By David F. Pendrys
NEW HAVEN, CT – There is good news and bad news from Yale women’s hockey’s game against Cornell Saturday. The good news is the team played better than vs. Colgate the night before, the good news is that Yale has three good goaltenders on their roster, the good news is some of the younger players have been stepping up. The bad news is the team lost 3-0 after struggling offensively, defensively and on special teams.
Cornell was able to put 33 shots on Yale’s Tera Hofmann and she saved 30 of those, but the Bulldogs only sent 15 on the Big Red’s Marlene Boissonault and she stopped them all.
The first period had resulted in a 0-0 tie, despite Cornell putting up 13 shots to only 6 for Yale. But, the first goal happened at 8:44 in the second when Cornell pushed into the Yale zone, and despite the Elis efforts to control and exit with the puck, it ended up on the stick of Kristin O’Neill right in front of Hofmann and she was able to flick it past the keeper. Assists went to Sarah Knee and Maddie Mills who played a part in the scrum around the net.
A few minutes later at 13:38 the Big Red took advantage of the waning seconds of a power play as Lenka Serdar fed it to Diane Buckley who skated into perfect position in front and smacked the biscuit through the screen past Hofmann.
The power play had come about because Yale had lost a full power play of their own when they took a penalty during their own 5 on 4 attack. Yale, who only took two penalties in the game still took one too many. Cornell basically gave the Yale 2 and a half power plays, but the Bulldogs were unable to do anything with them.
Cornell delivered their final goal at 3:49 in the third when Cornell as all over the Yale net. O’Neill got it to to Mills during a circus in front, and she hit it in at point blank range despite all six Yale jerseys being nearby.
Yale went into the game without leading scorer Eden Murray, and Head Coach Joakim Flygh adjusted the lines to give Kirsten Nergaard and Sophie Veronneau third line time along with Kailtin Gately. Veronneau and Nergaard who only saw limited action the night before, both were noticeable in their efforts today. The switch in lines also put the potent Jordan Chancellor in Murray’s place with Emma Vlasic and Greta Skarzynski and the line did generate opportunities as did the second line of Emily Monaghan, Courtney Pensavalle, and Laura Anderson.
Pensavalle had the most shots of any Bulldog with 3, Anderson and Boston Pride draft pick Mallory Souliotis had 2 each. Monaghan, Chancellor, Skarzynski, Lauren Moriyama, Vlasic, Gately, Julia Yetman, and Soraya Tinker all had 1 each. Some of these scoring opportunities were legitimately dangerous ones. Yale did not generate a lot of shots but when they did they were often quality ones, but none got in.
Cornell’s O’Neill and Paige Lewis had 5 shots each. Erin O’Connor had 3, as did Buckley. Kendra Nealey, Grace Graham, Devon Facchinato, Serdar, and Mills all had 1.
The Big Red seemed to have an all access pass to the Yale zone throughout the game as they were rarely stopped on zone entries. The Bulldogs did at times have a very good scheme in place to stop them once they were there, but there was also Cornell would manage at least one shot often before Yale could snuff out the opportunity. Hofmann did a lot to keep her team in the game. Cornell had a lot of weapons at their disposal and a lot of multiple shot sequences on her.
If one looked at blocked shots, it is clear both defenses were adept at preventing more chances.
Kara Drexler and Tinker led Yale with 3 blocked shots, Yetman, Souliotis, and Moriyama all had 2, and Gately and Grace Wickens had 1 apiece. Cornell’s O’Connor and Knee each blocked 4 shots, and Graham, Jaime Bourbonnais and Mills blocked 1. Should be noted Cornell nearly blocked as many shots as Yale put on net.
Cornell clearly was more at ease in setting up their passes, and offensive efforts. They clawed away at the puck in the zone and would get it to a teammate often. Yale missed some critical passes, including some centering passes on breakaways, and often they did break in on net, but couldn’t get to a rebound of the initial shot or Cornell’s defense would smother the effort. The 6’1 Knee was especially notable flummoxing Yale efforts. It seems like if Yale can put some more things together they will eventually get more pucks in.
Yale has had to play some tough teams in the past few weeks as Clarkson, St. Lawrence, Colgate, and Cornell are all highly skilled offensive teams. The Bulldogs had a lot of trouble stiffing Clarkson and Colgate though those teams are some of the best in the country, but they showed the ability to play with St. Lawrence and Cornell, but even those teams got plenty of chances.
The defensive corps, which is composed of four veteran leaders, as well as a former U-18 Team Canada member in Tinker, and a clearly talented first year in Moriyama, clearly is better than the record suggests, but it also looks like Yale is trying to put things together.
Cornell rises to 5-3-0 and 5-1-0 in ECAC play. Yale drops to 2-6-2 and 1-5-2 in the ECAC.
(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.)
She was seen in action more than these notes indicate but skated the puck out several times and also had zone entries including a scoring chance.
Was seen getting the puck in the Cornell zone, also acquiring it in the neutral zone and starting it in to eventually get it to Chancellor for a scoring chance.
Had a scoring opportunity during a power play, and also kept the puck from being cleared to prolong the Bulldogs efforts.
Had a variety of zone exits in her defensive role. Also fed it up to Yetman who headed into the zone for a scoring chance. She also stole it from a Big Red player while they tried to enter the zone as well, and had several instances where she disrupted their setup. She also sent the puck out of the goal mouth eliminating the danger. Offensively she had at least one entry into the Cornell end for a scoring chance, and generated several scoring chance by getting to the disc in the offensive end. She also had a chance on the power play as well.
Often moved the puck out of the Yale zone. She also had a zone entry where she sent it to Skarzynski for a chance on net. On the power play she was either trying to score, keeping the puck from escaping, or entering the zone. Defensively she interrupted a Cornell scoring effort.
Several times pushed the puck right across the blue line forcing Cornell to retreat. Also had a zone entry and sent it to Chancellor for a shot. She also disrupted a Big Red scoring try. A steal in the defensive end allowed her to feed it to teammates who escaped with it.
She got it out of the Bulldogs zone several times, and one of her blocks came on the penalty kill.
Had a larger role, than these notes indicate, but was seen stealing the puck in the neutral zone, skating in and sending it to Veronneau for an offensive opportunity.
Stopped a Cornell zone entry, and extracted the disc from the home end many times.
Stole the puck in the Yale end and moved it out. Also blocked a Cornell shot, then skated all the way down to the other end. Had a clear on the penalty kill as well.
She had numerous zone entries, and zone exits including after swiping the puck from the Big Red in the D zone.
Had at least three if not more cases where she gained possession in the Big Red end either had a shot herself or generated one. Also had a scoring chance on the power play, and had a zone entry at even strength. She blocked a Cornell pass, and during the power play intercepted the puck when Cornell tried to clear it.
On the power play she caused a scoring chance herself and also skated it across the line. She also had an even strength entry for another shot opportunity. She flummoxed several Cornell zone entries, and kept the puck within their own zone at another point. Also had several exits of the Yale end.
Was moving the puck on both sides of the ice, whether thought many zone entrances, and also she acquired the puck often in the Yale end and moved it out either part of the way or all the way in. She interrupted a Big Red setup in the neutral zone. Offensively she also stole the puck to keep Cornell from moving it out.
Kept the puck within the line on the skater advantage several times. Had some zone entries. Also got to the puck in the visitor’s zone for a scoring chance. Had at least one break, and also at least one exit from the Yale zone.
Defensively was often either skating the disc away from the home side or sending it out to a teammate to do so. Had at least one steal from a Cornell player in that effort. Also brought the puck in to the opposition end. She had at least one scoring chance on the power play, and at even strength corralled the puck within the Big Red zone so it didn’t escape.
Was noticed keeping the puck from crossing the Yale zone blue line, and acquiring the puck multiple times in their zone. At one point she helped set up a scoring chance.
Was often seen getting to the disc within the Cornell end and moving it out. Also disrupted at least one shot. On the penalty kill, she got the puck out of the goal mouth and cleared it from the zone. Offensively she skated in to set up a scoring chance, and picked up the puck in the Bulldogs end several times during the offensive efforts.
Had numerous zone entries, including a break in on net, and setting up another scoring chance. On the power play she also brought the puck in. She exited the puck from the Big Red zone at least once.
Generated numerous scoring chances including by bringing it in herself, or by getting to the puck within the zone already. She fed it to O’Neill for one of her linemate’s chances as well. On the penalty kill she had multiple clears.
Was noticed on both sides of the ice, extracting the puck from the Cornell zone, and also with several zone entries on the attack including on the power play. At one point she had to fight the biscuit across her blue line against Yale’s efforts to keep it in.
Disrupted a Yale zone entry, also moved the puck out at other times. Had a scoring chance on the power play, and was responsible for keeping the puck from leaving the Yale zone multiple times.
Was a major generator of offensive chances, either by not letting the puck exit the Bulldogs zone, or by grabbing the puck herself within the zone and trying herself or getting it to a teammate. She also came up with it in the neutral zone and fed it to Buckley for an opportunity. She also got the puck out of her own zone at even strength on the penalty kill at least once.
Was seen moving the puck out of the Cornell zone. Her role was clearly larger than the notes indicate. A limitation of the exercise.
She came up with the puck in the Yale zone a large amount of times to generate scoring chances from players like Buckley and other teammates. She not only blocked a Yale shot but then skated the puck away from the zone as well. In addition to several zone entries, she also brought it out of the defensive section many times.
Was noticed exiting the Big Red zone with the puck, and also acquiring the puck in the Yale end.
Had a major role in the penalty kill coming up with many clears. She also stole the puck from Bulldog attackers several times at even strength. She disrupted an opposing shot, and disrupted at least one of their zone entries. On the offensive side she kept the puck in the zone at least once. Was really noticed as a defensive force throughout the game.
Was noticed all over the ice, with a zone entry, puck acquisition in the Yale end, another time where she kept the Bulldogs from being able to clear it, a clear on the penalty kill, and an even strength zone exit.
Had a multitude of exits from the Cornell zone. Also fed it to Lewis so she could head into the Yale zone.
Was seen fighting it out of the Big Red zone, and also making a zone entry.
She got to the puck so many times in the Yale end causing a variety of scoring chances from teammates including Bourbonnais. She also had several zone entries.
She kept the puck within the opposing zone for a scoring opportunity.