NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's ice hockey team's power play unit got back on track in a big way Saturday afternoon at Meehan Auditorium, scoring three times to lead the Bulldogs to a 4-2 win over Brown. After being held without a power play goal for three straight games, Yale got tallies from junior forward Eden Murray, senior forward Phoebe Staenz and senior forward Krista Yip-Chuck on the man advantage. Junior forward Courtney Pensavalle then sealed the win with an even strength goal late in the third period.
"[Associate Head Coach] Rob Morgan spent some time with the power play unit this morning," said Joakim Flygh, Yale's Susan Cavanagh Head Coach of Women's Ice Hockey. "We got better puck movement and made some adjustments. The players responded well."
On the heels of a 2-1 win against Brown Friday night in which the final score did not reflect Yale's considerable shot advantage (42-20), the Bulldogs took control relatively early on Saturday. Staenz got things started with a goal on Yale's first power play of the game, scoring off assists from sophomore defenseman Julia Yetman and senior defenseman Taylor Marchin at 13:25 of the first.
Two quick goals in the second put momentum squarely in Yale's favor. The first came in the final minute of Yale's second power play. Yetman sent the puck low to Staenz, who fed it in front for a one-timer by Yip-Chuck at 7:10. Less than 90 seconds later the Bears tempted fate again with another penalty, and the Bulldogs made them pay. After a face-off win, Yip-Chuck left the puck for Staenz low in the right circle. She fired a centering pass across to Murray, who made it 3-0 Yale at 8:39.
Brown, however, would not go away easily. A tally by forward Dara Wais -- the first of the junior's career -- got the Bears on the scoreboard at 11:23. Freshman goalie Tera Hofmann then had to make a terrific save on a 2-on-1, closing up the five hole to deny forward Samantha Swanstrom. But shortly after that the Bears got another 2-on-1, and this time they scored. Forward Jenna Hewitt-Kenda's tally at 15:41 pulled the Bears within one.
Thanks to a great glove save by Brown goalie Monica Elvin on a one-timer by junior defenseman Mallory Souliotis with less than two minutes left in the second, the Bears remained within one heading into the third.
Brown (5-18-0, 3-13-0 ECAC Hockey) executed its first successful penalty kill of the game early in the third. But while Elvin stood on her head to keep her team close for much of the game, she finally blinked with 6:12 left. Pensavalle's seemingly innocuous wrister from the right wing slipped past Elvin to give the Bulldogs a much-needed cushion, 4-2. Junior forwards Kaitlin Gately and Emily Monaghan assisted on the tally, which put the game out of reach.
"We did a lot of good things as far as generating chances," said Flygh. "Elvin played well and kept them in the game. I know our players weren't happy with our second period, and they put it on themselves. I really liked our third. Defensively, we did a good job shutting them down."
Elvin finished with 37 saves, while Hofmann made 22. Brown wound up 0-for-4 on the power play, underscoring the role of special teams in the Bulldog victory.
With the win, Yale (9-11-3, 7-8-1 ECAC Hockey) moves into sole possession of seventh place in the ECAC Hockey standings. The top eight teams make the conference playoffs. The Bulldogs return to action next Friday at No. 9 Princeton.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org, Yale Sports Publicity)