Unable to Overcome Early Deficit, Bulldogs Fall 4-1 at No. 5 St. Lawrence

Mallory Souliotis. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Mallory Souliotis. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

CANTON, N.Y. – The Yale women's ice hockey team regrouped after a tough first period Saturday afternoon at Appleton Arena, outscoring a powerful St. Lawrence squad 1-0 in the final two periods as sophomore goalie Kyra O'Brien stopped all 18 shots she saw. But in the end the Saints' four-goal first was too much for the Bulldogs to overcome, and they fell 4-1.

The Bulldogs knew they were in for a challenge Saturday. No. 5 St. Lawrence (18-2-2, 10-1-1 ECAC Hockey) entered the game eighth in the nation in scoring (3.29 goals per game) and third in the nation in scoring defense (1.38 goals per game). In the ECAC Hockey standings, the Saints were just two points behind first-place No. 3 Clarkson. They had erupted for seven goals Friday night in a win vs. Brown, and kept clicking well into Saturday's game.

Yale (5-11-1, 3-8-1 ECAC Hockey) was coming off a hard-fought 4-2 loss at No. 3 Clarkson Friday, as the Bulldogs tied the game with less than four minutes to play only to see Clarkson score a pair of late goals to avoid the upset bid.

The Saints came out firing in the first, outshooting Yale 21-6 thanks in part to a pair of penalties on the Bulldogs. St. Lawrence's first goal came in transition, as forward Hannah Miller fed her linemate Kennedy Marchment, who was wide open for a redirection inside the right post at 5:40.

An early chance to swing momentum back in Yale's favor slipped away when Saints goalie Grace Harrison denied senior forward Krista Yip-Chuck on a breakaway 9:30 in. Two minutes later, after a series of saves by freshman goalie Tera Hofmann, defenseman Amanda McClure teed up a slap shot from the left circle that made it 2-0 at the 11:22 mark.

McClure, who had two goals for the season entering the game, struck again with just 78 seconds left in the period. She found just enough space above Hofmann's left shoulder from the right circle to make it 3-0 St. Lawrence.

Saints forward Nadine Edney capped off the period with an impressive individual effort, skating the puck in along the left boards and deking her way past a pair of Yale defenders before backhanding in her seventh goal of the season. That made it 4-0 at the 19:40 mark.

O'Brien came on in relief of Hofmann for the second period. Harrison made another big stop 30 seconds in, denying Yip-Chuck in front. The Bulldogs got their first power play of the day shortly after that, but O'Brien wound up having to make a big save to deny Saints forward Kayla Vespa on a breakaway short-handed chance.

The Bulldogs got a short-handed chance of their own later in the period, but Harrison stopped senior forward Phoebe Staenz to keep the score 4-0.

There were two more close calls for St. Lawrence later in the period -- forward Brooke Webster hit the post with a shot, and a Saints goal was waved off due to a high stick. The Bulldogs got another short-handed chance with two minutes to play, but Harrison stopped junior forward Kaitlin Gately and the Saints kept their 4-0 lead into the third.

Yale broke up the shutout with a power-play goal early in the third. After having a shot blocked, junior defenseman Mallory Souliotis took a feed from sophomore forward Emma Vlasic in the left circle, walked in and sniped her second goal of the season. That made the score 4-1 at 7:34.

The Bulldogs got another power play 90 seconds after Souliotis' goal, but were unable to capitalize. Harrison finished with 20 saves as she claimed her 15th win of the season.

Saturday marked the end of a stretch of six straight road games for Yale. The Bulldogs return to Ingalls Rink to host Dartmouth next Friday at 6:00 p.m.

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