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Yale University Bulldogs are dominant road warriors in upstate New York shutouts

Updated: Nov 8, 2021

By Rick Menning

Facing a pair of ECAC Hockey opponents known for being extremely tough to play against let alone be defeated at their home rinks in upstate New York, the Yale University Bulldogs completed a weekend conquest of unprecedented proportions.

Posting back-to-back 7-0 and 4-0 shutouts respectively against Cornell on Friday and No. 4-ranked powerhouse Colgate on Saturday, the Elis skaters returned to New Haven beaming with pride in their accomplishments on the excursions to Ithaca and Hamilton.

Yale University senior Gianna Meloni was a brick wall in the nets all weekend with 48 total saves as the Bulldogs went to upstate New York and came home with two shutouts. (File photo credit: Nina Lindberg/Yale University).

Yale goaltender Gianna Meloni started both games, and was nothing short of sensational as she stopped 32 shots against the nationally ranked Raiders after posting a 16-save effort against the Big Red.

Rally mode nixed

Her biggest test came in the second and third periods of Saturday's matinee vs. Colgate. After needing to make only four saves in the first period, the senior out of Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington, D.C. was confronted with 13 and 15 shots respectively over the latter two 20-minutes of action.

However, she stood her ground and refused to let any pucks behind her.

"Our team was really solid tonight. It's easier to play when you're scoring and your teammates are responding to communication in the D-zone," Meloni, the co-founding member of the Georgetown Visitation Ice Cubs hockey team, said after Saturday's huge win. "Everyone stepped up and played a complete 60 minutes, so I'm excited to see where we can go from here."

High-octane play

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs were putting the finishes touches to an 11-goal weekend surge with a balanced scoring attack that saw Charlotte Welch, Elle Hartje, Rebecca Vanstone and Tess Dettling light the lamp against Colgate.

Claire Dalton, who leads in point production with 12 (5 goals, 7 assists) through the team's first six games, added two of those assists in Saturday's win.

Welch and Dalton each powered home a pair of goals in the romp over Cornell, while Vanstone, Emma Harvey and Vita Poniatovskaia contributed one apiece.

Hartje led the way in helpers with three, and Dalton and Emma Seitz each came through with two assists to lead the Yale squad in that category.

Constant pursuit

The Bulldogs are averaging nearly five goals (4.6) and 40 shots (39.4) per game as evidence of the team's ability to go on the attack and stay on the attack from the opening faceoff and from one game to the next.

"It was a tremendous effort again (Saturday) - and for the entire weekend defensively," said Bulldogs' head coach Mark Bolding. "Gianna stood tall and we had great leadership throughout these tough games."

Home sweet home

The Bulldogs (4-2, 2-2) hope to keep their winning ways going as they are back inside Ingalls Rink to host another two ECAC Hockey opponents on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 12 and 13.

After taking on Harvard at 6 p.m. on Friday, Yale welcomes Dartmouth for a 3 p.m. afternoon contest on Saturday.

There is no charge for admission or parking, but all fans must show proof of vaccination to enter the Whale.

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