February 15, 2013

RPI Rallies Past Yale in Third, 4-2

Martini, Moncion Score for Bulldogs

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's ice hockey team was less than 16 minutes away from a critical win Friday night at Ingalls, but three goals in a 10-minute span of the third period by RPI left the Bulldogs with a 4-2 loss that dropped them into a tie for 10th in the ECAC Hockey standings.

This marked the fifth time this season Yale (4-19-2, 3-13-2 ECAC Hockey) has lost a conference game in which the Bulldogs led or were tied in the third period. They are now running out of time to make up ground in the standings, as a 4-1 win by Princeton over Clarkson Friday night extended the Tigers' lead over Yale for the eighth and final playoff spot to four points.

Adding to the Bulldogs' frustration was the fact that they led twice on Friday night. They scored 7:03 into the game to take their first lead. Freshman forward Hanna Åström got the puck towards the net from the boards, and sophomore forward Lynn Kennedy put it in the slot. There, freshman defenseman Kate Martini took a hack at it. Her first attempt was stopped, but she slammed the second one home to put Yale up 1-0.

RPI (10-17-4, 8-9-2 ECAC Hockey) tied the score right before the first intermission. Forward Mari Mankey had just unintentionally blocked a shot by one of her teammates when defenseman Katie Daniels teed up a slap shot from just inside the blue line. Mankey, in the slot, got just enough of the shot to deflect it past the extended right leg of Yale sophomore goalie Jaimie Leonoff.

The second period wound up seeing both teams struggle to get the puck to the net. RPI did not have a shot on goal until midway through, and the Bulldogs did not fare much better. Their first power play of the game went scoreless, but they were able to kill off another penalty later in the second. Leonoff made a pair of nice saves on RPI forward Jordan Smelker right at the start of the kill.

The Bulldogs re-took the lead on a power play 2:16 into the third. After winning a faceoff in the RPI zone, senior forward Danielle Moncion passed the puck back and forth with junior defenseman Tara Tomimoto, then skated in untouched from the top of the right circle all the way around to the left side of the net. Her shot from a tough angle there beat Engineers goalie Kelly O'Brien to make it 2-1 Yale.

But that lead was short-lived, as RPI forward Alexa Gruschow flicked in a goal from the right circle to tie the game 2-2 at the 4:52 mark. Four minutes later Gruschow scored again, her 12th goal of the year, to give the Engineers the lead.

With RPI playing excellent defense -- the Bulldogs got only two shots on net in the third -- a comeback was not in store for Yale. A shot by RPI defenseman Jenn Godin deflected in off a Yale skate with 5:08 left to make the final score 4-2. The Bulldogs did kill off a pair of penalties in the third, and four for the game, to extend their streak of successful penalty kills to 27.

Leonoff finished with 29 saves, while O'Brien made 11.

Yale hosts Union Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

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

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