Yale, Rensselaer Skate to 2-2 OT Tie

Ali Austin. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Ali Austin. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Raines, Martini Score Power Play Goals for Bulldogs

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The battle for one of ECAC Hockey's eight playoff spots took center stage at Ingalls Rink Saturday afternoon as the Yale women's ice hockey team hosted Rensselaer. The two teams were separated by just one point in the standings entering the day -- Yale in seventh place with 14 points, and Rensselaer tied for eighth with 13 points. With only two weekends of regular season games left, both teams were in need of points to secure a spot in the postseason. And in the end, they both got one. Power play goals by junior forward Jackie Raines and sophomore defenseman Kate Martini, combined with 26 saves from junior goalie Jaimie Leonoff, helped Yale come away with a 2-2 overtime tie vs. the Engineers.

Yale (7-13-5, 5-8-5 ECAC Hockey) had the first power play of the game, but Rensselaer's Kelly O'Brien denied slap shots from senior defensemen Aurora Kennedy and Tara Tomimoto. Midway through the period the Bulldogs had to kill off a penalty of their own. After Leonoff made a stick save on defenseman Madison Marzario and then stopped a wrister by forward Alexa Gruschow, freshman forward Krista Yip-Chuck generated a short-handed chance for Yale at the other end of the ice. But shortly after the Bulldogs finished off the penalty kill, Rensselaer forward Laura Horwood knocked in a rebound to give the Engineers a 1-0 lead at the 12:24 mark.

Each team killed off one more penalty for the period, and the Engineers went into the first intermission up 1-0.

Yale had the first six shots on goal of the second period, and the Bulldogs took advantage of a 5-on-3 to even the score. After a shot by Kennedy was blocked in the slot, Yip-Chuck and sophomore forward Jamie Haddad worked together to keep the puck alive, with Yip-Chuck boxing out a defender. They eventually got the puck to Raines, who slid it behind O'Brien.

The Bulldogs had to kill off a penalty shortly after that goal. Leonoff stopped a slap shot by Marzario, then a point-blank attempt by forward Jordan Smelker. Junior defenseman Madi Murray then tied up an RPI player in front of the net to prevent another Grade-A scoring chance.

Another successful penalty kill by Yale late in the second included a shot block by Haddad and a pair of saves by Leonoff. The teams went into the second intermission tied 1-1.

Yale caught a break early in the third when a shot by Smelker bounced off the crossbar. The Bulldogs then went ahead shortly after a scrum behind the net during a Yale power play left RPI with three players in the penalty box (and Yale with one player). Sophomore defenseman Kate Martini ripped a slap shot into the top corner of the net past O'Brien's glove at the 14:12 mark. Kennedy and Yip-Chuck assisted.

Rensselaer (10-16-3, 6-10-2 ECAC Hockey) pulled the goalie with 1:28 to play, then got the game-tying goal with 43.1 seconds left. After Martini deflected away one shot and blocked another, Gruschow slipped one in to get the score to 2-2.

Rensselaer had the only shot on goal of the overtime, and it was a good one. On an Engineers power play, Leonoff had to deny a blast from defenseman Heidi Huhtamaki with a minute remaining to finish off the tie.

Yale travels to No. 8 Quinnipiac next Friday.

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