Yale Survives a Close Call With Cornell, 2-1

Yale Survives a Close Call With Cornell, 2-1

Dec. 3, 2004

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New Haven, CT - Kristin Savard's power play goal with 4:36 left in the game lifted Yale to a 2-1 victory over Cornell at Ingalls Rink Friday night. The victory, Yale's fifth in a row and one that gave the team the best start in school history at 8-3, saw Yale outshoot the Big Red 32-22 but nearly get denied by goalie Flora Vineberg (30 saves) and a tenacious Cornell attack.

"We need to come out a little faster," Yale head coach Hilary Witt said. "I didn't think we came out with a lot of energy. Cornell just played hard. They were stronger than we were at times, and they skated harder than we did at times."

Yale (8-3, 6-2 ECACHL) took a 1-0 lead 4:43 into the game. Vineberg got her stick on a shot by Nicole Symington from her right, but the rebound caromed over her shoulder where Kelsey Johnson and Christina Sharun were both waiting just outside the crease. Sharun poked the puck in for her third goal of the year, while Johnson wound up getting an assist.

Vineberg settled down, finishing with 17 saves in the first period, and the game got interesting when Big Red forward Sarah Johnston stuck a rebound past a sprawled-out Sarah Love (21 saves) at 9:13 of the second. It was the first collegiate goal for the freshman.

In the end, the game was determined by special teams play. The penalty kill unit continued to be a strength for the Bulldogs, who killed off all six in the game and extended their streak of successful penalty kills to 31. Yale's power play became a factor when Cornell's Halina Kristalyn (obstruction interference) was sent to the penalty box with 5:50 to play. That prompted a Yale timeout, and when the Big Red's Beth DiBella was called for a body check 1:01 later Yale had a 5-on-3 and Cornell called a timeout.

"Our timeout we just wanted to get people calmed down and to play with a little bit of confidence," Witt said. "We wanted to get the power play unit rested. Their timeout, it was a 5-on-3 so we changed things up a little bit. Our kids came out, they were pretty pumped up, and they did what they had to do."

Just 13 seconds into the 5-on-3, Vineberg stopped a shot by Helen Resor but the rebound came to Savard, who calmly backhanded it past Vineberg on her stick side. Jenna Spring picked up an assist on the goal as well.

Yale's five-game winning streak is one short of the school record. The two points from the win moved Yale into a first-place tie in the conference with Dartmouth and Harvard, who were both off Friday night. The Bulldogs return to action Saturday afternoon at 4:00 against Colgate at Ingalls.

report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity Department