Providence, R.I. (December 30, 2008) - After a 24-day hiatus, the Providence College women's hockey team dropped the puck on the second half of the season with a 2-1 overtime defeat at Yale in a non-conference game in New Haven, Conn.
Laura Veharanta (La Verne, Calif.) scored the lone power-play goal for the Friars as they fall on the road for just the second time this season. With the loss, Providence now stands 9-7-2 (5-2-1 Hockey East) while having gone 6-2-2 since November 1.
The Friars held the advantage in shots through the first period, 13-8, but the Bulldogs were able to generate the better chances with the best scoring opportunity coming at 17:30. Yale corralled the puck in the neutral zone and crossed the Providence blue-line with a two-on-one advantage. Lacasse cut off the angle and denied the first shot before sprawling to save the rebound opportunity. Providence failed to convert the only two power plays of the period and the two teams went into the locker room deadlocked at 0-0.
The two teams came out for the second period and exchanged shots before the Friars earned a power play at 3:01. Just 25 seconds in, Brittany Simpson (Barrie, Ontario) fired a shot from the blue-line that went just wide. Senior Erin Normore (Cambridge, Ontario) corralled the loose puck and fed freshman Ashley Cottrell (Sterling Heights, Mich.) behind the Yale net. Cottrell skated around the net and sent a pass by the left post where Veharanta was waiting to slide the puck into the right side of the net for her team-leading eighth power-play goal, her 13th overall. Both Normore and Cottrell earned their team-best 10th assists on the play.
Providence almost doubled their lead at 15:18 when Lacasse picked up the puck following a Yale clearance and sent a long pass to Normore on the right wall trying to catch the Bulldogs in a line change. Normore skated towards the Yale cage and unleashed a slap shot towards the upper left corner but her blast was denied with a right shoulder save.
PC went into the locker room ahead after 40 minutes, 1-0, with Yale leading the in shot column, 23-21.
The third period began with the Friars successfully killing a penalty. Immediately following the penalty kill, Cottrell gained possession of the puck in the neutral zone before stick handling through four Yale players and lifting a backhand that Yale netminder Jackee Snikeris caught just enough of to keep the score at 1-0.
At 6:58, Yale was able to tally the tying goal after a series of shots in the Friar zone. Kristen Stupay put a shot on frame that handcuffed Lacasse. As the puck was sliding towards the goal line, Lacasse was able to push it away from the crease. However, the loose puck went right to Yale's Maggie Westfal who was able to slam home a one-timer to even the score at 1-1.
Providence nearly took the lead three minutes later when Cottrell successfully sent a faceoff to Ruff in the slot. Ruff's quick wrist shot was denied by a quick glove-save by Snikeris. Lacasse returned the favor at 12:53 as Yale's Crysti Howser came in all alone through the slot. Lacasse came out to close down the angle and denied the breakaway with a sliding pad save to keep the score tied, 1-1.
Neither team was able to score the game winner in regulation as Lacasse came up with three impressive saves in a row in the last 10 seconds to send the game into overtime. Through three periods, Yale held the advantage in shots, 35-27.
Overtime began with Yale winning opening Faceoff. The Bulldogs entered the Providence zone and Howser netted the game-winning goal just 14 seconds into the overtime period as she slid the puck into the lower right corner.
Lacasse finished with 34 saves as she falls to 8-5-0 overall. Snikeris denied 26 shots and improves to 4-3 on the season.
The Friars return to action when they travel to Cornell for a weekend series. Game one will be played on Sunday, January 4, with game two on Monday, January 5. Both games will begin at 2:00 p.m.