Hofmann Stellar in Debut as Yale Ties No. 9 Princeton 1-1 in OT

Tera Hofmann. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Tera Hofmann. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Freshman goaltender Tera Hofmann had a memorable debut for the Yale women's ice hockey team Saturday afternoon at Ingalls Rink, stepping in and delivering 35 saves as the Bulldogs earned a 1-1 tie in overtime with No. 9 Princeton. Junior forward Eden Murray scored Yale's goal.

Joakim Flygh, Yale's Susah Cavanagh Head Coach of Women's Ice Hockey, was looking for a spark by making a change in goal, and that was exactly what Hofmann delivered. The Bulldogs were coming off a tough 4-1 loss to No. 4 Quinnipiac Friday night, but looked ready to take on the Tigers from the get-go Saturday.

"We felt Tera was going to push for the starting job, and today was as good an opportunity as any," said Flygh. "Sometimes when you start a new goalie, it's a wake-up call for the team."

Hofmann went right to work, stopping all 12 shots in the first period. But Princeton goalie Alysia DaSilva wound up stopping all six shots she faced, keeping the game scoreless. The second period saw both offenses come up empty again, including 0-for-2 performances on the power play.

The game finally swung in favor of Yale (2-1-1, 0-1-1 ECAC Hockey) at 10:17 of the third on a power play. The Bulldogs had gone 0-for-9 on the man advantage in Friday night's loss, but got a crucial special teams goal Saturday when, after a shot by senior defenseman Taylor Marchin was stopped, senior forward Phoebe Staenz set up Murray at the back door to make it 1-0.

Yale then killed off a 5-on-3 with just under seven minutes to play. That was typical of a day in which the Bulldogs were 10-for-10 on the kill; this one started off with a pair of blocks and saw very little threat to Hofmann.

"We lost the special teams game Friday, but won it today," said Flygh. "Players like [junior forward] Kaitlin Gately and [junior forward] Brittany Wheeler set the tone with their blocking, and they deserve a ton of credit. That was some very unselfish hockey."

But Princeton (3-0-1, 1-0-1 ECAC Hockey), the defending Ivy League champions, would not go quietly. The game turned in heartbreaking fashion for Yale, as -- with the Tigers deploying an extra attacker and DaSilva out -- Hofmann got a piece of a Tiger shot with 30 seconds to play but it popped loose behind her. As players from both teams converged on the net, the puck got knocked over the goal line to tie the score 1-1 at 18:31. That was the second goal of the season for Princeton forward Cassidy Tucker.

Bulldogs senior forward Krista Yip-Chuck just missed a goal two minutes into overtime, and after that a penalty on Yale forced the Bulldogs to execute one more kill. Shortly after one last block by Wheeler, Hofmann made a stop on a one-timer to end the final threat and earn the tie in her first career game.

"She was calm and collected and made all the saves we needed," said Flygh. "We played hard. It wasn't necessarily a clean game, but our effort was outstanding. I like our depth. That's going to be a strength for us."

Yale returns to action next Friday, hosting Rensselaer.

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