Hat Trick for Ferrara
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The youth movement for the Yale women's ice hockey team was on full display in the home opener Friday night against Dartmouth, with freshman Janelle Ferrara leading a spirited third-period comeback that was capped by the game-tying goal -- her third of the game -- with just 89 seconds left in regulation. But Dartmouth had the final say as defenseman Morgan Illikainen's goal at 3:49 of overtime lifted the Big Green to a 5-4 win.
Led by Ferrara, Yale (1-4-0, 1-2-0 ECAC Hockey) got seven points from the freshman class Friday, and Ferrara, freshman forward Jamie Haddad and freshman defenseman Kate Martini are now the Bulldogs' top three scorers with a combined 14 points. Ferrara started the scoring Friday with a goal at 8:27, assisted by Haddad and junior defenseman Tara Tomimoto during a 4-on-3 advantage for Yale. Just 31 seconds later another freshman, forward Hanna Åström, took advantage of a turnover in the Dartmouth zone to snipe one past Big Green goalie Lindsay Holdcroft for a 2-0 lead. It was the first collegiate goal for the Swede.
Dartmouth (2-1-0, 2-1-0 ECAC Hockey) began clawing back with a goal by forward Camille Dumais late in the first, and the Big Green scored twice more in the second to take a 3-2 lead into the final period. But after Dartmouth forward Reagan Fischer scored 2:53 into the third, the Bulldogs battled back. They had been outshot 32-10 in the first two frames, kept in the game thanks to another standout performance in net by sophomore Jaimie Leonoff (39 saves). The third period wound up being much more evenly played, with 10 shots on goal for each team.
Those shots eventually paid off for the Bulldogs. Shortly after a Yale power play ended midway through the period, Martini put a shot on net from the blue line. Amidst a scrum in front of the net, junior forward Patricia McGauley and Haddad kept the puck alive and Ferrara was able to poke it in to pull Yale within one.
Leonoff then made one of her biggest saves of the night, coming out to stop a Dartmouth 2-on-1 by denying the shot from forward Laura Stacey while senior defenseman Jamie Gray closed off the passing lane.
Leonoff later reacted quickly to deny Dumais with her right leg after Dumais skated across the front of the goal and attempted to stuff the puck in. A Dartmouth shot then hit the crossbar, and the Bulldogs were eventually able to take advantage of that reprieve. Leonoff left in favor of an extra attacker with two minutes to play, and with heavy traffic in front of the net Martini put another shot into the crease. Ferrara tied the game up, finishing off her first career hat trick in just her fifth game.
"Her offensive instincts and skill level are tremendous," said Yale head coach Joakim Flygh. "For a kid five games into her college career, she's pretty impressive -- and she will keep getting better."
The Bulldogs had a power play as the third period came to an end, but a slap shot by Tomimoto was deflected away and the teams headed to overtime.
Yale's best chance in the extra session came shortly after Holdcroft used her glove to knock away a shot by Tomimoto. Senior forward Danielle Moncion slid a pass through the slot that just missed connecting with Haddad, who could have poked it in had she not been tied up with a Dartmouth defender.
Shortly after that, an icing call on Yale brought the puck into the Bulldog zone. Amidst another scrum in front of the net, after it appeared Leonoff may have had the puck covered, it came loose and Illikainen was able to rifle it in.
Despite the loss, the third-period comeback bodes well for a Bulldog team that has already scored as many goals in the first five games this year (nine) as it did in the first 10 games last year.
"Any time you can battle back in a game like this it's a good sign," said Flygh. "We didn't really have it the first two periods, but we worked our way into the game in the third. Our kids deserve credit."
Yale hosts No. 6 Harvard Saturday at 4 p.m.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity
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