Jan. 2, 2005
Durham, N.H. - Two first-period goals propelled No. 6 New Hampshire to a 3-1 victory over No. 10 Yale Sunday afternoon at the Whittemore Center. Yale (9-7) outshot the Wildcats (12-3-2) 24-19 over the final two periods, but saw any hopes of a comeback thwarted by UNH goaltender Melissa Bourdon (29 saves).
Facing the Whittemore Center's larger ice surface and on the heels of a frustrating 5-4 loss to Maine, Yale shook up its lines and had Natalie Babony, Jenna Spring and Sheila Zingler starting up front. But just like the previous game, the Bulldogs struggled early and gave up a quick goal. This one came 1:33 into the game, when UNH's Leah Craig rifled a rebound just inside the post to goalie Sarah Love's stick side for a quick 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs had trouble generating shots in the early going, and didn't get their second shot on goal until 8:20 into the game. After that shot, a Helen Resor wrister, UNH took the puck down to the other end of the ice for a goal by Taylor Palazeti and a 2-0 lead at 12:25. The Bulldogs got off only four more shots for the rest of the period, and the Wildcats would have had a 3-0 lead if Love hadn't come up with a big stop on a breakaway after a long pass found Craig all alone headed into the Yale zone with 2:50 left. The period was penalty-free until the 2:09 mark, when Resor was sent to the box for obstruction interference, and a high-sticking penalty on Natalie Babony with 34 seconds left gave UNH a 5-on-3. Love made one save before a slashing penalty on UNH's Jennifer Hitchcock evened things up heading into intermission.
The second period looked much different from the first, with Yale turning up the offensive pressure. The Bulldogs finally broke through when Bourdon was out of position for the rebound of an Erin Duggan shot, leaving Deena Caplette all alone to backhand one high inside the crossbar at 8:09. Jenna Spring picked up an assist on the play. Just over a minute later the Wildcats got a power play of their own, but that one was quickly negated when Kelsey Johnson drew a holding call on UNH's Nicole Goguen while skating in deep on Bourdon. Two Wildcat penalties later in the period, at 10:38 and 11:52, gave Yale a 5-on-3, but a shot from Helen Resor was tipped wide. Bourdon followed that by denying Erin Duggan from up close off a Caplette feed and Spring on the doorstep looking to put in a rebound. Yale outshot UNH 18-9 for the period but had to settle for just one goal.
"I like the way we played in the second period," Yale head coach Hilary Witt said. ""I thought we controlled the play."
The game turned back in the Wildcats' favor early in the third, when the Bulldogs were unable to capitalize on another power play (0 shots on goal) a minute in. Three minutes later UNH's Nicole Hekle found the puck in a pileup in front of the Yale net and knocked it home. The Bulldogs' best opportunity to get back in the game came on a 4-on-4 with under 13 minutes to play, but Bourdon frustrated Resor by smothering a backhand from point-blank range. Bourdon also came up with a big stop on a short-handed attempt from Kelsey Johnson, who tried to slap a feed from Nicole Symington past the Wildcat netminder to no avail with 8:30 to play. Love was pulled with under two minutes to play but had to come back on for the final 42 seconds after a Yale penalty. She finished with 27 saves.
The Bulldogs resume ECACHL play with a trip to St. Lawrence and Clarkson next weekend. They are looking to end a four-game losing streak that started over a month ago, before break. Prior to the skid, Yale had tied a school record with six wins in a row.
"It's tough to lose, but hopefully we'll get back on that winning track," Witt said.
report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity Department