Yale Double-Ups Brown in Conference Tilt

Vlasic Unleashes on the Brown net for the second goal (Steve Musco image)
Vlasic Unleashes on the Brown net for the second goal (Steve Musco image)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Conference points don't come easily in ECAC Hockey, so an opportunity to jump a place in the standings with a win over your travel partner is big. The Yale women's hockey team jumped all over that opportunity tonight at Ingalls Rink with a 4-2 win.

Mallory Souliotis had a goal and two assists and Kaitlin Gately had three helpers to lead the Bulldogs (6-10-4, 4-7-2 ECAC) in a move to sole possession of ninth place as the stretch run of the ECAC campaign begins.

The Blue dominated play for the first three quarters of the opening frame, firing the first six shots on target in the game. The game's first tally came from the home team and was set up Gately, the captain who skated through the left circle and then dished the puck to the slot for Julia Yetman, who had dished the biscuit to her teammate after taking a pass from blueline partner Souliotis. The junior defenseman released a low wrister five-hole on Brown goalie Calla Isaac for her third tally of the year.

First-year goalie Gianna Meloni (21 saves), making her fifth career start, got an unusual test in the second period. At one point, the rookie was cruising with a few saves while her team held a 12-2 advantage in shots. Things suddenly changed for the Washington, D.C., native, as her teammates started filling the penalty box.

Brown had three straight advantages, including a 5-on-3, and poured nine shots on goal without finding the net. Meloni blocked, kicked, gloved and poked away all rubber that came her way as the Bears had 14 of the period's 19 shots on target.

"Our kill has been really good since the break, and the kill starts with goaltending," said Joakim Flygh, Yale's Susan Cavanagh Head Coach. "Our goaltending was good today and it bailed us out."

Good defense can create offense, so can the momentum from a series of great penalty kills. The Bulldogs immediately jumped on the Bears to make it 2-0.

Souliotis skated through the left side of the offensive zone before leaving a perfect drop for forward Emma Vlassic, whose one-timer, slapshot zipped past the goalie's glove.

The visitors continued to put shots on net and finally broke through early in the third. However, the Elis answered quickly.

Greta Skarzynski followed up a Gately pass off the goalie's pads with a put-back tally less than two minutes after the Bears found the cage.

Souliotis put the finishing touches on the victory with a blast from the left point that went inside the far post midway through the stanza to make it 4-1.

The Bulldogs are back at it again with the Bears Saturday afternoon at Providence.