Women’s hockey’s power play success not enough against Yale

Head Coach Kenneally ’90 optimistic for future of team in spite of lengthy losing streak

Senior Staff Writer
Monday, February 1, 2016

Cynthia Kyin ’18 looks to move the puck out of the defensive zone. Brown struggled in a home-and-home series against Yale, losing twice by a three-goal margin. The Bears have not won in their past 12 games.

The women’s hockey team endured another tough weekend, extending its winless streak to 12 games after falling twice to Yale (9-13-1, 8-7-1 ECAC). With six games left in the regular season, the Bears (3-18-2, 1-13-2 ECAC) have effectively been eliminated from any chance of qualifying for the ECAC tournament.

But first-year Head Coach Robert Kenneally ’90 is happy with the way his team has progressed during the recent stretch, noting that results do not always paint the entire picture.

“I thought we played very well this weekend against a very good, skilled hockey team,” Kenneally said. He has emphasized the importance of improving the team’s skills and using hard work, dedication and teamwork to overcome any other deficiencies, he said. He added that having those attributes “doesn’t mean you are going to win, but those three things go a long way in being competitive. As we continue to improve, the winning will come.”

In Friday night’s contest in New Haven, Bruno played well at the start but gave up a goal with just 39 seconds left in the first period. From there, the Bears struggled to generate any scoring opportunities, registering a mere three shots in the following period while the Elis connected again to make it 2-0.

“We lost any momentum we had on Friday by having to kill a number of penalties early on,” Kenneally said. He added that in the third period,  “We were able to get some power plays of our own and played very well.”

In the final frame, Yale scored twice within the first five minutes, putting the game out of reach. With just under four minutes to go, the Bears managed to break the shutout thanks to Maddie Woo ’17, who scored on a 5-on-3 power play.

Saturday, the Bears returned home to take on Yale again. The game got off to a rough start when the Elis scored just over a minute after the opening whistle.

Yale would go on to take a 4-0 lead in the second period before Bruno finally made it onto the board courtesy of Woo.

The goal kickstarted a period of play during which the Bears looked to be the better team, as they outshot their opponents by a tally of 14-8 in the period. In the last stanza, Bruno allowed two early goals to go down 6-1 but scored back-to-back goals within a minute to bring the score to a mere  6-3.

“Saturday, I challenged the team to play more aggressive and have fun and try not to overthink everything,” Kenneally said. “We played a great first period and what I thought was the best period of the season in the second. Unfortunately, the score did not reflect how we were playing.”

Kenneally was quick to point out the encouraging play of several of the team’s younger members. “I thought our line of Rachel Cholak (’18), Jenna Hewitt-Kenda (’19) and Katie Swanstrom (’18) had their best games of the season, both individually and as a line.”

He also credited Woo, whom he said “has the potential to be an all-league player,” and the seniors for leading the team through what has been a difficult season.

The Bears’ next test comes this weekend on the road against Harvard and Dartmouth, where they will look to build on the improvements they have made.

“We just have to keep getting better every day,” Kenneally said. “I try and teach them life lessons as we go through this. It’s not how many times you fall down; it’s how you get up. I am so proud of their unwillingness to quit. They are the start of something that they will be proud of in years to come.”

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