PROVIDENCE, R.I. - With freshmen accounting for more than a third of Yale's roster heading into the 2009-10 season, it's nice to know that there are also some veterans the Bulldogs can count on. Three players that figure to be key parts of Yale's success this year all contributed in the season opener Friday night, and the result was a hard-fought 2-2 tie at Providence. The top two returning scorers -- sophomore forward Aleca Hughes and junior forward Bray Ketchum -- each scored, and junior goaltender Jackee Snikeris made 35 saves.
"The people that we are counting on came through," said Yale head coach Hilary Witt. "The good news is other kids had opportunities too, they just didn't go in. A bounce here and a bounce there and anyone on our team could have scored tonight."
Yale (0-0-1, 0-0-0 ECAC Hockey) had to come back twice to earn the tie. Providence (3-2-2, 2-0-0 Hockey East) outshot Yale 12-5 in a scoreless first period, then capitalized on a power play 95 seconds into the second period to go up 1-0 on a Nicole Anderson goal. The Bulldogs drew a hooking penalty on Providence right after that, which led to Ketchum's goal off a rebound from a shot by sophomore defenseman Heather Grant. It was the 23rd goal of Ketchum's career -- 14 more than any other current Bulldog -- and her first ever against a non-league opponent.
"It was a great goal," Witt said. "We got a little pressure and Bray was in a good spot. It was great timing, coming right after the Providence goal, since we needed a little confidence builder."
A holding call against Yale, one of four penalties in the second period for the Bulldogs, gave Providence the chance to go back ahead, 2-1, on a power-play goal by Ashley Cottrell at 14:05 of the second.
Hughes then scored the game-tying goal -- the only even-strength goal of the game -- on a give-and-go from Ketchum at 4:32 of the third. After that it was all up to Snikeris, as she made eight saves in the third and three in overtime to preserve the deadlock. Providence's Genevieve Lacasse made 20 stops.
Yale returns to action Sunday with an exhibition game against McGill at Ingalls Rink at 2 p.m.