February 18, 2007

Bulldogs Fall in Overtime Again, 3-2 at No. 3 Dartmouth

Feb. 17, 2007

Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

HANOVER, N.H. - Gillian Apps' goal with 2:02 left in OT gave No. 3 Dartmouth a 3-2 win over Yale Saturday afternoon at Thompson Arena, the second time in as many days the Bulldogs have fallen to a nationally-ranked opponent on the road in overtime. Junior goaltender Shivon Zilis made 41 saves to keep her team in the game despite a 44-15 Big Green shot advantage. The Bulldogs' goals came from sophomore forward Crysti Howser and sophomore defenseman Helen Resor.

Zilis' busy day started 30 seconds in with a save on Cherie Piper, who tried deking the Yale netminder out of position before a wrist shot but was unsuccessful. Two minutes after that Zilis made a great kick save when Piper fed fellow Canadian Olympian Gillian Apps for a 2-on-1. Thirty seconds after that Shannon Bowman got a breakaway but shot the puck wide.

The Big Green (22-4-2, 20-1-1 ECAC, 1st) continued finding ways to get the puck on net as the period wore on. Zilis made a timely pad save and wisely froze the puck 11 minutes in, because freshman defenseman Berit Johnson had lost her stick earlier in the sequence. Off the faceoff, Bowman tried a quick wrist shot that Zilis also turned aside.

A long pass from the neutral zone with 7:30 left in the period seemed too far for a falling Piper, but she managed to dive forward and poke at it with her stick, forcing Zilis to make yet another save. With five minutes to play, Apps got the puck just to Zilis' right and hacked away at it unsuccessfully several times as Zilis got her right leg down to cover it.

The Big Green kept the offensive pressure on as the period drew to a close, with Zilis forced to make a kick save on a shot by Maggie Kennedy with 3:30 left. Thirty seconds after that, sophomore forward Danielle Kozlowski helped her goalie out by diving to the ice to block a shot from the point by Meredith Batcheller, sending it all the way out to the neutral zone. Zilis capped the period by gloving a long wrister by Amy Cobb for her 11th save of the frame.

The second period was equally as busy for Zilis, starting with a Sarah Newnam wrister from the right circle that she stopped 15 seconds in.

Ironically, after all those tough stops, the Big Green finally got one past the Yale netminder while playing short-handed three minutes in as Bowman was rewarded for her forechecking. Bowman appeared to be tied up in the corner, so Zilis was not expecting the puck to come sliding out into the crease. The puck hit off Zilis' skate and went in to the net to give the Big Green a 1-0 lead.

"It's unfortunate, because the amount of saves she made that were amazing completely outweighed that goal," Witt said. "She was outstanding."

Zilis regrouped in time to deny a slap shot from the left circle by U.S. Olympian Sarah Parsons during a Dartmouth power play midway through the period, and shortly after that the Yale power play struck back. Johnson got the puck from senior forward Kristin Savard along the boards and fed a nice pass from the left circle across the slot. Howser got her stick on it and deflected it in past Dartmouth goalie Carli Clemis' left leg.

Howser's goal was her 21st of the season, the most by a Bulldog since 1987-88 (Maria Dennis, 24). Her 36 points are the most for a Yale player since 1985-86 (Dennis, 50).

After no penalties were called in the game's first 22:29, the whistles came with regularity as the second period wore on. With the teams skating 4-on-4 with 1:30 left, Zilis got her left pad down to deny Jenna Cunningham. Shortly after that the Bulldogs were whistled for tripping. That led to a 5-on-3 for Dartmouth right at the end of the period that included a Zilis save on a slap shot from Apps, her 16th stop of the period. The 5-on-3 continued into the third.

Zilis kicked away a slap shot from Canadian Olympian Katie Weatherston during the remainder of that 5-on-3, sending it all the way out of the zone.

The Bulldogs (15-12-2, 10-10-2 ECAC, t-6th) were called for another penalty 59 seconds in, and Piper hit the post with a shot that caused the red goal light to go on mistakenly. Kozlowski blocked another try by Piper, and shortly after that Zilis momentarily juggled a shot from Apps with her glove before falling on the puck for a face-off. Savard won that draw to sophomore defenseman Maggie Westfal, who cleared it down the ice to emphatically kill off Dartmouth's two-man advantage.

The Bulldogs were still killing off the remaining penalty when Savard grabbed a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated in on Clemis. She waited until the last possible moment before shuttling a pass over to Resor, who knocked it in for a short-handed tally that put Yale on top 2-1 at 2:44.

Penalties on each team in the span of 29 seconds led to some 4-on-4 hockey, but just as the Yale penalty expired the Big Green struck to tie the game. Positioned just to Zilis' left, Maggie Kennedy took a pass from behind the net and stuffed it in for what technically counted as an even-strength goal, since it came one second after the Bulldogs' penalty expired.

Zilis continued making spectacular stops as regulation time wound down and the large Senior Day crowd got more and more into it. A nice pass off the boards gave Apps a breakaway chance with 13 minutes left that was denied by Zilis. With 8:30 to play, while sprawled out on the ice, Zilis somehow got a piece of a Piper shot to keep it out of the net.

The two teams once again were left skating 4-on-4 after penalties in the final two minutes of regulation, and Zilis stopped a shot from the right circle by Meredith Batcheller with her stick and then covered it with 23 seconds left. The Big Green power play, which entered the day tied for second in the conference at 24.6 percent, would finish 0-for-4.

"I think our kids are starting to get more disciplined on the penalty kill," Witt said. "We're getting loose pucks out of the slot area. If we can keep doing that, we'll give ourselves a good chance to be successful."

Apps had a chance to end the game 90 seconds into the overtime when she grabbed a long pass and came in all alone on Zilis, but as she spun to control the puck and flicked a wrister on net Zilis got enough of it to deflect it wide.

The Big Green maintained control and eventually worked the puck down low to Apps, who stuffed in the game-winner for her 29th goal of the year -- tied with Harvard's Sarah Vaillancourt for the conference lead.





Yale at Harvard
ECAC Quarterfinals
Bright Hockey Center

Fri., Feb. 23, 3:30
Sat., Feb. 24, 2:00
Sun., Feb. 25, 2:00
(if necessary)



Yale, which lost 4-3 in overtime at No. 6 Harvard Friday night, finished the regular season tied for sixth in the ECAC. The Bulldogs will thus return to Cambridge to face the Crimson, the third seed, in a best-of-three ECAC quarterfinal series starting next Friday at 3:30 p.m.

"It's obviously disappointing," Witt said of the weekend's losses. "It's unusual just to play two overtime games in a weekend, let alone lose them both. Hopefully what we'll take out of this is that we can play with these teams."

  • Savard will be presented with her Hockey Humanitarian Finalist trophy during the first intermission of the Yale-Dartmouth men's hockey game, televised on ESPNU starting at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

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

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