January 27, 2006

Late Yale Rally Earns 3-3 Tie vs. Colgate

Jan. 27, 2006

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Third-period power-play goals by Kelsey Johnson and Maggie Westfal helped Yale come back for a 3-3 tie with Colgate Friday night at Ingalls Rink. The Bulldogs outshot the Raiders 36-23 but had to battle back against some tough goaltending by Brook Wheeler (33 saves), who was coming off a 51- save victory over No. 5 St. Lawrence. Jenna Spring scored Yale's other goal, also on the power play.

Shivon Zilis started in net for the Bulldogs (5-10-4, 2-5-3 ECACHL), and an obstruction-holding penalty on Yale five minutes into the game set up Zilis' first test. She coolly gloved a slap shot from the point by Tara French to keep the Raiders off the board.

Nina Resor eventually brought that Raider power play to a premature end by drawing a hooking penalty on Mallory Johnston with 38 seconds left in it. After the teams were done skating four-on-four, Yale struck for the game's first goal. Wheeler blocked a rebound attempt by Johnson from just outside the crease, but Kristen Stupay worked the puck back to the point. Spring's shot from there sailed past Wheeler's left shoulder at the 7:53 mark.

Colgate (9-9-5, 6-4-3 ECACHL) evened the score at 13:32 on a point-blank goal by Becky Irvine, and the teams went into the first intermission at 1-1.

The second period was bookended by Raider goals: one 1:08 in by Sam Hunt and one with 1:15 remaining by Ashley Johnston. In between, Zilis made five saves during the course of two Raider power plays, while Wheeler made three saves during Yale's four man advantages.

The teams entered the third period with Yale holding a 20-18 edge in shots, but trailing 3-1.

"It was an odd game, because we were down 3-1 heading into the third period, but we were playing well," Yale head coach Hilary Witt said. "The bigger news is that the kids battled through it and kept their composure."

The Bulldogs dramatically increased the shot difference in the third, 14-3. Wheeler appeared up to the task, however, until Yale's seventh shot of the period. Howser took the puck into the zone with two players on her and forced one of them, Laura Jansen, into a hooking penalty. The Bulldogs then patiently set up on the power play, cycling the puck in the corner to Wheeler's right. Stupay passed out to Westfal back at the blue line, and she slid one along the ice through traffic that eluded Wheeler at the 10:30 mark.

Wheeler had another big moment two minutes later, stopping a golden chance for Howser, but the Bulldogs remained undaunted. With less than five minutes to play, Deena Caplette raced into the Colgate zone and generated a cross-checking call on Kate Wolgemuth. Five seconds into the power play the Bulldogs struck again, as Kristin Savard and Sarah Tittman combined to feed Johnson, who knocked it past Wheeler and tied the score with 4:39 remaining.

"It's our second power play unit technically, but tonight they played like the first," Witt said. "They moved the puck well and they communicated."

Regan Gilbride came through with a nice defensive play 1:30 into overtime, playing a 2-on-1 deftly to deny a passing lane for Hunt and force her into an errant shot.

The complexion of the extra session changed on a tripping call against the Bulldogs 1:50 in that forced Yale into penalty-killing mode. Zilis gloved a wrister from the right circle by Hunt, and two long clears by Nina Resor kept the Raiders at bay the rest of the way. After allowing five power-play goals in two games last weekend, the Bulldogs have allowed none in their last two.

"The penalty kill is getting better and better," Witt said. "As long as we're aggressive on the forecheck we're alright. I thought Nina Resor played a really good game."

Yale did get a pair of penalties on Hunt with 50 seconds remaining, but Johnson slid one just wide of the net and out of Howser's reach, and Wheeler then stopped a Howser wrister with 7.6 to play and managed to cover the puck.

Yale hosts Cornell Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. Yale employees with a valid Yale ID (and one guest) are admitted free of charge. The day also marks the culmination of the celbration of the 30th anniversary of women's hockey at Yale, including a postgame banquet.

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

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