NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's ice hockey team is heating up at just the right time. On Friday night at Ingalls Rink the Bulldogs registered their third straight win, edging Brown 2-1 to keep themselves in position to earn a spot in the ECAC Hockey playoffs. Junior forward Kaitlin Gately and senior forward Phoebe Staenz scored Yale's goals and sophomore goaltender Kyra O'Brien made 19 saves for the win.
Yale (8-11-3, 6-8-1 ECAC Hockey) controlled play for much of the first period, outshooting the Bears 16-5, but had no goals to show for those efforts. One particularly close call came on the only power play of the frame, as senior forward Krista Yip-Chuck hit the crossbar with a shot. The game was scoreless into the second.
The Bulldogs finally broke through when Gately skated the puck into the Brown zone and tried a centering pass. It hit off a Brown player and bounced to freshman defenseman Saroya Tinker, whose one-timer was turned aside by Brown goalie Monica Elvin. But Gately pounced on the rebound for her second goal of the season -- and second in the last two games. That put Yale up 1-0 at 6:07. Junior forward Courtney Pensavalle also assisted on the play.
The Bulldogs had to kill off a penalty later in the period, with O'Brien smothering Brown's only shot on goal. Junior defenseman Mallory Souliotis barely missed making it 2-0 with less than a minute to play, pinging a shot off the post.
Yale got a much-needed insurance goal at 10:42 after a Brown turnover deep in the Bears' zone. Senior forward Phoebe Staenz got the puck from junior forward Eden Murray, put it on net, then put in the rebound of a follow-up shot by Yip-Chuck.
That cushion helped take some pressure off a Yale penalty kill with less than eight minutes to go; Brown (5-17-0, 3-12-0 ECAC Hockey) wound up incurring a penalty just 40 seconds into that power play, and another one seven seconds after that, to give the advantage right back to the Bulldogs.
Yale tacked on one more highlight with 5:21 when a shot by Souliotis broke the glass behind the Brown goal. After a brief delay, play resumed. Brown made the final minutes interesting by getting a goal from forward Bridget Carey to close within 2-1 at 15:37. The Bears pulled Elvin for an extra skater with less than a minute to go but could not get the equalizer. One final face-off win by Yip-Chuck deep in Yale's zone sealed the victory. Elvin finished with 40 saves in the loss.
The same two teams meet Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at Meehan Auditorium.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org, Yale Sports Publicity)