Bulldogs Drop Opener to Niagara, 5-1

Jackie Raines. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Jackie Raines. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Raines Scores Bulldog Goal

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Forward Kelsey Welch had a pair of goals and an assist to lead Niagara to a 5-1 win over Yale in the Bulldogs' season opener Friday night at Ingalls rink. Sophomore forward Jackie Raines scored the Bulldogs' lone goal.

A quickly played first period featured no penalties and just one goal. Welch managed to poke in the rebound of an attempt by forward Kristen Richards 5:12 before intermission.

After senior goalie Genny Ladiges made a great save on Welch at the start of the second period, the Bulldogs were hit with back-to-back penalties that gave the Purple Eagles more than a minute of 5-on-3. They capitalized with a goal by forward Jessica Hitchcock that made it 2-0 at 3:09.

Ladiges made another great stop midway through the second, getting her blocker on a shot by forward Amy Helfrich on a breakaway. But at the 6:50 mark forward Kalli Funk got just enough of a pass in the slot to redirect it past Ladiges, banging it in off the post. Yale went into the second intermission down 3-0.

The Bulldogs were whistled for their sixth penalty of the game less than two minutes into the third. They were able to kill that one off, and started to rally back when they got a power play of their own. Freshman forward Stephanie Mock brought the puck out from behind the net and got it to junior forward Alyssa Zupon, who had been pressed into action as a defenseman with Yale's blue line hit by injuries. Zupon got it to Raines, who spun off a defender in the right circle and sniped one past Niagara's Abby Ryplanski at 4:24.

But any hopes of a comeback for Yale (0-1-0, 0-0-0 ECAC Hockey) disappeared when Niagara (3-5-0, 0-0-0 CHA) tacked on goals by forward Danielle Dal Colle at 5:37 and Welch at 12:49.

Ladiges finished with 32 saves, while Ryplanski had 20.

Yale hosts No. 8 Northeastern Saturday at 2 p.m.

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