the second period, and Harvard tied things up with a 5-on-3 goal from Liza Ryabkina at 16:49. Yale went back ahead 3-2 on a goal by sophomore forward Alyssa Zupon at 10:54 of the third, as she stuffed in a loose puck off assists by Kennedy and junior defenseman Heather Grant. Zupon became the first non-freshman to score a goal for the Bulldogs this season.
"We knew the rebounds and second-effort goals would be there, and that's what all three goals tonight were," said Flygh. "It's a credit to our kids, fighting through traffic and crashing for rebounds."
Harvard then got a power play with 1:52 to play. The final minute of regulation was a hectic one, as shortly after freshman forward Jenna Ciotti cleared the puck Harvard pulled goalie Laura Bellamy (10 saves). Senior defenseman Samantha MacLean blocked a shot in the waning moments, but Ryabkina was able to tie it on a shot from the point with 14 seconds to play.
Harvard (0-0-1, 0-0-1 ECAC Hockey) also got a power play 25 seconds into overtime, but the Bulldogs killed it off. Callahan stopped four shots in the extra session to finish off her big day.
The game was the first ECAC Hockey game for Flygh, who had been an assistant at Harvard for three seasons prior to being hired at Yale.
"I had some nice times before and after the game with the Harvard people that I know," Flygh said. "But once the puck dropped I was so wrapped up in what we were doing I didn't really think much about being back."
Yale (0-1-2, 0-0-1 ECAC Hockey) plays at Dartmouth Saturday night.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity