Jan. 7, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Some time this spring, goaltender Sarah Love will wrap up her record-setting career at Yale and the Bulldogs will begin preparing for life without her between the pipes. Backup Shivon Zilis has been doing her best to give the Bulldogs reason to believe the success they've experienced with Love will continue when she's gone. Zilis picked up her third career shutout in just her fifth career start Saturday afternoon as Yale beat Northeastern 3-0 at Ingalls Rink. The win was Yale's first over the Huskies, who held a 19-0 edge in the all-time series and had outscored Yale 107-14.
"We want to give Shivon some experience, with Sarah being a senior and all," Yale head coach Hilary Witt said of the decision to give Zilis the start. "Not to mention that we have to give Sarah a break (Yale was playing its third game in six days)."
Northeastern goalie Marisa Hourihan kept her team in the game with 27 saves but the Yale attack eventually got to her. The Bulldogs (5-7-3) controlled play in the first period, outshooting the Huskies 10-4, but Jenna Spring was the only player to find the back of the net. Her wrist shot from the high slot beat Hourihan at 8:57.
Yale kept its shot edge in the second period, outshooting the Huskies 11-6 in that frame, but Hourihan kept the score at 1-0 entering the second intermission.
Northeastern (4-14-1) got a scare when Hourihan was laid out on the ice in pain after a goalie interference penalty on Yale 1:39 into the third, but she eventually got back up and remained in the game.
The Huskies turned up the offensive pressure as the game wore on, but Zilis stood tall. Northeastern had four power plays in the third, and on the first one Zilis had to make four saves. After kicking one aside, she covered up a slap shot by Crystal Rochon with nine seconds left in the man advantage. She knocked another one aside to finish off that penalty kill.
Crysti Howser finally gave the Bulldogs some breathing room with a spectacular individual effort 4:30 into the third. Skating in solo from the neutral zone, she weaved her way past four Husky defenders, deked Hourihan out of position and calmly backhanded the puck in for a 2-0 lead. The series of moves left quite an impression on everyone.
"Wow," Witt said. "Wow. That's pretty much how you describe it. I don't think I could teach anybody how to stick-handle like that. That's a natural ability on her part."
The assist on the goal went to Kristen Stupay, who played the puck off the boards to Howser from just outside the Yale zone. With defenseman Carry Resor still ailing, Stupay - normally a forward -- was pressed into service as a fifth blueliner and responded admirably.
"Kim [Mathias, Yale assistant coach] said she skates backwards well, and with Kim being the defensive coach I let her give me a lot of input on that one," Witt said. "She did a very good job of skating the puck up."
The Huskies pulled Hourihan with 1:34 to play, but Yale immediately cashed in on the empty net with a Deena Caplette goal. Howser assisted on the play to cap off her six-point weekend. She also won 20 of 27 faceoffs Saturday.
Witt starred at Northeastern as an undergraduate, earning selection to their Hall of Fame this past fall, and was part of some of those 19 straight Husky wins over Yale.
"I'm just glad I'm on this side this time," she said.
Yale returns to action next Friday at St. Lawrence.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity