NEW HAVEN, Conn. – On Saturday afternoon at Ingalls Rink, for the second game in a row, the Yale women's ice hockey team found itself without two goalies and facing a nationally ranked opponent. And unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the result was the same as Friday: a hard-fought loss in which sophomore goaltender Kyra O'Brien kept her team in the game as long as she could. No. 7 Clarkson -- which brought a nine-game winning streak to New Haven -- scored twice in the third period to pull away for a 4-1 win.
Yale (4-5-1, 2-5-1 ECAC Hockey) had a great first period, despite a goal by senior forward Phoebe Staenz being waved off less than four minutes in. The Bulldogs got that one back when junior forward Eden Murray scored off an assist by senior forward Krista Yip-Chuck at 16:30. That marked the first time since the second period of a 4-2 win at Princeton two weeks ago that Clarkson had trailed in a game.
Early in the second, the Bulldogs' second penalty of the game changed momentum in favor of Clarkson (12-3-1, 8-0-0 ECAC Hockey). The Golden Knights' potent power play unit needed just 15 seconds to tie the game, as forward Genevieve Bannon poked in a rebound from a tough angle.
Eight minutes later, Clarkson forward Cayley Mercer took a pass at the Yale blue line and got just enough separation from a Yale defender in front of her to send a shot past O'Brien and give the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead.
The challenge facing the Bulldogs grew later in the period, as Clarkson's penalty killing unit kept Yale from even getting a shot on goal during a power play with 10:31 left. Yale then killed off a penalty of its own later in the period, but wound up getting outshot 16-4 in the second.
O'Brien had made 26 saves through the first two periods to keep her team in the game, but in the third Clarkson scored quickly again to start gaining some separation. Forward Rhyen McGill gathered in a pass along the right boards for a breakaway, wristing her sixth goal of the season past O'Brien.
O'Brien came up with two big saves after a turnover in the Yale zone later in the period, but Bannon was able to knock in the second rebound to close out the scoring at 8:07. Clarkson goalie Shea Tiley made one of her best saves to deny Staenz at 16:30 during a Yale power play.
Tiley finished with 17 saves, while O'Brien made 34. This was O'Brien's third career start.
Yale returns to action next Friday, taking on UConn in the first round of the annual Nutmeg Classic tournament at Quinnipiac.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity