By David F. Pendrys [Official Box Score from Yale Athletics]
NEW HAVEN, CT – The Yale women’s hockey team hosted McGill in an exhibition contest Saturday afternoon. The result was not in the Bulldogs favor as the Martlets came back from a 2-1 deficit to win 4-2.
Alison MacKenzie got McGill on the board first after a puck bounced around the net and ended up bouncing into the top of it as it went in. Assists went to Sidonie Chard and Nicole Howlett at 6:17 in the first.
Yale responded though on a power play. Saroya Tinker launched a shot from deep which bounced off the netminder and right to Emma Vlasic who put it in at 8:48.
“It was a good power play, we had some good movement, Tinker I believe got a shot through, and it went right through the goalie and was laying right on the goal line so it was an easy tap in for me,” Vlasic said.
Less than 2 minutes later Jordan Chancellor broke free and swept in on McGill’s Rachelle Champion, defeating the keeper for a 2-1 Yale lead. Laura Anderson picked up the assist.
“I got a turnover in the defense zone, saw some space…caught the defense and the goalie off guard and it ended up in the back of the net,” Chancellor explained.
The first period was a fairly even affair as both sides had their chances. McGill put up 10 shots and had 9 of them saved by Yale’s Kyra O’Brien. Yale put up 8 and Champion saved 6. However period 2 would swing the momentum in McGill’s favor.
On the power play early on Olivia Atkinson scored assisted by Jade Downie-Landry. Downie-Landry would notch her own tally at 12:20 unassisted after she broke in and got it past the Bulldog’s Tera Hoffman. Yale managed only 2 shots to McGill’s 13 in the frame. Champion saved both of them, whereas Hoffman saved 11.
“I think the second period, we took some penalties early that really threw off our momentum and we just never really were able to gain that back in the second period. In the third we saw some glimpses of us getting our momentum back, and kinda taking control of the game. I think the penalties and the special teams kinda through off our mojo today,” Chancellor said.
As Vlasic noted, the third period didn’t start out well for the Bulldogs but they regained momentum late. Still McGill notched their fourth goal in an odd way when Chard scored after a puck was sent at the net from practically perpendicular and it ended up behind Yale’s Gianna Meloni. An assist went to Howlett on the strange score. Yale would keep fighting but would not be able to score again. Nonetheless the two teams did manage 8 shots a piece. Meloni made 7 saves including some critical ones and Champion naturally made 8 to bring her total to 16.
Greta Skarzynski, Vlasic, Christina Kao, and Tinker all had 2 blocks in the game. Kara Drexler, Kate Tewksbury, Tess Dettling, Kaitlin Gately, Grace Wickens, Sophie Veronneau, and Julia Yetman had 1.
MacKenzie had 2 for McGill, Atkinson, Stephanie Desjardins, Chard, Samantha McClusky, and Howlett all had 1.
Obviously it is just the first game but Yale Head Coach Joakim Flygh was candid in his assessment of the team’s performance. “We struggled in a lot of areas, lost a lot of physical battles, struggled to move the puck with any sort of continuity. Put ourselves in a lot of situations which we had to defend. I guess that’s a good things, we learned how to battle defensively,” Flygh said. “We have a lot of work to do, there’s no question about it. It starts in our own end and making sure we’re taking care of the puck and managing the puck a lot better. We just took too many risks with the puck, and didn’t do a good job moving the puck to our teammates with clean passes and put ourselves in a lot of unfortunate situations because of it. If anything, power play was good early on at least.”
Flygh noted the first years were still learning to adapt and the team would be looking to the older players to set the pace, but he did single out forward Greta Skarzynski as doing a good job given the time she had available to get ready. He also mentioned defender Lauren Moriyama as being solid.
“I think [the first years] stepped up really well today. I think they filled in some roles that we need to going into this year, and I’m really excited to see what they can do,” senior Malloy Souliotis post game.
Souliotis and Chancellor both took an optimistic view looking towards the opening of the regular season.
“I think we did a couple of things really well, especially coming out strong in the first period, but we definitely have some work to do. Hopefully we’ll focus on that this week heading into RIT,” Mallory Souliotis said.
“Still early, we’ve got a lot of time to find ourselves as a team, get our freshmen in the mix, and get everyone used to playing with each other out there,” Chancellor added.
Post game pressers:
Souliotis, Chancellor, Vlasic
(This is a not exhaustive very imperfect list of noticed plays that might not make the score sheet. It is very possible a player has far more of any sort of play than are noticed in the heat of action. It is what it is. Read these more as a player had “at least” what is noted here. Note the language is a bit stilted, I’m trying to figure out how to make the information flow better.)
(Abbreviated version. Also with due respect to McGill, in pre-season games focus is on the teams that will be covered in the regular season as it provides a rare opportunity to focus on one side. This normally would be longer but time is a factor.)
- Souliotis was a noticed leader on the power play and in general setting up multiple shots from the point and doing a lot back in her defensive end.
- Skarzynski was often generating chances especially in the first period and Veronneau also was in the McGill end working at setting up plays.
- Wickens did a lot to move the puck out of the Yale zone in her defensive role.
- Drexler and Emily Monaghan contributed to the penalty kill disrupting McGill and getting the puck out of the zone.
- Vlasic did disrupt multiple Martlets attempt to score throughout the game.
- Moriyama was noticed keeping the puck in the opposing end to prolong an attack and also moving the puck out of her own defensive area.