Hughes Nets Game-Winner
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Just in time for the home stretch of the regular season, the Yale women's hockey team is putting together a winning streak. Junior forward Bray Ketchum's goal with 1:57 left in overtime gave Yale a 3-2 win at Brown Sunday afternoon, improving the Bulldogs' record to 5-1-1 in the last seven games. The victory extended Yale's lead for the eighth and final ECAC Hockey playoff spot to three points with six games remaining.
The second match-up between Yale and Brown in less than 24 hours proved more of a challenge for the Bulldogs than Saturday's 3-0 win. The Bears rallied twice from one-goal deficits to tie the game, and Brown freshman goalie Katie Jamieson made 37 saves to keep the Bulldogs at bay. The game came down to the waning moments of overtime, when sophomore forward Aleca Hughes and freshman forward Alyssa Zupon helped set up freshman defenseman Tara Tomimoto for a wrist shot from the left circle that Jamieson stopped. Hughes chased down the loose puck behind the net, then came around the right post. She sent a seemingly innocent backhander in front, but as the puck bounced around Ketchum was able to send it trickling in past Jamieson's left leg for the game-winner.
"Brown wanted it badly, and they did everything they could to make this a good game," said Yale head coach Hilary Witt. "They came out flying, and with nothing to lose. Our kids had to find a way, on the road, to get the win."
Yale (9-11-3, 7-8-1 ECAC Hockey) had a number of chances early on, with Brown called for body-checking senior forward Caroline Murphy just five minutes into the game. Tomimoto had a slap shot wind up getting caught in the pants of Bears forward Laurie Jolin. Jamieson made a big save on a slap shot by Ketchum but left the rebound sitting off to the right; forward Sasha Van Muyen got to it to clear it before any Bulldogs could arrive. Jamieson later came far out of the net to stop Ketchum's attempt to chase down a long pass into the Brown zone.
Another Brown penalty at the 7:29 mark gave Yale some more Grade-A chances, but Jamieson was able to quickly glove senior defenseman Alyssa Clarke's attempt to stuff in a back door rebound at the right post. Jamieson also stopped a wrister by Tomimoto, and shortly after the penalty ended she denied shots from right in front by both Ketchum and Hughes.
Junior goalie Jackee Snikeris made her first big save midway through a Yale penalty kill, denying a rebound attempt while down on the ice at the 10:40 mark. Right after that the Bears were hit with a holding call that ended their power play.
Penalties continued to be a factor as the period wore on, and the Bulldogs were the first team to take advantage with a power-play goal. Senior forward Berit Johnson set up sophomore defenseman Heather Grant for a powerful slap shot from the right point that sailed just past the near post. The puck hit off the boards behind the goal, bouncing out into dangerous territory to the right of a surprised Jamieson. Murphy, who had just got on the ice for a line change, was able to swoop in all alone and put the puck in for a 1-0 Yale lead at 12:09. It was her second power-play goal of the weekend.
"That was a great play," Witt said. "We talked about hustling on to the ice on changes. Murph hustled that one right to the net. Brown has some tricky boards, and today they helped us."
Brown (2-16-4, 0-13-3 ECAC Hockey) evened it with a power play goal of its own at 14:07, as defenseman Erica Kromm knocked in the rebound of a slap shot by forward Alena Polenska. That snapped a string of 23 straight successful penalty kills for the Bulldogs, and ended a streak of 133:53 without allowing a goal by Snikeris.
Yale went back on top shortly before the first intermission. Ketchum took a pass from freshman forward Alyssa Zupon, carried the puck in from the neutral zone and got off a shot that Jamieson stopped. Zupon was able to stick the rebound in for a 2-1 Yale lead at the 18:10 mark.
"Zupon has been playing great," Witt said. "She made a beautiful pass to Bray in the neutral zone, then finished it up."
Van Muyen skated her way through the Yale defense down the left wing to get off a tough shot that Snikeris gloved one minute into the second period. Three minutes later Jamieson came up with one of her biggest saves, closing up the five hole on Ketchum as she tried to finish off a breakaway. That wound up being the Bulldogs' best chance of the period. Senior defenseman Alyssa Clarke was able to disrupt a Brown 2-on-1 three minutes later, and right after that Snikeris stopped Jolin's attempt to stuff in a rebound at the left post.
After nearly 20 minutes of play without a whistle, a flurry of penalties midway through the second shifted momentum in Brown's favor. Yale was hit with two penalties in the span of just over three minutes, with a Brown penalty sandwiched in between. As a result the Bears were on a power play with 3:18 left in the period when Jolin banged home the rebound of a shot by Polenska to tie the game 2-2.
The third period got off to a rocky start for Yale, thanks to a penalty a minute in. The Bears used that to generate some offensive momentum, including a scary sequence for Yale four minutes in where Snikeris momentarily lost her stick during a flurry in front. With 12:30 left Jolin had another shot stopped by Snikeris, who also stopped her follow-up attempt.
The Bulldogs regrouped and had a number of offensive chances in the final minutes of regulation, and also continued to make the necessary sacrifices in the defensive zone. Zupon went diving to the ice to block a shot with 90 seconds left, part of a 20-block day for the Bulldogs (compared to three for Brown).
Snikeris made three saves in overtime, finishing with 31 after Ketchum's heroics ended it.
With the win, Yale now has a three-point lead over ninth-place Colgate and a four-point lead over 10th-place Dartmouth in the ECAC Hockey standings. Seventh-place St. Lawrence has a two-point edge on the Bulldogs with one less game played -- the Saints host league-leading No. 3 Clarkson on Tuesday.
Yale visits Dartmouth and No. 7 Harvard next weekend.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity