January 3, 2014

Offense Erupts for 6-4 Win vs. Colgate in First Game after Break

Gahm Scores First Career Goal; Raines Gets Two Points in Return

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After nearly a month off, and playing without its leading scorer, the Yale women's ice hockey team still had its offense in high gear Friday night against Colgate at Ingalls Rink. Five different players scored goals, and nine players had assists, to help the Bulldogs to a 6-4 win over the Raiders. Among the goal scorers for Yale were freshman forward/defenseman Abby Gahm -- who scored her first career goal -- and junior forward Jackie Raines, who scored in her first game in nearly two years.

Yale (5-8-1, 3-3-1 ECAC Hockey) had not played since a 5-1 win at Providence Dec. 6, and the Bulldogs were without freshman forward Phoebe Staenz -- the team's leading scorer is with Team Switzerland at the Nations Cup in Germany. A slow start saw Yale get outshot 15-2 in the first period, but thanks to the work of junior goaltender Jaimie Leonoff the Bulldogs entered the first intermission in a scoreless tie.

"We came out flat," said head coach Joakim Flygh. "Jaimie Leonoff did a great job keeping us in the game."

The second period saw the two teams combine for six goals, including two in the first four minutes by the Bulldogs. Raines, who last played in the final game of the 2011-12 season (Feb. 18, 2012) before being sidelined by an injury, showcased the type of moves the Bulldogs had missed in her absence. After sophomore defenseman Kate Martini and junior forward Stephanie Mock combined to get her the puck just outside the Yale zone, Raines carried the puck up the ice and sliced through the Raiders defense before firing in a goal at the 1:27 mark.

Less than two minutes later, sophomore forwards Jamie Haddad and Janelle Ferrara got the puck out of the Yale zone to freshman forward Krista Yip-Chuck, who scored from just inside the blue line to put the Bulldogs up 2-0.

The quick start to the second period wound up providing the Bulldogs the momentum to overcome their first-period struggles.

"This group does a good job of self-evaluating," said Flygh. "They knew they had not played a good first period. We talked [in the first intermission] about putting that behind us."

Colgate (3-13-2, 1-8-0 ECAC Hockey) would not go down easily, though. Defenseman Megan Wickens' power play goal at 10:25 of the second cut the Yale lead in half.

The Bulldogs answered with another pair of quick goals, though. The first one came during a delayed penalty on the Raiders for a boarding call drawn by Raines, who passed the puck off the boards to sophomore forward Hanna Åström for a goal that made it 3-1 Yale.

Yale's third line then contributed a big goal. In the neutral zone, senior forward Patricia McGauley deflected a long pass off the boards to freshman forward Gretchen Tarrant. Tarrant came charging in on the right side. She drew the attention of the defense and Colgate goalie Brittney Brooks (who had just come on in relief of Ashlynne Rando) before sliding the puck across the slot to Gahm. Gahm, a defenseman who converted to forward to help the Bulldogs deal with injuries just before the winter break, poked it in to give Yale a 4-1 lead at the 15:19 mark. The assist gave Tarrant her first career point.

"That was a great goal by Abby Gahm," said Flygh. "Gretchen Tarrant deserves a lot of credit. It was a great 2-on-1 and a great finish."

But Colgate crept closer with goals by forward Katelyn Parker and Taylor Craig. Craig, -- whose father, Jim (gold-medal winning goalie for the U.S. Olympic team in 1980), was in attendance at Ingalls Rink Friday -- pulled the Raiders within 4-3 with a power play goal 8:15 into the third.

The drama of the final minutes was eased by a goal from Ferrara with 5:26 to play. After Yip-Chuck won a faceoff in the Colgate zone, Gahm helped get the puck back to her. Yip-Chuck put it in front, where Ferrara flipped it just under the cross bar and over the outstretched leg of Brooks.

"When I saw it live I thought there was no angle," said Flygh. "But we're always encouraging Janelle to shoot. It was nice to see her bury that one."

In a game filled with 15 penalties, two late ones on the Bulldogs gave the Raiders one last chance. With the goalie pulled, Colgate had a six-on-four skater advantage when defenseman Katie Case scored with 34 seconds left to get the Raiders back within one. But Colgate could not control the puck after the final face-off, and Yip-Chuck put the exclamation mark on the win by diving to knock a loose puck into the empty net just before the final horn sounded for the 6-4 final.

Leonoff finished with 32 saves.

Yale hosts No. 3 Cornell Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

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