NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Something had to give Friday night at Ingalls Rink, as the Yale women's ice hockey team -- averaging 3.5 goals per game entering the weekend -- faced Rensselaer goaltender Lovisa Selander, a finalist for ECAC Hockey's Goaltender of the Year Award last season. In the end, the battle went to the Bulldogs' offense in decisive fashion. Led by a hat trick from senior forward Phoebe Staenz, Yale delivered a 7-2 win and scored the most goals RPI has allowed since Feb. 5.
"That whole line [Staenz, junior forward Eden Murray and senior forward Krista Yip-Chuck] was incredible from an offensive standpoint," said Joakim Flygh, Yale's Susan Cavanagh Head Coach of Women's Ice Hockey. "For us to be successful, they need to produce, and they did that tonight."
The scoring came early and often for Yale (3-1-1, 1-1-1 ECAC Hockey), starting with a diving power play goal from Yip-Chuck at 4:44 of the first. A goal by sophomore defenseman Julia Yetman gave Yale a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
RPI (3-7-1, 1-2-0 ECAC Hockey) got within 2-1 on a goal by forward Katie Rooney at 5:20 of the second, setting the tone for a period in which the Engineers would outshoot Yale 14-7. But the Bulldogs eventually expanded their lead to 4-1 on goals by Staenz and Murray, ending Selander's night after just 31:48 and 14 saves.
"Everyone has an off night every once in a while," said Flygh. "Kudos to our kids for generating so many offensive chances."
Kira Bombay came on in relief, and RPI closed within 4-2 on a goal by forward Sabrina Repaci at 13:29 of the second.
Yale then put the game away with a ferocious third period, outshooting the Engineers 21-5 in the final frame and getting three goals. Staenz scored twice in a span of less than seven minutes to finish off her hat trick, and freshman defenseman Saroya Tinker added a final highlight by scoring on a power play at 16:44 for her first career goal.
The Bulldogs have now scored four or more goals three times in the last five games. Also encouraging for Yale was another solid effort from freshman goaltender Tera Hofmann, the reigning ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week. She stopped 27 in her second career start, following up last Saturday's 35 save effort.
"She had a good week of practice," said Flygh. "We wanted to give her an opportunity after the game she had last week."
A perfect 2-for-2 performance on the power play also gave the Bulldogs reason to be happy.
"[Associate head coach] Rob Morgan and [assistant coach] Amanda Boulier deserve all the credit for that," said Flygh. "We certainly had an emphasis on it in practice, and it paid dividends."
Staenz (3-2-5) and Yip-Chuck (1-4-5) led the Bulldogs in points, followed by Murray (1-3-4) and three players with one point each: Tinker (1-0-1), Yetman (1-0-1), senior defenseman Taylor Marchin (0-1-1), junior defenseman Mallory Souliotis (0-1-1) and junior forward Courtney Pensavalle (0-1-1).
Yale hosts Union Saturday at 3:00 p.m.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity