Yip-Chuck, Martini and Åström Score
HAMDEN, Conn. – The Yale women's ice hockey team rallied from a 2-0 deficit to earn a 3-3 tie in overtime with No. 10 Quinnipiac Friday night at TD Bank Sports Center. The Bulldogs' comeback was fueled by goals from freshman forward Krista Yip-Chuck, sophomore defenseman Kate Martini and sophomore forward Hanna Åström. Junior goalie Jaimie Leonoff made 27 saves.
The first period was scoreless, with both teams registering penalty kills, until the waning seconds. Bobcats forward Shiann Darkangelo slipped one past Leonoff -- who had made 12 saves by that point -- with just 11.2 seconds left in the period. That was Darkangelo's 19th goal of the year.
The Bulldogs killed off another penalty early in the second, with Leonoff sticking aside a slap shot by defenseman Kristen Tamberg. Later in the period Leonoff made one of her best saves of the game, reacting quickly to get in front of a one-timer in the slot by forward Kelly Babstock. But at the 11:06 mark forward Meghan Turner sent a backhander towards the net and forward Nicole Connery deflected it past Leonoff to put QU up 2-0.
The Yale power play unit struck with 1:13 left in the second to get the Bulldogs within one. Yip-Chuck lifted one high past the left shoulder of goalie Chelsea Laden. The goal, assisted by junior forward Jackie Raines and senior defenseman Aurora Kennedy, was the fifth power play goal in the last five games for the Bulldogs.
"We just talked about simplifying things," Yale head coach Joakim Flygh said in explaining the recent success of the power play unit. "One of the things we've been stressing is getting shots on goal early in the power play. We're getting away from spending 30 seconds looking for a shot and being overly complicated."
Leonoff made another great save two minutes into the third, stuffing a point-blank shot by Darkangelo to keep Yale within one. The Bulldogs then tied the game two minutes later when Martini blasted a slap shot past Laden, assisted by Kennedy and freshman forward Gretchen Tarrant.
Yale got a scare right after that when Bobcats forward Meghan Turner got a breakaway, but Leonoff got enough of Turner's shot to deflect it wide.
The Bulldogs had to kill a penalty with 14 minutes left, and did so thanks in part to blocks by senior defenseman Tara Tomimoto, junior defenseman Madi Murray, Åström and sophomore forward Janelle Ferrara. Åström then put Yale ahead by knocking in a centering pass from junior forward Stephanie Mock at the 16:21 mark.
Åström and Mock are usually line mates with freshman forward Phoebe Staenz, the team's leading scorer, but she is playing for Switzerland at the Olympics (Staenz and Switzerland face Russia in a quarterfinal matchup at 7:30 a.m. Eastern time on Saturday). Without her, the duo nonetheless teamed up for a crucial goal.
"You'd have to ask Steph if she meant that to be a pass," Flygh said with a smile. "If so, it was a heck of a pass, and Hanna found a hole. Those two have been working hard and finding a way with different line mates."
Quinnipiac's first good chance to tie in the final minutes went by the wayside as forward Emma Woods' one-timer sailed wide with two minutes left. But with only 1:05 to play, Babstock tied the game 3-3 with her 16th goal of the year.
The Bobcats had a pair of chances early in overtime, but Leonoff denied a shot by forward Emma Woods in the slot. She also turned aside a wraparound attempt by defenseman Emma Greco.
Yale's lone shot of overtime was a long-distance wrister by Åström that Laden covered up. Raines blocked a shot with 90 seconds left in OT, and Yip-Chuck blocked one in the final seconds. Leonoff turned aside a desperation attempt by defenseman Cydney Roesler from the blue line just before time expired.
With the tie Yale (7-13-6, 5-8-6 ECAC Hockey) puts some further distance between itself and the two teams right behind the Bulldogs in the ECAC Hockey standings. Yale entered the day in seventh place, one point ahead of Rensselaer and two points ahead of Dartmouth. Both of those teams lost on Friday, putting the Bulldogs one point closer to clinching their first ECAC Hockey playoff berth since 2008. The top eight teams in the standings make the playoffs, with the top four having home ice advantage in the best-of-three quarterfinals.
Quinnipiac (17-5-9, 8-4-7 ECAC Hockey) is now winless in its last four games.
Yale visits Princeton Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity