NEW HAVEN, CT- Hanna Mandl made 21 saves as the Yale Bulldogs picked up their second win of the season Friday afternoon in the semi-finals of the Nutmeg Classic. Yale topped the brand new Merrimack Warriors program 3-1.
After a scoreless first period. 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist Phoebe Staenz scored for Yale at 2:19 in the second. During one of Yale’s many attacks in the the defensive zone, she moved to the center and shot it over the right shoulder of Merrimack’s Chaislyn Burgio into the top shelf of the net. She was assisted by Eden Murray and Jordan Chancellor on her fourth goal of the season.
Later in the period Julia Yetman came up on Burgio’s left and shot it at an odd angle, but it nonetheless went in at 14:58 with Murray and Chancellor picking up the assists as well. The pair each have six assists in the young season.
It wouldn’t be until the third that Merrimack got on the board. With Staenz in the box, Merrimack’s Paige Sorensen launched a hard shot from deep in the zone past Mandl at 4:52 for a power play goal assisted by Katelyn Rae and Emily Volpe.
Yale responded quickly as Mallory Souliotis teed up a slapper from deep in the Merrimack zone past Burgio assisted by Jamie Haddad and Krista Yip-Chuck at 5:49 to put the game at 3-1 where it would stay.
Yale gave up a late penalty with less than 3 to play, as Merrimack swarmed, the net was temporarily open, but Taylor Marchin slid in front and blocked a shot, only to have a scrum ensue. The refs checked the video to see if a goal had been scored but confirmed a no goal.
With the Merrimack power play still underway, they pulled Burgio with about two minutes left, but could not score.
Yale is 2-6-1 with the win and advanced to the finals of the Nutmeg Classic against Quinnipiac. Merrimack is now 2-13-0. Burgio falls to 0-3 and made 24 saves on Yale’s 27 shots on the day, many of which were incredibly viable opportunities.
Mandl rises to 2-6-0 on the season and made plenty of critical saves including on several Merrimack breakaways.
“I think Hanna played well, made some good saves, key saves we needed her to,” said Coach Joakim Flygh. “I think it’s great for her too that she’s building confidence as a goaltender. I think her confidence has grown tremendously from playing really well last week in Minnesota. That’s a great building block for her as we move forward. I thought she was very solid here tonight.”
Full Flygh Interview:
Coach Flygh also spoke about the game overall. “I thought we played well at stretches,” Flygh noted. “I think we were a little bit sluggish in the first period, but I certainly thought we picked it up in the second period more, and in the third period, I thought that we took a few too many penalties tonight I think. That it sorta kinda disrupted the flow a bit for us, and gave Merrimack an opportunity to get back into the game too I think….But overall, happy that we got a W. It’s something that we need as a group to build some confidence here obviously going into tomorrow. Overall happy with the effort. We got better each period I thought. Hopefully we can continue to build off that for tomorrow.”
At the time Flygh didn’t know if Quinnipiac or Connecticut would be his opponent but in speaking about both teams he mentioned that “we played Quinnipiac, so I think we have a good handle.” But he was quick to add that “ultimately it’s about us, and how we play, and how we execute. That’s the focus has been all along here, so we’ll continue to focus on that.”
Offensively, in what could be described as the usual suspects doing what they do, Murray took 4 of Yale’s shots, Drexler, Souliotis, Martini, Yetman, and Staenz had 3, Haddad and Ferrara had two.
Merrimack’s Sorensen, Paige Voight, Baye Flanagan, and Madison Morey each had three. Marie Delarbe and Beatrice Dufour had two each.
Yale had three blocked shots from Marchin, Abby Gahm, and Kara Drexler.
Merrimack had 14 including two by Dominique Kremer, Dufour, and Sorensen, plus one each by Emily Volpe, Voight, Jessica Kuhlman, Meghan Martin, Felila Manu, Flanagan, Allison Sexton, and Delarbe.
Yale struck out on their lone power play as Merrimack kept out of the box. Merrimack went 1 for 5 with most of their power plays resulting in Yale chances, though Sorensen broke that pattern. Yale won 24 of 23 faceoffs and naturally Merrimack won 23 of 24 though each team had a player that had especially solid days as Volpe won 13 and lost 5, and Yip-Chuck won 11 and lost 3.
Chancellor sent Murray some great passes, though Burgio would stop the final shot. Murray at one point went skating around the zone eventually backhanding it, though saved. She also, crept in from the side on the net but Burgio was prepared as well.
Haddad had numerous breaks throughout the game and Ferrara early on got in close but Burgio was ready. Also. Gretchen Tarrant fell down at center ice but still knocked the puck into the zone.
Turnovers and Defense
Emily Monaghan stole it deep though the opportunity evaporated. Kate Martini broke up a scoring attempt by Voight. She would also break up a Merrimack pass and skate up the ice. A Merrimack breakaway was thwarted by Drexler. She would later disrupt another and carry the puck out.
Staenz had a steal at center ice and also intercepted it deep, though the opportunity was not ideal. She would later get another chance after stealing it in the zone as well.
After a long Merrimack possession in the zone, Souliotis broke it up and pushed the puck out. As the Warriors tried to set up a play in the Yale zone, Marchin stole it to end that attempt. Yip-Chuck also intercepted an errant Warrior pass in their own zone but the shot attempt was interrupted.
Multiple players cleared it during the penalties including Souliotis, Haddad multiple times as well as
Ferrara, Hanna Astrom, Monaghan all whacking the puck away. Also, Ferrara brought the puck out at least once plus Haddad not only cleared the puck she also pushed Merrimack into their own zone during one disadvantage and stole it deep to feed it to Ferrara.
Staenz also skated around in the Merrimack zone at one point, and later was fed from Astrom for a short handed attempt. Even later in the game she broke in yet again for a try and a rebound attempt.
Katelyn Rae had numerous breakaways during the game and was quite active though coming up with only one shot for herself. She also fed Voight in front at one point leading to a rebound attempt form Voight as well. Voight had a break of her own at one point as did Delarbe.
Turnovers and Defense
Rae had a steal and brought it out of the zone later she would intercepted a Yale pass and break in. Sorensen cleared a stray puck from in front of the net at one point. She also ended a Yale attack pushing Bulldogs to the right.
Jackie Pieper pursued Yale into the zone and managed to get a blocked shot. Morey messed up Yale’s passing in the defensive zone and fed it out for a scoring chance. Volpe also used a steal as a chance to head on the attack. She would turn it around on Yale several times more times including intercepting a centering pass.
Delarbe and Kuhlman also stopped a Yale drive and skated the puck out. Jillian Battista snagged it from center ice and went on the offense. Also, Dominique Kremer turned a steal into a scoring chance.
Yale had one power play and spent the entire time in the Merrimack zone, but Burgio came up big stopping everything sent her way.