While much of the Cornell student body enjoyed its break relaxing at home, the women’s hockey team remained hard at work, as it celebrated the new year with a road trip to Minnesota before returning home to resume its conference schedule.
Despite compiling an unattractive 0-3-2 record through its first five games since finals, the Red has played stronger than that mark reveals. Besides playing a pair of tight games at Bemidji State during that stretch, Cornell also showed its improvement within the conference as it gave No. 5 Harvard a hard-fought battle and earned a tie with Colgate to stay a point ahead of the Raiders in the ECACHL standings.
“We were competitive in every game,” said head coach Melody Davidson. “This is what we’ve been working toward all year. We’ve got to be consistent though. We can’t have any lulls.”
Though it was good travel experience for the team, spending the first few days of the new year on the road at Bemidji State was not easy for the Red. Besides being away from friends and family for the holiday, the Cornell squad also had to deal with some lost baggage by the airlines, which included luggage containing much of the team’s sticks.
Nevertheless, using borrowed equipment, the Red still made a strong showing against the Beavers. In the first game, the Red fell in a hole early and ended up facing deficits of 5-1 and 6-2. The Red fought back to cut Bemidji State’s lead to just pair midway through the third period. However, Cornell did not get any closer than that, as it dropped its first game of the year, 6-4.
The back end of the double header against the Beavers started much more fortuitously for the Red, as it jumped to a 2-0 lead. It didn’t last, however, as Bemidji State fought back to end the game in a tie.
“We played pretty well considering the circumstances,” Davidson said. “The officiating is much different in that league than in ours. There is a lot more physical play allowed. It was tough to adjust.”
Returning home to Lynah, Cornell kicked off 2005 with games against Harvard and Brown. In the Friday night game, Cornell fought from behind to give the Crimson, currently in second in the ECAC, a scare as the Red stayed within one goal for much of the third period. However, the team could never get that last goal to tie it up, and eventually dropped the highly competitive contest, 5-3.
“It was definitely one of the best, if not the best game that a Cornell team has played in my two and a half years here,” Davidson said.
The tremendous effort the Red put into its battle against the Crimson came at a toll, as not much was left in the tank for the following night’s game. The fatigued Cornell squad was unable to break onto the scoring sheets with Brown taking the contest by a 4-0 margin. Though extremely pleased with the Red’s play against Harvard, Davidson looked at the Brown game as a learning experience for her up and coming squad.
“We need to learn how to play back to back games competitively,” the coach said.
Hosting Colgate last weekend, Cornell again jumped out to an early lead, but the Raiders tallied the equalizer to pull off the tie in the league matchup.
Archived article by Scott Reich
Sun Staff Writer