Ladiges Makes 40 Saves Again
TROY, N.Y. – A 1-0 lead for the Yale women's ice hockey team slipped away decisively in the second period Friday night at Houston Field House, as RPI scored four goals in a 15-minute span to claim control and went on to beat the Bulldogs 4-2. Sophomore forward Jackie Raines scored both of Yale's goals, while senior goalie Genny Ladiges made 40 saves -- her third straight 40+ save effort.
The whistles came early and often in this one, with the two teams combining for five penalties in the first 8:43. But none of them resulted in a goal, thanks in part to the work of Ladiges on Yale's three first-period penalty kills. Her best stop of the four she made with RPI on the man advantage was a denial of defenseman Madison Marzario during a 2-on-1 for the Engineers eight minutes in. RPI finished the first with a 14-6 shot advantage but no goals to show for it.
After sitting out two games with an injury, Raines made her presence felt immediately when she returned Friday night. She jammed in the Bulldogs' first goal, assisted by freshman forward Stephanie Mock and senior defenseman Heather Grant, 1:19 into the second period.
But four minutes later the Bulldogs were stung by an unfortunate bounce, as a shot by RPI forward Taylor Mahoney was gloved momentarily by Ladiges but then fell right to forward Laura Guillemette for the game-tying goal at 5:01.
Yale's fourth penalty of the game gave the Engineers the chance to go ahead at the 11:46 mark. Once again a tough bounce went against Yale, as a deflected shot by RPI forward Eleeza Cox fell right behind Ladiges, where forward Jill Vandegrift was all alone at the post and barely had to touch the puck to make sure it kept going across the goal line.
The Bulldogs had some chances to even things up on a power play of their own right after that. Freshman forward Lynn Kennedy dug the puck off the boards and skated through the lower left circle before firing a wrist shot just wide. Engineers goalie Brianna Piper then gloved another shot by Kennedy, and kicked aside a slap shot by Grant with junior forward Alyssa Zupon in front for the deflection. Right after Raines had a snap shot from a tough angle hit the post outside the net, the Engineers went up 3-1 on an unassisted goal by forward Alisa Harrison.
Yale survived a long delayed penalty followed by another hectic penalty kill right at the end of the period. While making a stop in the midst of a scrum in front of the net Ladiges lost her stick, but fortunately she had her glove ready to deny a shot from Cox. Still, the Bulldogs saw the second come to a frustrating end when Smelker tacked on another goal with only 3.1 seconds on the clock. It was RPI's 24th shot of the period.
The Bulldogs had a 5-on-3 for more than a minute early in the third but could not get any closer. Hughes had a shot blocked and cleared, and junior defenseman Emily DesMeules sent a slap shot wide. Kennedy then just missed deflecting another slapper from DesMeules.
A power-play goal by Raines on a slap shot, assisted by Grant, made it 4-2 with 10:40 to play. Within two goals with three minutes to play the Bulldogs pulled Ladiges for an extra attacker, which made things interesting at both ends of the ice. Smelker appeared to have a clear shot at the open net in transition shortly after Yale pulled Ladiges, but DesMeules was back and managed to force Smelker into a shot that went wide. Back in the RPI zone, Mock put a shot on net that Piper kicked away, and senior forward Lauren Davis almost poked in the rebound.
The Engineers had a number of chances at the open net in the final minutes, but the Bulldog defense kept battling. Junior defenseman Jamie Gray deflected away a shot by forward Toni Sanders, and freshman defenseman Kelsey Summers then intercepted a shot attempt that appeared headed in from distance. After DesMeules denied another attempt by Harrison, Grant nabbed a shot by Smelker with her glove. It was all for naught, though, as the clock eventually ran out on the Bulldogs. Piper finished with 18 saves.
Yale visits Union Saturday at 4 p.m.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity