Jan. 28, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Deena Caplette's power-play goal with 6:53 remaining in the third period gave Yale a 2-1 victory over Cornell Saturday afternoon at Ingalls Rink. The Bullldogs, who were celebrating the 30th anniversary of women's hockey at Yale and playing in front of dozens of returning alums, came from behind to pull out the victory thanks to 23 saves from Sarah Love.
Cornell was coming in on a high, having won at Brown 3-1 on Friday for the team's first win over the Bears in over eight years. That momentum carried over, as a 2-on-1 gave the Big Red a goal on its first shot of the game. Halin Kristalyn fed Emma Chipman for a 1-0 lead 1:21 in.
Yale got a power play 30 seconds later, but one Jenna Spring shot went just wide of the net and Cornell's Beth Baronick gloved another.
After getting a night off on Friday as Shivon Zilis helped Yale tie Colgate 3-3, Love came back with one of her best performances of the year. She kept the Bulldogs within one with a kick save on a shot by Becky Fisher two and a half minutes into the second. Shortly after that, with the Big Red on a power play, she slid over to deny a Brianne Schmidt shot, then gloved a blast by Schmidt from high in the slot.
The Bulldogs (6-10-4, 3-5-3 ECACHL) nearly got a short-handed goal when Crysti Howser stole the puck from Jen Munhofen right in front of the Big Red net, but Baronick was able to make the stop.
A Yale power play midway through the period took a frustrating turn when Spring's long-distance shot hit the crossbar and bounced out, but Yale quickly regrouped. Howser's goal at 8:52 of the second, assisted by Deena Caplette, knotted the score at one.
The Big Red (6-14-0, 2-12-0 ECACHL) had a chance at a short-handed tally near the end of the third when Caeleigh Beerworth grabbed a loose puck in the neutral zone and headed in all alone towards Love. Sarah Tittman raced back and over from the other side of the ice to break up the play.
Cornell shut down a Yale 5-on-3 early in the third, and Baronick made another great save on Howser shortly thereafter to keep the game tied.
Special teams play then set up the game-winning sequence. Yale killed off a tripping penalty at the 10:41 mark thanks in part to a Tittman breakaway that caused a Jen Munhofen hooking call at 12:25.
After 17 seconds of 4-on-4, the Bulldogs went on the power play. Along the boards, Danielle Kozlowski passed the puck to Spring back at the point. She launched one toward the net after waiting for a Cornell defender to slide by. Caplette was parked in the slot and was able to deflect the puck past Baronick at 13:07.
In addition to being the game-winner, it was Yale's fifth power-play goal in two games - as many as the previous eight games combined.
"On the power play, the players started to move the puck and talk to each other and be comfortable knowing where each other is going to be," Witt said. "We need to do that if we're going to be successful. Hopefully they'll keep doing it and keep being confident on it."
Spring has emerged as a major factor back at the blueline on Yale's five-forward power play. In addition to an assist on Saturday she had a power-play goal on Friday, one of four power-play goals for her on the year.
"The reason she's back there is to shoot," Witt said. "We want her to shoot all the time. [On the game-winning assist] she had the composure to stall for just half a second, then let the kid slide by her. It was a great play."
There were still some anxious moments left for the Ingalls Rink crowd, however. Howser slid one just wide on a breakaway and Baronick (25 saves) stopped another Spring shot to keep her team in striking distance. Love responded by smothering a wrister from Caroline Scott as the game clock ticked under six minutes.
Things really got interesting with 4:42 to play when the Big Red started what would wind up being four minutes of power play time. The first two minutes, after a checking call on Yale, passed uneventfully thanks to Kristin Savard blocking one shot and Love sticking aside another. But just as that Yale penalty was ending, a pileup in front of the Yale net ended with Savard tossing the puck aside and being whistled for a delay of game.
Cornell called a timeout with 1:31 to play, and with 1:12 left the Big Red pulled Baronick to take a two-skater advantage. They wound up not even getting a shot on net. After the second Yale penalty expired Love covered up a loose puck to her left, setting up a crucial faceoff in the Yale zone with 37.4 seconds to play. Howser (who finished 22-7 on faceoffs) stepped in and won that draw, and another one with 22.4 seconds left, to help Yale keep control of the puck as the final seconds ticked off.
The victory was particularly important on a day when, after the game, the Bulldogs were headed to a banquet celebrating the history of women's hockey at Yale and the announcement of an endowment for the program. The returning alums, and the Yale Precision Marching Band, added greatly to the atmosphere at The Whale.
"It's great," Witt said. "They were really into the game. It's always nice to have that many people in the stands and see so many faces. You see all the names in the media guides, and to be able to finally put the names to faces is really kind of fun."
The Bulldogs travel to Dartmouth and Harvard next weekend.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity