Oct. 28, 2005
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale and Quinnipiac skated to a 2-2 tie Friday night at Ingalls Rink in the first game of the Nutmeg Classic. While the game goes in the books as a tie, for Nutmeg Classic purposes a shootout was held after the overtime period, and the Bobcats won that 2-1. The game was Quinnipiac's first as a member of the ECACHL.
Playing their first game of the season, the Bulldogs (0-0-1) were on the offensive early. They generated 13 shots to Quinnipiac's three by the midway point of the first period, but could not get any past Bobcat goaltender Connie Craig (30 saves). Quinnipiac (1-3-2) had the next five shots on goal of the game, but Sarah Love (25 saves) denied each and every one. The last offensive opportunity of the period belonged to Yale, when Jenna Spring corralled a loose puck in the slot and put it on net. Craig blocked it and was able to cover the rebound with just 2.7 seconds left.
The Bobcats continued to turn up the offense as the second period began, and eventually evened out the shot total at 17. But none of those got past Love, and the Bulldogs took advantage of a tripping call against QU's Antoinette Maldonado at 12:31. Sheila Zingler worked her way through the Bobcat defense to get a shot off on Craig from the slot. Craig stopped that one, but left the rebound open for Deena Caplette to knock it in with 7:01 on the clock for a 1-0 Yale lead. Kristin Savard picked up an assist on the play as well.
Love had the final big stop of the period this time. With under a minute remaining, the Bobcats' Hayley McMeekin controlled the puck at center ice, got behind the Yale defense and flipped a shot from just outside the crease. Love covered it up to keep Yale's lead heading into the second intermission.
The Bulldogs went up 2-0 at 4:48 of the third when Sarah Tittman fought her way in from the blue line towards the boards and slid the puck over to Kristen Stupay for her first collegiate goal. The two freshmen have quickly made their way into the rotation as part of Yale's second line, teaming with Spring.
Craig denied a great Yale chance with 14 minutes left, stopping a shot by Caplette during a 2-on-1 for Yale. Still, the 2-0 lead appeared safe with the way Love was playing. But the Bobcats soon took advantage of two great scoring chances. With 8:01 remaining in the game and QU on the power play, Maldonado's pass from the corner found Kathryn Dallimore all alone to Love's right, where she stuffed the puck in. Then, just under three minutes later, Hayley McMeekin beat the Yale defense for a shorthanded goal, sticking it high on Love's glove side from point-blank range.
The overtime period started with a Yale penalty just 22 seconds in, leaving the Bulldogs in penalty-killing mode for a significant portion of it. Love stopped all three Quinnipiac shots, while Yale did not even get a shot off on Craig.
With the 2-2 tie on the record, the shootout began for Nutmeg Classic purposes. Jenna Spring started off with a deke that got Craig out of position and left the net wide open, but after that Craig closed the door on Sheila Zingler, Tittman, Caplette and Savard. Meanwhile, Love denied the first two QU shooters but Maldonado tied the shootout at one. McMeekin, the fifth and final shooter, scored to give the Bobcats the edge.
"Sarah Love played very, very well," said Yale head coach Hilary Witt. "We just need to play our systems better. We have five freshmen that we really rely on. They're working hard and they're going to get it."
Yale travels to UConn Saturday for the second game of the Nutmeg Classic, a 7.pm. start. Quinnipiac and UConn meet on Sunday to conclude the tournament.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity