HAMDEN, Conn. – A gutsy effort by the Yale women's ice hockey team Saturday afternoon at High Point Solutions Arena came up just short as the Bulldogs fell to No. 10 Quinnipiac 4-1. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak. The Bulldogs wound up playing the majority of the game without their top two scorers, but hung close with the Bobcats until a pair of third period goals made the final 4-1. Freshman Tera Hofmann stood tall in net for Yale, making a career-high 51 saves.
Yale (10-12-3, 8-9-1 ECAC Hockey) needed just two shots to get on the scoreboard, striking at the 10:37 mark of the first for a 1-0 lead. Off a 2-on-1, junior forward Eden Murray sniped one over the shoulder of Bobcats netminder Sydney Rossman. Junior defenseman Kara Drexler assisted on the play.
There was an unfortunate postscript to that play for the Bulldogs, however. Murray was unintentionally upended by a Bobcats player after the goal, and shortly thereafter was helped off the ice. Later in the period, her linemate senior forward Krista Yip-Chuck would also leave the game with an apparent injury. Entering the game those two had combined for 15 goals and 36 assists, so their absence figured to have a profound effect on Yale's offense.
Quinnipiac (18-7-5, 11-5-2 ECAC Hockey) peppered Hofmann with 14 shots in the first period, but did not break through on the scoreboard until forward Melissa Samoskevich wristed one past a screened Hofmann at 15:07. The Bobcats then took the lead quickly in the second, as a slap shot from the right point by defenseman Kate Mackenzie eluded Hofmann at 1:51. But after that the Bulldogs hung tough, staying within a goal of the nationally ranked Bobcats for nearly 30 more minutes.
Yale had a pair of great chances to tie the game midway through the second, but Rossman stopped a wrister by Drexler off a turnover and then closed up the five hole on a deflection attempt by junior defenseman Mallory Souliotis seconds later. Quinnipiac killed off a penalty shortly after that to keep the lead intact.
Hofmann kept her team in the game by denying a tricky shot by forward Kenzie Lancaster and the attempted follow-up by forward Randi Marcon at 14:11, keeping the score 2-1 QU heading into the third.
The Bulldog penalty killing unit came up with a critical kill early in the third, highlighted by four saves from Hofmann. On another penalty kill with 11 minutes left, Hofmann made five more saves and sophomore defenseman Julia Yetman saved a goal by getting her stick on a shot that was headed for the back of the net. But shortly after that, defenseman Taryn Baumgardt snuck one high past Hofmann's glove from the left circle, giving QU a 3-1 lead at 11:22.
Yale got a power play with 6:28 left and pulled Hofmann in order to gain a two-skater advantage, but Quinnipiac forward Emma Woods foiled that strategy by quickly gaining possession of the puck in the neutral zone and firing in a short-handed goal from center ice for a 4-1 lead. That wound up being the final score, as Rossman finished with 12 saves.
Yale hosts Cornell next Friday at 6:00 p.m.
HEADWAY CONCUSSION AWARENESS WEEKEND
Games across ECAC Hockey this weekend will help raise awareness of concussions as part of a partnership between the conference and the Headway Foundation. Over the weekend, all male and female ECAC Hockey student-athletes will be wearing Headway stickers on their helmets to promote the "New Tough Campaign", which challenges athletes to handle concussions properly by encouraging symptom reporting, offering avenues for teammates to support each other and promoting safe play. Teams are also raising funds for Headway, a recently formed nonprofit which has two co-founders who were Yale hockey players: Paige Decker '14 and Danny Otto '12.
"This event is really about promoting a safer sports culture surrounding concussions. As athletes who have experienced long-term post-concussion symptoms, we understand how important it is to handle this injury properly," said Decker. "This includes everything from prevention and timely symptom reporting to proper treatment, support and recovery. We understand that removal from play when a concussion is suspected is often the mentally tougher but necessary thing to do, and we want to facilitative a productive dialogue around this subject."
More information is available at http://headwayfoundation.com/ecachockey
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org, Yale Sports Publicity)