NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's ice hockey team got the 2016-17 season off to a great start Friday night, besting RIT 4-1 and outshooting the Tigers 50-18. Senior goaltender Hanna Mandl came within 10 minutes of a shutout, and four different players scored for Yale.
The first period was a particularly good one for Yale (1-0-0, 0-0-0 ECAC Hockey), despite the fact that RIT came in with six games of experience. The Bulldogs outshot the Tigers 24-2, taking a 2-0 lead on a snipe by sophomore forward Jordan Chancellor (set up by sophomore forward Emma Vlasic) and the first career goal by freshman forward Kirsten Nergaard, assisted by junior forward Kaitlin Gately and junior defenseman Kara Drexler.
Nergaard's goal was part of an all-around impressive effort by Yale's five freshmen skaters, who combined for 14 shots.
"They all contributed in different ways," said Joakim Flygh, Yale's Susan Cavanagh Head Coach of Women's Ice Hockey. "Kirsten got rewarded for hard work on that play -- she got an opportunity at the back door on the rebound. She was a threat all night. All the freshmen found ways to get involved offensively, and they are just scratching the surface."
RIT (1-6-0, 0-0-0 CHA) closed the gap in shots for the rest of the way, but Yale still kept a comfortable lead. While goalie Terra Lanteigne kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard in the second, the Yale power play unit struck midway through the third -- not long after a big kick save by Mandl on forward Cassie Clayton. Junior forward Eden Murray and senior forward Krista Yip-Chuck set up senior defenseman Taylor Marchin for a blast that eluded Lanteigne at 7:59.
"Getting a power play goal was important," said Flygh. "Ultimately you want to use that momentum. We got better on the power play as the game went along, and getting that third goal was big."
It became even bigger when Clayton snuck one past Mandl at 9:40 of the third, cutting Yale's lead to 3-1. That kept the Tigers within striking distance, but Yip-Chuck put the game out of reach by scoring on an empty net, assisted by senior forward Phoebe Staenz and Murray, with 2:29 to play.
Mandl finished with 17 saves, while Lanteigne made 46.
"I really liked our first period," said Flygh. "We came out with a ton of energy, and sustained it. RIT did a good job of pushing back in the second and third. I'm sure tomorrow will be a different game."
The same two teams meet Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at Ingalls.