February 1, 2011

Snikeris, Bulldogs Shut Out Brown 4-0

Raines Scores Two, Adds an Assist

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Yale offense has been coming on of late, and senior goalie Jackee Snikeris has been playing some of the best hockey of her stellar career. Those two trends finally came together to add up to victory Tuesday night at Meehan Auditorium, as the Bulldogs beat Brown 4-0. Snikeris made 32 saves for her 14th career shutout, extending her school record in that category, and Yale got a pair of goals and an assist from freshman forward Jackie Raines.

Yale (6-14-2, 5-9-1 ECAC Hockey) had lost four in a row heading into Tuesday, but those losses had all been by two or fewer goals and the Bulldogs had scored three goals against No. 10 Harvard in their last game. Brown (2-17-3, 1-11-3 ECAC Hockey) had lost its last seven and was coming off shutouts at the hands of the Crimson and Dartmouth.

Yale struck quickly and decisively with a three-goal first period. Just 61 seconds in, sophomore forward Danielle Moncion got the puck to freshman forward Jenna Ciotti, who left it for Raines behind the net. Ciotti then came out in front and Raines got the puck to her to poke in for a 1-0 Yale lead.

"It was great to score the first goal, and we came out with some great energy," said Yale head coach Joakim Flygh. "But then we had back-to-back penalties, and never really got to reap the reward of that positive momentum."

Snikeris ended the second of two straight successful penalty kills with a dramatic kick save eight minutes in, and two minutes later the Bulldogs extended their lead. Senior forward Bray Ketchum carried the puck into the zone and dropped off a pass to Raines, who deked her way around a defender and deposited a shot top shelf from the left circle at 9:44.

Ketchum nearly extended the lead a minute later with Yale on a power play, hitting the left post with a slap shot from the point.

Brown goalie Katie Jamieson later made a nice save on a backhanded attempt in front by Raines, but the Bulldogs were able to tack on another goal five minutes before the first period ended. On a face-off sophomore forward Alyssa Zupon set up junior defenseman Heather Grant for a hard slap shot that Jamieson saved. But with a scrum of players in front looking for the rebound it popped loose to Jamieson's right, and Ketchum swooped in to deposit it in the goal to make it 3-0 Yale.

The 3-0 score did not reflect the fact that Brown had outshot Yale 13-8 in the first period, and the Bears continued to apply offensive pressure as the second period began. Snikeris came up with a big save on forward Laurie Jolin on a 2-on-1 30 seconds in. Eleven minutes later, she reacted quickly to glove a wide-open blast from the left circle by forward Erica Kromm.

Yale's fourth penalty of the game saw senior defenseman Samantha MacLean come up with a big play on the penalty kill. As Kromm tried charging in on net through the left circle, MacLean hit the ice to stop her in her tracks. After both players took a tumble, MacLean reached out with her one available hand and backhanded the puck out of the zone.

With three minutes left in the third, Snikeris kicked away a one-timer between the circles by forward Vanessa Welten, and Yale's lead remained 3-0 heading into the third.

Jolin had another close call six minutes into the third, as a pass found her all alone behind the Yale defense but she could not gather in the puck to get off a clean shot. Right after that the Bulldogs were on the power play and turned it over, leading to what appeared to be a breakaway for Welten. But Grant and junior forward Aleca Hughes hustled back, and with Grant cutting off the path to the goal Hughes reached in and took the puck away from Welten just after she crossed the blue line.

Raines then put the icing on the cake by grabbing a turnover in front of the Brown net, waiting until Jamieson committed and then depositing the puck for a 4-0 lead with 5:32 to play.

This was the first three-point game of Raines' career, and she now has four points in the last two games after being held scoreless in the previous three.

"She played really hard tonight," Flygh said of Raines. "The first goal was a really nice goal, from a tough angle shot. And on her second goal she really showed some poise and some patience. When she moves her feet she's very effective."

The four goals tied for Yale's second-best offensive output of the season. Jamieson finished with 24 saves.

This was the first shutout of the season for Snikeris, who has made 32 or more saves in five of the last six games. She improved her save percentage to .937 for the season, 10th in the country.

Snikeris has been doing some of her best work lately despite the fact that two of Yale's best defenders -- freshman Aurora Kennedy and sophomore Tara Tomimoto -- have been sidelined by injuries, Kennedy for the past three games and Tomimoto for the past five games.

"Jackee was really on tonight," Flygh said. "We had to battle to get this shutout, and didn't play as well as we could have defensively. We did a good job in the third period of keeping them to the outside."

Yale visits Union Friday night at 7 p.m.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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