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Bulldogs Wrap Up Preseason, Ready for Nutmeg Classic

Bulldogs Wrap Up Preseason, Ready for Nutmeg Classic

Oct. 24, 2004

New Haven, CT - A three-goal third period propeled Yale to a 4-3 win over McGill in a preseason exhibition Sunday afternoon at Ingalls Rink. The win wraps up a weekend in which Yale also scrimmaged ECACHL and Ivy League rival Princeton to a 4-4 tie Saturday. The Bulldogs open the regular season with the Nutmeg Classic, playing at Quinnipiac on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and hosting UConn Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

Yale outshot McGill 15-4 in the first period Sunday but could not get one past netminder Kalie Townsend.

"We weren't getting people in front of the net, and we weren't pouncing on rebounds," head coach Hilary Witt said. "We were allowing their goalie to just smother the puck."

McGill got on the board first on a Katherine Safka goal at 15:47 of the second, but Yale responded 24 seconds later when Nicole Symington's shot trickled past Townsend. Kelsey Johnson and Ali Turney picked up assists.

Safka put the Martlets back on top with a power-play goal at 5:54 of the second, tipping the puck past Love just as Yale captain Erin Duggan was getting out of the penalty box to end a 5-on-3 McGill advantage. Safka finished the hat trick at 17:39 of the third for a 3-1 lead.

Kristin Savard started Yale's comeback by knocking in a rebound of a shot by Duggan at 15:49. Jenna Spring assisted on the play. Four minutes later, Natalie Babony tied the game off assists from Spring and Savard. A mere nine seconds after that, Spring backhanded one in for a 4-3 Yale lead, assisted by Savard and Babony.

Spring had two goals in the scrimmage Saturday, and Deena Caplette and Sheila Zingler also lit the lamp.

"We're getting goals out of the kids we expected," Witt said. "We expected people like Spring and Savard to put more pucks in the net."

The Bulldogs enter the season knowing that an improved offense will make them even more dangerous, as Love (17 saves Sunday, nine in one period of play Saturday) is a proven performer in net. Yale reached the four-goal mark only six times in 31 games last season, so reaching it twice in two games this weekend means something.

"It's a breath of fresh air, getting four goals in a game and getting three in one period," Witt said.

Both of Yale's opponents this past weekend had the advantage of having already played games -- McGill had 10 under its belt -- and the Bulldogs face a similar situation next weekend in the inaugural Nutmeg Classic. Quinnipiac, Yale's opponent on Saturday, will have seven regular-season games in hand when the two teams meet. UConn, which comes to Ingalls Sunday, will be playing its fifth game.

Tickets for the Yale-UConn matchup are available at the rink one hour prior to game time (Adult G.A. $3, Non-Yale students 15 & over $1, Yale students with ID free, youth 14 & under free, senior citizens 65 & over free).

report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity Department