Snikeris Makes 29 Saves
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale held off No. 2 Cornell's potent offense for more than 20 minutes, but once the Big Red got rolling the Bulldogs could not come up with a response. Cornell scored five goals in the final two periods to beat Yale 5-0 at Ingalls Rink Friday night.
Cornell (14-1-0, 9-0-0 ECAC Hockey) was without five players who were playing for Canada in the MLP Cup tournament, and starting goalie Amanda Mazzotta was out with an injury. But Canadian Olympian Rebecca Johnston remained with the Big Red, and she wound up with a hat trick.
Yale (4-10-2, 3-5-1 ECAC Hockey) hung with the Big Red throughout the first period, limiting Cornell to only nine shots on goal. The Big Red came into the game averaging more than 12 shots a period.
The Bulldogs had several chances to take an early lead. Senior forward Bray Ketchum lifted a wrister high five minutes into the game, and freshman forward Jenna Ciotti sent one wide after getting the puck from junior defenseman Heather Grant, who made a nice stop at the blue line to hold the zone. Freshman forward Ashley Dunbar just missed stuffing in a deflected shot right after that.
Junior forward Aleca Hughes pulled up and fired a wrister past the right post with six minutes left in the period, and shortly after that Grant came out from behind the net for a tough shot that was denied. Junior forward Lauren Davis tried backhanding one in from the slot with 3:30 remaining but was unsuccessful.
A checking call on the Bulldogs with 90 seconds remaining left Yale killing a penalty as the period ended. Freshman forward Jackie Raines deflected the first Big Red shot, and an interception at center ice by sophomore forward Jamie Gray helped the Bulldogs head into the first intermission with the game scoreless.
A block by senior defenseman Samantha MacLean and a clear by Hughes helped the Bulldogs finish off the penalty kill at the start of the second, but shortly after that the Big Red reeled off three goals in a span of just over 10 minutes.
Johnston started the run by jamming in a loose puck from right outside the crease at the 3:24 mark. A minute later senior Jackee Snikeris denied forward Karlee Overguard, who was wide open for a slap shot from low in the left circle. Thirty seconds after that Snikeris cradled a blast from defenseman Amanda Gagliardi.
The momentum swung quickly back in Cornell's favor after Big Red goalie Lauren Slebodnick denied a backhander by Hughes on a breakaway. Three minutes later a wrister in the slot by forward Hayley Hughes eluded Snikeris to give Cornell a 2-0 lead at the nine-minute mark.
Snikeris made a pair of back-to-back kick saves to deny Johnston 30 seconds after the faceoff. A minute later MacLean and freshman defenseman Aurora Kennedy combined to break up another golden opportunity for Johnston, who appeared to have gotten behind the Yale defense.
Cornell forward Olivia Cook hit the post during a Big Red power play with 7:30 left in the period, but two minutes later Johnston scored on a breakaway for a 3-0 lead.
The Bulldogs called timeout and re-grouped for the final five minutes of the period. Snikeris denied a backhander by Johnston with two minutes left, and Hughes just missed putting in the rebound of a shot by Ketchum in the final seconds.
Snikeris came up with a pair of big saves in the first two minutes of the third, denying a point-blank shot by forward Brianne Jenner and then smothering a shot by forward Karlee Overguard after Yale turned it over at the Cornell blue line. But a slap shot by defenseman Amanda Young followed by another breakaway goal for Johnston turned it into a 5-0 game with 10 minutes to play. Slebodnick, playing her third career game, finished off the shut out by denying a backhander from sophomore forward Alyssa Zupon in the slot with four minutes to play.
Yale returns to action against Colgate Saturday at 4 p.m.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity