Trio of Power Play Goals in Third Lifts No. 7 Harvard Past Yale 3-0

Nov. 16, 2007

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Three power-play goals in the third period, including one during a 5-on-3, lifted No. 7 Harvard to a 3-0 win over Yale Friday night at Ingalls Rink. Three different players - Sarah Vaillancourt, Sarah Wilson and Jenny Brine - scored for the Crimson, spoiling a 31-save effort by Yale senior goaltender Shivon Zilis. Christina Kessler made 22 saves for Harvard.

"I thought we played well," said Yale head coach Hilary Witt. "Shivon played great. We killed eight of 11 penalties, but 5-on-3s are tough."

Yale wound up taking 13 penalties against a Crimson team that came in having converted five of 12 power-play opportunities. That would cost the Bulldogs (3-2-1, 3-2-1 ECAC) a chance at knocking off their long-time rivals in front of a large crowd at the Whale.

The first period started slowly, and the Bulldogs did not put a shot on net until freshman forward Bray Ketchum's slap shot forced a glove save by Christina Kessler four minutes in. Three minutes later Ketchum had another golden chance, creating her own shot by taking the puck in front from the corner and backhanding one on net that Kessler smothered.

The first penalty of the period came seven minutes in, and Harvard (3-0-0, 3-0-0 ECAC) took advantage of the power play to seize some momentum. But Zilis stopped one shot by Katherine Chute, then another by Cori Bassett with one second left in the penalty kill.

The Bulldogs lost a chance for a power play of their own when they were whistled just 14 seconds after a Harvard infraction midway through the first. Another penalty on Yale 30 seconds later gave the Crimson a man advantage and put Zilis to the test. She denied a slap shot by Vaillancourt, then one by Caitlin Cahow, then stopped another Vaillancourt shot during the brief 5-on-3 for the Cantabs.

Another Yale penalty with 52 seconds left in the first gave Harvard another power play chance, but Zilis knocked away a shot by Liza Ryabkina and the teams went into the first intermission scoreless.

The Crimson power play continued into the second period, but a clear by junior forward Danielle Kozlowski disrupted the attack and Zilis sticked aside a shot by Ryabkina as the power play came to an end.

A five-minute major for hitting from behind against Harvard's Leanna Coskren five minutes into the second gave Yale a chance to take the lead, but a turnover gave Vaillancourt the best shot on goal of the sequence. Zilis got a piece of that blast with her left shoulder to deflect it up into the netting. Junior defenseman Helen Resor sent a shot wide as the power play ended.

Zilis stopped a nifty backhanded attempt in front by Ryabkina with two minutes to play in the period, and junior forward Maggie Westfal's wraparound attempt as time expired left the game scoreless heading into the third.

The penalties finally caught up with Yale in the third. A pair within 24 seconds right after the period started turned the game squarely in Harvard's favor. Operating on the 5-on-3, Vaillancourt stuck in a rebound at the 1:40 mark to give the Crimson a 1-0 lead. Harvard then won the faceoff, and Sarah Wilson's unassisted goal at 1:55 with the teams skating 5-on-4 changed the complexion of the game.

Junior forward Crysti Howser drew a penalty on Harvard's Kate Buesser with 15 minutes left, but after Katharine Chute got off a short-handed wrister a turnover gave Wilson another chance that Zilis denied. Ketchum finally got a shot on net at the other end but Kessler stopped it.

A delay of game call against the Crimson gave Yale a 5-on-3 for 30 seconds and the Bulldogs called timeout looking to get on the scoreboard. The Harvard penalty kill clamped down, however, and Westfal just missed putting home a feed from Resor from the side of the net. Kessler also stopped a slap shot from sophomore defenseman Berit Johnson, and sophomore forward Denise Soesilo sent a wrister wide. Zilis grabbed a loose puck in front of the net after an Anna McDonald shot with 11 minutes to play.

The Crimson put the game out of reach when a pair of penalties gave Harvard another 5-on-3 with less than four minutes to play. Cahow slid a perfect pass into the slot for Brine with 3:51 left in the game.

Yale returns to action Saturday against No. 8 Dartmouth at Ingalls.

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

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