February 10, 2012

Ladiges Stops 43 as Yale Guts Out 1-1 OT Tie with Colgate

Bulldogs Perfect 5-for-5 on Penalty Kill

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – It took 65 minutes of work, but the Yale women's hockey team finally brought a long losing streak to an end Friday night with a 1-1 overtime tie against Colgate at Ingalls Rink. Senior goaltender Genny Ladiges made 43 saves and Yale killed off five Raider power plays, including a 5-on-3 for more than 30 seconds in the third period. Sophomore forward Jackie Raines' second-period goal was enough for the deadlock, snapping a 17-game losing skid for Yale.

The Bulldogs had come close to ending the slide in recent weeks, and Friday night marked the fifth time in the last seven games that they were within a goal of their opponent heading into the third period. This time they were tied, and it stayed that way despite a 15-7 shot advantage for Colgate in the final frame of regulation.

That Colgate shot advantage in the final frame was largely due to three Yale penalties. The first came at the 7:25 mark, and junior forward Alyssa Zupon set the tone for that kill by chasing down a loose puck in the Colgate zone and tying the puck up along the boards -- taking on three Raiders in the process.

But right after a blocker save by Ladiges on defenseman Shannon Doyle, Yale was called for another penalty and the Raiders got 32 seconds on the two-man advantage.

Zupon, senior defenseman Heather Grant and senior forward Aleca Hughes came out for the crucial kill, and off the faceoff in the Yale zone Grant was eventually able to take the puck into the Colgate zone for a slap shot. Later, Zupon cleared a dangerous loose puck in the slot as Yale's first penalty expired.

As the second penalty wound down freshman forward Lynn Kennedy almost scored a short-handed goal, sending a wrister wide, and freshman forward Stephanie Mock finished off the kill by intercepting a pass near the Yale blue line and clearing the puck.

A penalty on the Raiders with 1:59 to play seemed to give Yale the chance it needed for a win, but a slap shot by Grant was tipped wide and after that a short-handed chance for Colgate forced Yale into a penalty that evened things up to 4-on-4. Still, sophomore Ashley Dunbar -- just back from an injury and once again pressed into duty as a defenseman instead of playing her natural forward position -- dropped a pass back to Raines in transition that was denied by a great kick save from the Raiders' Kimberly Sass as time expired in regulation.

Grant, Hughes, Kennedy and junior defenseman Emily DesMeules started the overtime on the ice, as Yale still had 40 seconds of penalty killing to do. After a save by Ladiges, Yale won the faceoff and Grant got the clear.

Neither team had many solid chances in the extra session until right at the end, when Hughes carried the puck out from behind the net and slid it tantalizingly through the crease. The Bulldogs had two more chances with passes right in front of the net sliding through, and they eventually had to settle for the tie.

Yale had a decisive edge in shots (18-10) and scoring chances in the first period, but the only scoring came from Colgate. The Raiders utilized an odd-man rush to set up a wide-open forward Melissa Kueber, who made it 1-0 at the 16:54 mark.

Sass made 18 saves in the first, as the Bulldogs could not capitalize on their best shot total for any period this season. Eight minutes in junior forward Jen Matichuk put a shot on net that glanced off Sass' glove, but Zupon was tied up and could not get to the rebound to stuff it in. Hughes generated a Colgate turnover behind the Raider net 90 seconds later, and the Bulldogs were eventually able to set up junior defenseman Natalie Wedell for a slap shot that sailed just wide. Five minutes later, Zupon set up Raines in front for a shot that went wide, and right after that Hughes initiated a pair of shots from right in front but could not get one past Sass.

Yale thus went into the first intermission trailing 1-0, but it was not long before the Bulldogs evened it in the second. Zupon grabbed a pass at full stride in the neutral zone and skated it toward the right circle before flicking it back to freshman forward Stephanie Mock along the boards. Mock skated in and put it across for Raines to knock in at the 1:07 mark.

The Bulldogs killed off their second penalty of the game midway through the second, on their way to improving to 16 kills in their last 18 attempts. Ladiges came through with a big kick save that was followed by a clear from Grant. After another Colgate shot went high, Hughes came up with a backhanded clear along the boards.

Raiders forward Taylor Volpe was stymied multiple times at the end of the second by Ladiges, including one on a shot from point-blank range. Another Volpe blast hit the post, sending the teams into the third still tied at one, as the score would remain.

Ladiges has now made 40 or more saves in a game eight times this year. She, Grant, Hughes and senior forward Lauren Davis will be honored at Senior Day Saturday vs. No. 3 Cornell.

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

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