Bobcats Edge Bulldogs 3-2 in Overtime

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Lynn Kennedy. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Kennedy Scores First Career Goal

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's ice hockey team gave first-place Quinnipiac all it could handle Saturday afternoon at Ingalls Rink, thanks in large part to 36 saves from senior goalie Genny Ladiges. The Bulldogs had a 2-1 lead until the Bobcats tied the game in the final five minutes of regulation, and Quinnipiac won it 3-2 on a goal by forward Chelsea Illchuk 2:49 into overtime.

Playing their last game before winter break, the Bulldogs were looking for their second win of the year and had a chance to make a move past Union and tie RPI for 10th in the ECAC Hockey standings. Instead, they wound up with one of their most frustrating losses of the season.

Yale broke on top with a goal that caught almost everyone by surprise early in the first. Amidst a scrum in front of the Quinnipiac goal, junior forward Danielle Moncion knocked the puck out of the slot towards the left corner, where sophomore forward Jackie Raines retrieved it. Raines skated behind the QU goal and sent the puck up top for senior defenseman Heather Grant to try a one-timer. After a loud "ping", the official just to the left of the goal signaled "goal", but play continued for a few seconds because the puck had bounced out and the goal light had not gone on immediately. The goal was reviewed and upheld, giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead at 3:56.

Quinnipiac evened the score when forward Erica Uden Johansson grabbed a long pass in the neutral zone, skated in, and used a Yale defender as a screen to rifle one past Ladiges at 12:23.

Yale almost went ahead again six minutes before the first intermission, but senior forward Aleca Hughes couldn't get enough on a crossing pass from sophomore forward Patricia McGauley to put it on net.

The Bulldogs eventually did take a 2-1 lead, at 3:28 of the second. A forechecking Moncion took the puck away from a Quinnipiac player behind the Bobcat net, and freshman forward Lynn Kennedy picked it up and jammed it in past Quinnipiac netminder Chelsea Laden at the near post for her first career goal.

Three minutes later Ladiges denied a blast from Bobcats forward Kelly Babstock, and she turned aside another Babstock shot 90 seconds after that. But that time the rebound went right to Quinnipiac forward Nicole Kosta, who seemingly had an open net in front of her. But Kosta's shot wound up getting stopped by the stick of Raines, who was in perfect position behind Ladiges, and the Bulldogs were able to clear.

After Laden made a save on sophomore forward Paige Decker and Grant sent a slapper wide, the Bulldogs got the game's first power play midway through the second. They controlled the puck in the QU zone for the whole first minute of the man advantage but could not get a goal, and Kosta finished off the penalty kill by blocking a shot from junior defenseman Jamie Gray.

With five minutes to play in the second the Bulldogs were whistled for the first time, and the penalty kill unit came through. Grant and Hughes blocked shots in the first minute, and Grant and Kennedy then combined to clear the puck and disrupt the QU power play. Ladiges finished off the period in style by denying a shot from forward Amanda Colin during a 2-on-1 with a minute to play.

The Bulldogs were 4:58 away from the upset when Bobcats defenseman Regan Boulton got the game-tying goal on a deflection during a delayed penalty on Yale. Quinnipiac then called timeout to set up on the power play. Grant cleared the puck all the way down on net, and junior forward Alyssa Zupon blocked a shot by defenseman Jordan Elkins to help finish off the kill. The teams went into overtime knotted 2-2.

Yale put a series of shots on Laden in the opening minutes of overtime, but it wound up being Ladiges' first save of the extra session that set up the game-winning play. After she stopped a shot by Boulton and dove to cover the puck, the Bobcats took advantage of the faceoff. Boulton won it to Illchuk, whose blast eluded Ladiges and touched off a Bobcat celebration. Laden finished with 19 saves.

The Bulldogs now have 31 days without a game, as they break for exams. Yale plays again on Jan. 4, 2012, at Ingalls vs. Brown.

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

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