Bulldogs Gut Out 2-2 Tie With Colgate

Jan. 20, 2007

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - After fighting back from a 2-1 deficit in the third period and playing 63:30 of hard-fought hockey, the Yale Bulldogs almost saw their work go for naught. But fortunately for Yale junior goalkeeper Shivon Zilis saw the puck that Colgate's Katie Stewart backhanded towards the upper corner of the net from 10 feet in front just in time to get her glove on it for a spectacular save. After that the teams finished out the final 90 seconds of overtime, capping an afternoon of back-and-forth action and preserving a 2-2 tie.

"She was amazing," Yale head coach Hilary Witt said of Zilis. "If it weren't for her in overtime it would have been over. She's a great goalie and she stepped up when she had to."

Stewart grabbed a nice pass at center ice and maneuvered her way around the lone Yale defender before getting off the backhander that nearly gave the Raiders (11-10-2, 10-3-1 ECAC) the win. The Bulldogs (11-8-1, 7-7-1 ECAC) could ill afford to come away from the game without at least one point as they continue maneuvering for a prime playoff position in the ECAC standings.

The game was full of penalties (nine for each team), and it didn't take long for the whistles to start coming. Just 1:28 in Colgate's Mallory Johnston tripped sophomore forward Sarah Tittman, and the Bulldogs converted the man advantage into a goal 28 seconds after that. Freshman defenseman Berit Johnson took a shot from the point that Colgate goalkeeper Elayna Hamashuk stopped, but senior forward Sheila Zingler and freshman defenseman Alyssa Clarke kept the puck alive in front and got it over to sophomore forward Crysti Howser, wide open for her 10th goal of the year.

It didn't take long for another penalty that gave Colgate a chance at the equalizer. Yale was called for holding at 3:39, and halfway through that power play Carly McNaughton slipped one past Zilis to tie the score at one.

Hamashuk made two big saves on shots from Johnson and Tittman, then caught a break when Zingler hit the post.

Another penalty on the Bulldogs right after that led to the go-ahead goal for the Raiders. Zilis made a kick save on Johnston's shot but the rebound went right to Elin Brown for a goal at the 13:29 mark.

Yale killed off another penalty later in the period and then began mounting some offense. Hamashuk made a nice stop to deny Tittman from in front after freshman forward Mandi Schwartz found her with a pass from behind the net.

While Tittman didn't find the back of the net, she continued to make an impression with her play on Saturday.

"Sarah Tittman is really playing well for us," Witt said. "It doesn't show on the points, but she's been doing the little things right -- forechecking hard, getting to loose pucks, helping us on the PK. She's really stepping up for us right now."

The Raiders then got whistled for a pair of penalties that gave Yale a chance at a 5-on-3 for 40 seconds near the end of the first ... but five seconds in the Bulldogs were whistled for slashing, ending the brief two-man advantage.

The teams started the second period skating 4-on-4, and within the first 3:13 of the period three more whistles blew -- two on Yale and one on Colgate. None of those resulted in a goal, but a penalty on Yale at the 6:10 mark almost did. Colgate's Brown sent one down the ice from the neutral zone that took a funny bounce right in front of the goal, forcing Zilis to make a quick glove save. Four minutes after that Zilis denied Evan Minnick after a turnover in the Yale zone led to a golden scoring chance.

The Raiders incurred two more penalties later in the period and the Bulldogs set up Sharun for several powerful slap shots but could not get one in. Colgate took a 2-1 lead into the third period.

Hamashuk denied a flurry of Yale shots at the start of the period, but once again a penalty influenced the outcome of the game. As the officials signaled a delayed penalty on the Raiders, Zilis headed to the bench and the Bulldogs maintained control of the puck in the Colgate zone while an extra attacker came on the ice. Senior defenseman Nina Resor sent the puck towards the slot, where Howser redirected it on net and Zingler poked it in to knot the game at two 4:18 into the third. Those two each have eight points in the last three games, and Zingler has a nine-game scoring streak.

The Raiders were whistled for a hooking penalty 28 seconds after Zingler's goal, but eight seconds after that Yale was called for interference to quickly end that power play. Colgate got the best opportunity to score during the 4-on-4, as Minnick grabbed a loose puck in the slot and wristed one on net only to be denied by Zilis.

Yale would finish 6-for-8 on a busy day for its penalty killing unit.

"It hurt us because the kids we rely on to score goals had to kill a lot of penalties," Witt said. "I thought that took their legs away a little bit, and they were fighting it the whole game. They did a good job, but it's tough when you get a lot of penalties."

The game settled into a goaltending duel for the remainder, with Hamashuk denying Howser midway through the period but Zilis responding with a timely kick save on Stewart during an odd-man rush. Zilis came up big again by gloving a dangerous shot from the left circle by Sam Hunt with seven minute to play, and with 4:30 remaining she kicked away Nicole McDonald's attempt during a 2-on-1.

Hamashuk then stopped a shot by Tittman with two minutes to play to end the last scoring threat of regulation.

Senior forward Jenna Spring got the first shot on net 1:15 into overtime but Hamashuk made the save. Zilis denied Kiira Dosdall down at the other end a minute later, and her denial of Stewart finished off her 25-save effort. Hamashuk made 31 saves.

Yale, which was playing without injured Olympians Helen Resor and Denise Soesilo, returns to action Tuesday night against Brown at Ingalls Rink. A live video stream of the event will be available on yalebulldogs.com.

report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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