This weekend showed the good and the bad of the women’s hockey team. Friday evening, it posted a solid victory, beating Yale 4-1 with good passing, physical play, and good work between the pipes from junior goaltender Liz Connelly.
But the Red (2-7-0, 1-2-0 ECAC) fell to Princeton 4-1 on Saturday. The Red put together a good first period, but came up short late in the second and couldn’t recover in the third.
On Friday against Yale (3-4-1, 0-2-0), the Cornell was paced by its captains — seniors Sarah Oliver, Erinn Perushek and Jenel Bode — and junior Lindsay Murao.
Oliver had her first two goals of the season, and Perushek and Bode picked up a pair of assists each. Murao lead the team with one goal and two assists.
Head coach Carol Mullins talked about her satisfaction on the Red’s well round play.
“It’s good to see all four lines contribute offensively and defensively,” she said.
Cornell came out strong in the scoreless first period. It notched nine shots on goal while holding Yale to only two. Cornell kept the pressure on the Bulldogs with good puck control and consistent all around play.
In the second the Red showed more of the same, controlling the pace of the game and keeping up a steady stream of shots on goal. Midway through the period one of them finally got through.
Junior Brooke Bestwick shook a pair of defenders, found some open ice and stroked a mean slap-shot that found its way through the legs of Yale goalie
Nicolette Franck. Murao and Perushek assisted on the play.
With a 1-0 lead and 10:36 left in the second, the Red never looked back.
The team held the lead, dominating the Bulldogs on the boards both
offensively and defensively and playing good fundamental hockey.
Cornell kept the momentum in the third with great goaltending and
aggressive play. Murao scored the Red’s second goal off a pass from Bode, flicking the puck past the shoulder of the Yale netminder at 6:01.
Seven and a half minutes later, Cornell extended its lead again on a power
play when Oliver fielded a crossing pass from Murao and lifted the puck into the top corner of the goal for her first score of the season. Perushek also picked up her second assist of the night on the play, which put the Red up 3-0.
Yale managed to pick up a single goal with 5:33 remaining, pushing the puck
in front of the goal and sneaking it past Connelly on a power play.
Oliver put the finishing touches on the Red’s victory two minutes later,
deflecting a slap-shot from freshman Lara Kelly into the net. Bode
picked up her final assist on the play.
Cornell had 27 shots on goal, Yale only 18.
On Saturday afternoon Cornell didn’t do so well. Even before faceoff, the
Red was struck for a loss when a Princeton slap-shot hit Murao on
her way into the locker room after warm-ups. Murao suffered a broken jaw
and was out for the game.
Cornell managed to shake off the loss of its leading scorer with solid play
out of the gates. It continued the themes from the previous day, keeping
pressure on Princeton with good shots and plenty of hustle.
The Red went up 1-0 at 14:46 to go in the period on Oliver’s third
goal of the weekend with Bode and junior Erin Ellis assisting.
Cornell kept the lead for the rest of the period and well into the second,
consistently creating offensive opportunities. A shot from sophomore
Brianna Jentner almost found its way past Princeton goalie Megan Van
Beusekom, but she stopped it just in time.
After that save, the Red seemed to lose the momentum, falling victim to
miscues. Princeton evened the score on the power play at 11:59
when Gretchen Anderson snuck a shot past the Cornell goaltender, junior
Sanya Sandahl. About four minutes later, Tigers forward Lisa Rasmussen got
the puck on a breakaway and flicked it into the top right corner of the
net to give Princeton the lead 2-1.
The Tigers had a power play at the start of the third, and they took
advantage, adding another goal 42 seconds in. With 12:11 left in the game,
Princeton added their final goal.
“We didn’t play well in the second and third,” admitted Mullins. “The
physical effort is there but not the mental side doesn’t always help [in
Goaltender Sandahl had a formidable task, as Princeton had 34 shots on goal
compared to the Red’s 19. She had several good stops. Mullins said she went
with Sandahl over Connelly because of the two netminders’ different styles.
“They’re pretty even, but Sanya takes up a little more net,” she said.
According to Mullins, the team plans to use the next week and a half of
practice to the best of its advantage and come back from its winter break
ready to play. The Red still have two-thirds of its games left, most of
them league matches, Mullins pointed out. The team plans to return strong and work towards a spot in the playoffs.
Cornell returns to the ice in competition on Dec. 29 and 30 against Toronto and Niagara, both at Niagara University.
Archived article by Matt James