Oct. 31, 2008
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - When Yale head coach Hilary Witt decided to pair two of her top three returning scorers, senior forward Crysti Howser and sophomore Bray Ketchum, with highly regarded freshman forward Aleca Hughes, this is what she had in mind. That line accounted for all four goals -- two from Howser and two from Ketchum -- and totaled nine points as Yale blanked Union 4-0 Friday afternoon at Messa Rink. Freshman goalie Genny Ladiges got the shutout in her first career start, making 12 saves.
"That group [Howser, Hughes and Ketchum] just kept getting pucks to the net," Witt said. "When you do that, good things happen."
And they happen quickly. After Yale (1-1-0, 1-0-0 ECAC Hockey) won the opening faceoff the Bulldogs went right down and scored, as Howser knocked in a rebound of a Ketchum shot 12 seconds in.
Union goalie Lundy Day finished the period with 13 saves to keep the score 1-0, but Howser struck again 41 seconds into the second, assisted by Ketchum and Hughes. The same trio was involved in another goal 140 seconds later, with Ketchum scoring and Howser and Hughes assisting. Yale would outshoot the Dutchwomen 14-1 in that period.
"That line is clicking and scoring goals, which is what we need from them," Witt said. "We played hard and we played disciplined."
Ketchum put the game out of reach with a power-play goal assisted by junior defenseman Alyssa Clarke at 15:18 of the third. That ended Day's day, as she left with 29 saves in favor of Kate Gallagher (six saves).
The spotlight shifted to Ladiges as Union (0-8-1, 0-1-0 ECAC Hockey) turned up the pressure in the third period, putting eight shots on goal -- twice as many as the first two periods combined. That included a grade-A scoring chance late in the game on a rebound for forward Kim Kowalczyk, but Ladiges denied her to keep the shutout intact. She wound up as the first Yale freshman with a shutout in her first start since Shivon Zilis '08 in 2004.
"Genny was great," Witt said. "She didn't see a lot of shots, so she had to stay focused. She looked comfortable in there, which is important. Union didn't quit, and they had a quality scoring chance at the end that she had to make a save on."
Howser now has four goals in the season's first two games.
Yale plays at RPI Saturday at 3:00 p.m.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity