Big Red Rallies Past Bulldogs
ITHACA, N.Y. – The Yale women's ice hockey team had a pair of leads Friday night at No. 6 Cornell, but ultimately the Big Red rallied for a 6-3 win with three goals in the third period. The loss snapped a five-game unbeaten streak for the Bulldogs, Yale's longest unbeaten streak in seven years. It also ended a three-game winless streak for Cornell.
Yale (7-11-4, 5-6-4 ECAC Hockey) grabbed the lead just 40 seconds into the game. Senior defenseman Tara Tomimoto skated the puck out of the Yale zone and gave it up momentarily to sophomore forward Jamie Haddad as the two crossed into the Cornell zone. Haddad passed the puck right back to Tomimoto, who fired a shot on net from between the circles. Cornell goalie Paula Voorheis left the rebound sitting to her left, where Haddad swooped in to poke it in for a 1-0 lead.
That lead lasted only four minutes, though, as Cornell defenseman Alyssa Gagliardi tied the game off an assist by defenseman Morgan Richardson.
The Bulldogs killed off the first penalty of the game midway through the first. Yale limited Cornell's dangerous power play (26.0 percent, third in the country) to just two shots on goal, both of which were stopped by junior goaltender Jaimie Leonoff.
Shortly after Leonoff made a nice save on a backhand attempt from the slot by forward Emily Fulton, Yale went on the power play -- and capitalized. After sending one shot wide, sophomore defenseman Kate Martini one-timed another shot towards the goal off a pass from senior defenseman Aurora Kennedy. With sophomore forward Janelle Ferrara and junior forward Jackie Raines camped out in front, the puck deflected off Raines behind Voorheis and Ferrara was able to push it over the goal line to put Yale ahead 2-1 at the 16:05 mark.
Cornell (15-3-4, 10-2-3 ECAC Hockey) once again had an answer, though, as defenseman Hayleigh Cudmore tied the game two and half minutes later.
Yale had to kill off another penalty late in the first, and a shot block by Martini in the final seconds helped keep the score tied 2-2 heading into the first intermission.
"I thought we played well in the first period," said Yale head coach Joakim Flygh. "Obviously any time you generate offense like we did, that's a good thing. And we scored a power play goal, which we haven't done in a while."
Leonoff killed off the remainder of that penalty with an athletic save 30 seconds into the second, stretching out her left leg to deny a one-timer by Fulton. But on its third try, the Big Red power play finally delivered. Forward Anna Zorn's goal at 3:49 of the second -- assisted by defenseman Kelly Murray, sister of Yale defenseman Madi Murray, and defenseman Cassandra Poudrier -- gave Cornell its first lead of the game.
"They have a lot of dynamic players on the power play," said Flygh. "They're not predictable. You try to take away certain things that you see on tape, and they do a great job taking what you give them. Saulnier, Gagliardi, Fulton -- they're lethal."
Yale had a golden opportunity to tie the score when back-to-back penalties were called on Cornell midway through the period, giving the Bulldogs nearly four straight minutes on the power play. But Yale was unable to score, and the Big Red nearly got a short-handed goal -- forward Taylor Woods redirected a pass from forward Carolyn DeBruin just wide of the net.
The Bulldogs kept battling, though, and tied the game up with 46.9 seconds left in the second. Freshman defenseman Taylor Marchin and Ferrara got the puck deep into the corner, where Raines took it off the boards and skated in for a shot from a tough angle to Voorheis' right. Raines followed up that shot by poking the puck in to get the game tied 3-3, and Leonoff kept the score tied by gloving a Big Red shot in the final seconds of the second.
Raines' performance Friday was all the more impressive given that she was coming back from an injury that cost her the four previous games.
"Jackie provided good energy, and used her speed," said Flygh. "She generated some good scoring opportunities. She's a competitive kid, and it's good to have that back."
Lauren Slebodnick came on to play goal for Cornell in the third. Yale had to kill off another penalty midway through the period, and got a pair of saves from Leonoff along with a clear by Kennedy to keep the Big Red off the scoreboard. The penalty kill ended in dramatic fashion, as forward Jillian Saulnier sent a pair of slap shots wide and Cornell then had an apparent goal by Cudmore at the 10:22 mark waved off due to a high sticking call.
Just a minute later, though, the Bulldogs caught a tough break when Big Red forward Kaitlin Doering's redirection of a pass from Murray bounced off the post and trickled over the goal line behind Leonoff. That started the run that put the game away for Cornell. Two minutes later, Fulton knocked in the rebound of a shot by DeBruin and the Big Red had a two-goal lead. Forward Hanna Bunton then tacked on a goal with 3:17 to play, when the teams were skating 4-on-4, to make the final 6-3.
Cornell was playing without its No. 3 scorer, forward Jessica Campbell, who was suspended by ECAC Hockey for one game following a penalty she incurred in last Saturday's game vs. Clarkson. Yale was playing without its leading scorer, freshman forward Phoebe Staenz, who has left to head to Russia to play for Switzerland in the upcoming Olympics.
Yale plays at Colgate Saturday at 4:00 p.m.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity