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New Hampshire Tops Yale 5-2 in Last Game before Break

Eden Murray. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Eden Murray. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

DURHAM, N.H. – New Hampshire broke open a 1-1 game with a pair of goals late in the second period, then went on to claim a 5-2 victory over the Yale women's ice hockey team Sunday afternoon at the Whittemore Center. Senior forward Janelle Ferrara and junior forward Phoebe Staenz scored Yale's goals.

New Hampshire (8-14-1, 5-8-0 Hockey East), coached by former Yale head coach Hilary Witt, was playing its fifth game in 11 days. That included three against ECAC Hockey teams -- a 3-2 win vs. Dartmouth last Tuesday and a 6-0 loss at No. 4 Quinnipiac Friday. Sunday's game was scoreless for most of the first period, and the lone power play for Yale was negated by a Bulldog penalty just eight seconds later that left the teams skating 4-on-4.

With both teams back at full strength later in the period, Yale junior goalie Hanna Mandl made one of her best plays of the day by grabbing a loose puck after a save right before New Hampshire forward Haley Breedlove had a chance to stick in the rebound at 13:30. A minute later Mandl also made a great kick save, reacting quickly to deny forward Devan Taylor after a turnover in the Yale zone.

New Hampshire goalie Kyra Smith answered with a kick save of her own three minutes later, denying Ferrara off a feed from junior forward Krista Yip-Chuck on a 2-on-1.

Yale (4-8-1, 3-2-1 ECAC Hockey) took the lead with two minutes left in the first, when sophomore forward Eden Murray left a behind-the-back pass for Staenz in the left circle. Staenz skated her way around a defender, then crossed in front of UNH goalie Kyra Smith and fired a shot across her body and inside the right post. Sophomore defenseman Mallory Souliotis also assisted on the play.

Shortly after New Hampshire killed off the second Yale power play of the game early in the second, the Wildcats knotted things up. Forward Margo Lund grabbed a turnover at the UNH blue line and skated in all alone on Mandl before firing the puck over Mandl's left shoulder at 4:32 of the second.

Mandl faced another breakaway six minutes later, and this time she stuffed a shot by forward Jonna Curtis -- the Wildcats' leader in goals, assists and points -- to keep the game tied 1-1.

Shortly after that the Bulldogs had to kill off a penalty. After blocked shots by Ferrara and senior forward Jamie Haddad along with a save by Mandl, Staenz managed to generate two great short-handed chances. Smith stopped them both, though, keeping the game 1-1.

New Hampshire then struck twice, quickly, to take the lead late in the second. At 18:31, Mandl made the initial stop on a backhanded shot from the slot by forward Amy Boucher. But the puck popped up and trickled slowly towards the goal line behind Mandl. Curtis swooped in and stuffed it home for a 2-1 lead, scoring her 10th goal of the year.

Just 19 seconds after Curtis' goal, her linemate Cassandra Vilgrain scored from low in the right circle to give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead heading into the third.

Yale crept closer at 12:46 of the third after a hustling Ferrara got to a loose puck deep in UNH's zone and sent it towards the slot, where it bounced in off the skate of a New Hampshire player to make the score 3-2. Yip-Chuck and Haddad assisted on the play.

New Hampshire answered two minutes later, however, as Haslett gathered in a loose puck in the right circle and sniped one past the left shoulder of a screened Mandl to make it 4-2 at 14:54.

A penalty on the Bulldogs 40 seconds later left Yale killing a penalty instead of mounting a comeback, and a power play goal by defenseman Jenna Rheault at 17:02 made the final 5-2. Mandl finished with 29 saves, while Smith made 23.

Yale now takes a 19-day break from games, resuming the season on Jan. 1 at Quinnipiac.

Report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity