Comeback Earns 2-2 OT Tie at Vermont

Eden Murray. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Eden Murray. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

BURLINGTON, VT. - After a long break for exams and the holidays, it took the Yale women's ice hockey team some time to get its offense going in the first game back Friday afternoon at Vermont. But after falling behind 2-0, the Bulldogs wound up getting a pair of goals -- including one with just 2:33 left -- to earn a 2-2 overtime tie with the Catamounts at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Junior forward Eden Murray and junior defenseman Mallory Souliotis scored for Yale, and freshman goaltender Tera Hofmann made 25 saves.

Vermont (7-6-5, 4-2-3 Hockey East) entered the day ninth in the nation on the penalty kill (89.9 percent), while Yale was ninth on the power play (16.9 percent). And in a game where Vermont was whistled for seven penalties, the tone was set early with a pair of Yale power plays in the first eight minutes. The Bulldogs could not convert on either one, and Vermont would wind up a perfect 7-for-7 on the kill in the game.

The Catamounts grabbed the lead when a pass from just to the left of the goal ricocheted through traffic to defenseman Rachel Ade in between the circles and she slotted it home at 10:24 of the first.

Yale (4-7-3, 2-5-0 ECAC Hockey) killed off one penalty late in the first, but early in the second special teams play once again worked in Vermont's favor. The teams were skating 4-on-4 when the Bulldogs were called for another penalty, and just 25 seconds later Catamounts forward Bridget Baker wristed in a power play goal at 3:21 to make it 2-0.

Vermont's stingy defense limited Yale to very few shots from in close, but the Bulldogs took advantage of one from long distance late in the second period. Senior forward Krista Yip-Chuck, the Bulldogs' captain, worked the puck off the right boards and fed it up top to Souliotis. Her shot found its way through a screen and past goaltender Melissa Black to cut Vermont's lead to 2-1 at 18:53 of the second. It was Souliotis' first goal of the season. Murray also assisted on the play, and now has a point in 10 of the last 11 games.

A Catamount shot hit off the crossbar with 16 minutes left in the third, bouncing dangerously at Hofmann's feet, but junior forward Emily Monaghan swooped in behind her to keep the net clear and Hofmann was eventually able to cover the puck. That play proved crucial heading into the final minutes of the game. Yip-Chuck was able to get behind the Vermont defense in transition and took a long pass from freshman forward Laura Anderson. Black was able to stop Yip-Chuck's initial attempt, but Murray was trailing the play and banged in the game-tying goal at 17:27.

Overtime featured one last Yale power play, but Black turned aside three Yale shots and one more got blocked into the netting behind the goal just as the Catamount penalty was about to expire. Hofmann then made one final save, and an attempted snipe by defenseman Taylor Willard sailed wide with 15 seconds to play. The Bulldogs cleared the puck to finish off the game's final seconds.

Yale was playing without goal-scoring leader Phoebe Staenz, who is away with the Swiss National Team.

The same two teams meet at 12:00 p.m. Saturday.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu, Yale Sports Publicity)