Nov. 17, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The pattern is a frustrating one for Yale. After playing evenly with No. 7 Harvard for 40 minutes Friday before losing 3-0, the Bulldogs followed that game up by hanging with No. 8 Dartmouth for over 30 minutes on Saturday. But once again a power-play goal made the difference, and the Big Green broke a 1-1 tie on Jenna Cunningham's tally before going on to a 4-1 win.
Yale (3-3-1, 3-3-1 ECAC) broke on top early. Junior forward Crysti Howser took the puck out of the corner to Carli Clemis' left and sent a pass up to the blue line, where junior defenseman Carlee Ness teed up a slap shot that Howser and junior forward Sarah Tittman deflected up and in at 17:30.
Twenty seconds later the Bulldogs took a penalty, but freshman goalkeeper Jackee Snikeris stopped a shot by Sarah Parsons and the rebound attempt by Shannon Bowman. At 16:24 sophomore defenseman Alyssa Clarke and Dartmouth's Amanda Trunzo were both whistled for hitting after the whistle, so the Big Green remained on the attack with an extra man. But junior forward Maggie Westfal blocked a shot and cleared the puck and freshman forward Bray Ketchum pulled off the same maneuver later to kill off the penalty in dramatic fashion.
A Big Green faceoff win in the Dartmouth zone midway through the period nearly turned disastrous for the Bulldogs. Jenna Cunningham came away with the puck and took it all the way down the ice on Snikeris, but the rookie calmly kicked aside the shot to keep the lead intact. She then covered up an attempted centering pass by Cunningham that came dangerously close to the crease.
As the Bulldogs kept heading to the penalty box Snikeris continued to stand tall. She gloved a wrister by Sarah Newnam from the right circle during a penalty kill with seven minutes to go, then had another shot hit the pipe. She finished off the penalty by stopping a shot by Trunzo and the rebound attempt by Parsons.
Snikeris also got help from the defense. The Big Green (6-0-1, 4-0-0 ECAC) appeared to have an odd-man rush going with six minutes left, but sophomore defenseman Berit Johnson broke up an attempted centering pass by Parsons.
Yale went on the power play with four minutes to go in the period but could not get a shot on net. The Bulldogs also had a 5-on-3 briefly at the end of the second and start of the third, but junior defenseman Helen Resor sent a slap shot wide and Maggie Westfal's shot from down low as the period ended was blocked.
The Big Green nearly got a short-handed goal at the start of the third. Snikeris had just gotten done tapping out the end of the Dartmouth penalty when Parsons came out of the penalty box and took the puck in all alone on net. Snikeris forced her to go wide and knocked the puck away to keep the score 1-0.
Clemis denied a Yale power play three minutes in by making a save on a slap shot by freshman defenseman Samantha MacLean. The Big Green had a pair of grade-A chances with 12 minutes left in the period, but Snikeris turned aside a shot by Alyssa Boehm from right in front, then stopped Cunningham's attempt at wrapping the puck in from behind the net.
Dartmouth finally solved Snikeris at the 10:07 mark, with Maggie Kennedy putting home a rebound to tie the score. The Bulldogs nearly re-took the lead immediately, but sophomore Mandi Schwartz pushed a shot just wide amidst heavy traffic in front of Clemis.
As with Friday night, a penalty proved costly for the Bulldogs. Cunningham's power-play goal at 6:48 gave the Big Green its first lead of the game. All three of Harvard's goals Friday were power-play tallies.
Snikeris finished off the period with her 20th save, gloving a wrister by Shannon Bowman after a pretty pass from Parsons.
Clemis denied a Howser breakaway a minute into the third, then used her left leg to shut down two attempts by Howser to put the puck in five minutes later. Junior forward Danielle Kozlowski drew a penalty on the Big Green with 13 minutes left, but Howser and Resor both had shots go wide and Clemis made one of her 21 saves to end the threat. A minute later, Sarah Toupal skated the puck in from the boards and fed a wide-open Parsons in front to make it 3-1.
Looking for a spark, the Bulldogs pulled Snikeris for an extra skater with just under four minutes left, but when the Big Green re-gained control of the puck Cunningham deposited an empty netter for the 4-1 final.
Yale returns to action against Boston College next Saturday at Ingalls Rink (2:00 p.m.).
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity