Jan. 6, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Defense is not always the most glamorous position, and several of Yale's younger blueliners have spent the last year and a half out of the spotlight. On Friday night against No. 7 Princeton, with their corps depleted down to four, the Bulldog D emerged just in time to help Yale salvage a 5-5 tie with No. 7 Princeton. Yale got five points from defenders and four from forward Crysti Howser in a wild back-and-forth game in front of a crowd of 750 at The Whale.
Two years ago, players such as Regan Gilbride, Ann-Renee Guillemette and Nina Resor had All-ECACHL blueliner Erin Duggan and U.S. Olympic Team member Helen Resor ahead of them. Duggan is now gone to graduation and Resor is heading to Torino, and with Carry Resor ailing and unable to play Friday Yale had to count on Gilbride, Guillemette, Nina Resor and freshman Carlee Ness more than ever.
"I thought they gutted it out and deserve a lot of credit," head coach Hilary Witt said of her four defensemen. "Did we get caught in our zone a lot? Yes. But Nina Resor fought it as well as anyone could. Regan Gilbride really came up big as the game wore on."
The Tigers (9-4-4, 5-1-2 ECAHL) got on the board first when Brittany Salmon controlled a loose puck in the Yale zone just to Sarah Love's left and wristed a shot high into the corner past Love's glove at 3:36. Yale (4-7-3, 2-2-2 ECACHL) had a chance to tie less than a minute later, but Roxanne Gaudiel (21 saves) closed up the five hole on a shot by Jenna Spring to keep Yale scoreless.
Gaudiel then denied Sheila Zingler during a 2-on-1 for the Bulldogs, and shortly after that the Tigers increased their lead. Off a faceoff to Love's left, Marykate Oakley got the puck and sent an odd angle shot past the Yale netminder at 12:11.
Princeton got the first power play of the period, but that one came to an end with Danielle Kozlowski blocking a Tiger shot out of the zone - one of 10 shots blocked by Yale players in the period. Yale got its first power play on a tripping call with 51 seconds left in the period, but Gaudiel stopped a Kristin Savard shot just before the period ended.
The second period was a back-and-forth affair that started with Yale getting a goal during the remainder of the power play from the first. Spring beat Gaudiel thanks to assists from Savard and Howser 44 seconds in.
Princeton had a goal waved off 12 minutes in as the net moved during the play. The Tigers got that one back just over two minutes later when Sarah Butsch knocked one past Love in the midst of a scrum in front of the Yale net.
The Bulldogs responded again, this time with Deena Caplette setting up Guillemette for a shot from the point that slid low along the ice and was deflected in by Howser with 1:35 remaining in the period.
At 10:18 of the third Howser's pretty pass found Guillemette open for her first career tally and Yale's first lead of the night.
"Ann-Renee is like our offensive threat now," Witt said with a smile of the sophomore who now has three points in her last two games after totaling one last year.
"If we can get her to do that all the time, we're going to be a very good hockey team," Witt said of Howser's offensive outburst. The freshman now has 10 points in seven games since joining the team after soccer season.
Princeton knotted the score at five on a power play, as Laura Watt's unassisted goal at 15:31 eluded Love. A series of Howser shots near the end of regulation whistled just wide of the goal, and the teams headed to overtime.
Just 15 seconds into the extra session Gilbride came up with another huge play for the defense. Princeton had a 2-on-1 developing that had the Yale crowd holding its breath. Skating backwards, Gilbride was the lone defender for the Elis. She positioned herself perfectly and broke up the pass to keep the Tigers from even getting a shot off. Shortly after that Love made a big save, sliding across the ice to deny a Kim Pearce try.
A glove save on Annie Greenwood with 44.8 seconds remaining punctuated Love's night, though Yale had to sweat out the final 31 seconds when a penalty was called on the Bulldogs. Howser controlled the faceoff, and Kozlowski tied up a pair of Princeton players in the corner before Yale cleared the zone and cemented the tie.
Yale returns to action Saturday at Ingalls Rink against Northeastern at 4 p.m.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity