Nov. 26, 2005
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - When Yale made a move to go with four offensive lines recently, it was designed to boost the Bulldogs' offense. That happened in dramatic fashion Saturday afternoon at Schneider Arena, as the Bulldogs scored five third-period goals to beat Niagara 9-1. That was the most goals Niagara has ever allowed in a game and the Purple Eagles' worst margin of defeat. It is also the most goals Yale has scored in a game since a 12-1 win over Sacred Heart Jan. 22, 2003 and the first time Yale has beaten Niagara (0-5-1 entering Saturday).
The game did not start out looking like it would become a blowout. Christina Sharun got Yale (3-5-2) on the board by beating Purple Eagle goaltender Allison Rutledge high on her stick side 10:32 in for her first goal of the year, but Niagara (4-7-1) got a goal from Amy Jack 14 seconds later to even the game at one.
The Bulldogs held only a 10-9 advantage in shots for the first period but increased the offensive pressure in the second. Rutledge stopped two breakaways midway through, one by Kelsey Johnson and another by Crysti Howser. Yale finally got some breathing room when Carlee Ness worked the puck up to Lisa Jacque along the boards near the Niagara blue line, and Jacque sent the puck over to Sharun. She blasted another one past Rutledge for a 3-1 lead at 13:49 of the second.
The Bulldogs went scoreless on their first four power plays, but the fifth one clicked. Caplette fed Sheila Zingler, whose shot was stopped by a kick save from Rutledge. Nina Resor was camped out behind the goalie and poked the rebound in for her first goal of the season at 17:23.
Niagara had a chance to chip away at the lead with a power play during the final two minutes of the second, but could not even get a shot on Sarah Love (22 saves).
Yale got back on the board quickly in the third. Just under two minutes in, Danielle Kozlowski sent in a shot from the high slot that Rutledge was able to stop, but Sharun put the puck back on net and Lisa Jacque was able to knock it in for her first goal of the season. That was also the first career assist for Kozlowski.
"I thought Kozlowski, Sharun and Jacque played great and we fed off of them," said Yale head coach Hilary Witt.
Caplette (assisted by Nina Resor and Jenna Spring on a power play) and Sarah Tittman (assisted by Crysti Howser and Carry Resor, the first of her career) then tipped goals past Rutledge at 8:05 and 12:41 respectively. The Purple Eagles pulled Rutledge after a goal by Kelsey Johnson (assisted by Zingler and Kristen Stupay) with 5:33 remaining. Savard then stuffed one past Megan Keeter off assists by Caplette and Carry Resor for the 9-1 final.
Yale wound up outshooting the Purple Eagles 34-14 over the final two periods. The balanced scoring - 16 different players had a point - is indicative of what the Bulldogs hope to achieve from the move to four lines, made possible by the return of Howser and Westfal from soccer season and the move of Johnson back to forward from defense.
"We've never had four lines," Witt said. "At first kids start to think `Well, I'm not going to get out there as often,' but then they realize that if they go really hard, with four lines we can really dominate."
The game was broadcast as USCHO.com's "Game of the Week." An archive of the broadcast will be available on USCHO.com's website.
Yale travels to No. 7 Mercyhurst for a pair of games next Saturday (2:00 p.m.) and Sunday (1:00 p.m.).
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity