HANOVER, N.H. – The Yale women's ice hockey team had already clinched its place in the ECAC Hockey Tournament heading into Saturday's regular season finale at Dartmouth, so the Bulldogs knew they would have more hockey to play next weekend. The Big Green, on the other hand, had already been eliminated from postseason contention, so Dartmouth was looking to send its seniors out on a high note. One of them in particular -- forward Kennedy Ottenbreit -- wound up being the difference, scoring three goals in a 4-1 Big Green win.
Coming off a 5-0 loss at Harvard Friday night, Yale (10-15-4, 8-12-2 ECAC Hockey) went with Hanna Mandl in goal. It was the senior's first start since Dec. 10. After a scoreless first period, the Bulldogs had a Grade-A chance a minute into the second. Freshman forward Laura Anderson put a shot on goal that Dartmouth goalkeeper Robyn Chemago stopped, but as Chemago was attempting to corral the loose puck Anderson knocked it behind her -- where it hit off the post, buying just enough time for Chemago to get her glove back and swat the puck away. The goal light momentarily went on but was quickly shut off as play continued.
A penalty on the Bulldogs two minutes later gave the officials time to review that play, and after several minutes they determined that the puck had not crossed the goal line. Just a few seconds later things got even tougher for Yale. On the power play, Dartmouth won the faceoff to control the puck in Yale's zone, and Ottenbreit eventually blasted a slap shot over Mandl's left shoulder for a 1-0 lead at 2:57.
Ottenbreit struck again later in the period, tipping in a shot by defenseman Sydney Hill at 10:09. Even as the shot total began tipping in Yale's favor, Dartmouth maintained control of the game thanks in large part to 16 saves by Chemago in the second. Then, just 3:10 into the third, Ottenbreit won a faceoff in the right circle and charged in all alone on Mandl, roofing another one to finish off her hat trick.
Yale did not get a power play until there were 11 minutes left in the game, and that one was abbreviated because it came on the heels of a penalty on the Bulldogs. Defenseman Mallory Souliotis, pressed into action as a forward as Yale has dealt with a variety of injuries the last two weeks, had the Bulldogs' lone shot with the man advantage, and Chemago gloved that one.
The Bulldogs broke up the shutout with 6:25 left, when Anderson one-timed a pass from behind the net by sophomore forward Emma Vlasic and it deflected in off a Dartmouth player. Freshman defenseman Saroya Tinker also assisted on the play.
Yale pulled Mandl for an extra skater in the final minutes, but after a faceoff win in the Dartmouth zone the Big Green got a long-distance empty net goal from forward Morgan Turner to make the final 4-1.
With the win, Dartmouth concludes its first season under new head coach Laura Schuler on a positive note, improving on last season's win total.
Despite the loss, Yale still finished the season in second place in the Ivy League standings -- its best finish since finishing in that same spot in 2005-06.
The Bulldogs will play a best-of-three ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series starting next Friday at No. 5 St. Lawrence. Yale is the seventh seed and SLU is the second seed. No. 3 Clarkson won the regular season title and is the top seed.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org, Yale Sports Publicity)