Late Goal Gives Engineers 4-3 Win

Aurora Kennedy. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Aurora Kennedy. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Three Assists for Kennedy

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A see-saw women's ice hockey battle between Yale and RPI came down to the final 67 seconds Saturday afternoon at Houston Field House, when a goal by forward Taylor Mahoney gave the Engineers a 4-3 win. The Bulldogs had leads of 1-0 and 3-2, but ultimately were hurt by allowing three power play goals. Junior defenseman Aurora Kennedy assisted on all three Yale goals, and sophomore goalie Jaimie Leonoff finished with 34 saves.

As they had done in Friday's game at Union, the Bulldogs took an early 1-0 lead. Just 4:08 in, Kennedy carried the puck up the left boards and into the RPI zone after a feed from senior forward Alyssa Zupon. Kennedy then tossed the puck into the slot, where senior forward Jen Matichuk was there to poke it in for a 1-0 lead. It was Matichuk's first goal of the season.

A tough call against the Bulldogs gave RPI the chance to tie the game. Freshman forward Jamie Haddad took a shot on goal right after being whistled for being offside, resulting in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. After a couple saves by Leonoff, the Engineers got on the board with a goal -- but only after video review. The initial call on the ice was that forward Taylor Horton had illegally deflected the puck in on the rebound, but after video review her shot was ruled legal and the score moved to 1-1.

Just over four minutes later another apparent RPI goal went to video review, and this one wound up being disallowed due to a crease violation on the Engineers.

Yale (2-11-1, 1-6-1 ECAC Hockey) killed off one more penalty in the first, but the Bulldogs also came up empty on a power play of their own, then had another one go scoreless after continuing into the start of the second period.

Yale caught another tough break on a penalty kill at the 4:23 mark of the second, when an RPI shot from the right circle was deflected but wound up going directly to Engineer forward Alexa Gruschow, who was wide open low in the left circle. She one-timed it into the net to put RPI up 2-1.

RPI goalie Kelly O'Brien made one of her best saves of the day to deny freshman forward Hanna Åström on a one-timer right in front of the net after a nice pass from sophomore forward Stephanie Mock. But the Bulldogs kept up the offensive pressure. RPI had allowed Brown only 10 shots on goal in blanking the Bears 3-0 Friday night, but Yale surpassed that total midway through the second. That offensive output paid off with a pair of goals in 29 seconds that gave the Bulldogs the lead.

The first came on a power play, with Kennedy feeding senior forward Danielle Moncion to help start an odd-man rush. Moncion gained the zone and fed the puck over to Haddad, who used her skate to get it onto her stick before slipping a shot past O'Brien at the 12:59 mark.

Before the Engineers could recover, the Bulldogs were right back on the attack. Kennedy once again assisted on the play, this time getting the puck down low where Åström took it out from behind the net and fed Zupon in front. Yale's captain slammed home the go-ahead goal at 13:28.

O'Brien kept the Yale lead from growing by denying a shot by junior forward Patricia McGauley, and Mock's attempt to follow up, with five minutes left in the period.

RPI (5-11-2, 3-5-0 ECAC Hockey) took advantage of another power play to tie the game late in the second. Leonoff made the save on the initial shot by Mahoney, but the rebound went right back to Mahoney and she stuffed it in to tie the game 3-3 with 1:46 remaining in the second.

Yale got a power play with eight minutes to play, and spent the majority of it in the RPI zone. But a pair of shots by Kennedy were blocked, as was one by Haddad, and a pair of passes by freshman forward Janelle Ferrara sailed through the slot untouched.

A penalty on Yale with 5:29 to play gave RPI another power play chance. But Leonoff made four saves, and another shot hit the pipe.

A late Yale power play nearly turned disastrous, as Gruschow fought through a Bulldog player at the RPI blue line to create a short-handed breakaway chance. But Leonoff came out to challenge her, and got her right leg out to stuff the shot. Yale eventually got the puck into the RPI zone for a slap shot by junior defenseman Tara Tomimoto that O'Brien gloved right before the Yale power play ended.

After that a 3-on-1 for RPI resulted in the go-ahead goal with 1:07 to play. After Kennedy broke up the initial pass, the puck wound up bouncing to Mahoney for the goal.

Yale pulled Leonoff with less than a minute to go for an extra attacker, but the Bulldogs were unable to get off another shot.

Yale is now off until Jan. 4, when the Bulldogs host McGill in an exhibition game at Ingalls Rink.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity

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