The women’s ice hockey team struggled in playing with a lead this weekend as it lost two close games on the road against Wayne State in Detroit, Mich.
On Friday night, the Red (1-4-1, 1-1-0 ECACHL) lost a heartbreaking 4-3 decision and on Saturday afternoon, Wayne State (3-5-0, 0-0-0 CHA) overcame another early Cornell lead to win, 3-2.
“I think our effort was there, but we need to come together … and play Cornell women’s ice hockey,” said senior captain Caroline Scott. “This is one of the hardest working teams in the league. [This past weekend] was a bit of a challenge because it was our first road trip, but we always step up to those kinds of challenges and that is not an excuse that we are going to make.”
[img_assist|nid=19630|title=Rocky road|desc=Junior Brittany Forgues (6) had an assist in each game the women’s ice hockey team played against Wayne State this past weekend. The Red dropped two game on the road to the Warriors.|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=76]
Cornell started off strong on Friday, scoring the first two goals of the contest. Junior forward Brianne Schmidt scored three minutes into the game on a pass from junior Brittany Forgues. Sophomore defender Steph Ulrich put the Red up 2-0 one period later when she scored the first goal of her collegiate career. However, Wayne State came back to tie the game after two goals off the stick of sophomore forward Melissa Boal. Cornell retook the lead five minutes later when sophomore forward Emma Chipman scored off a rebound from Warrior goalie Tiffany Thompson. Once again though, Wayne State tied the game when freshman defender Chelsea Burnett scored on a power play, setting up Wayne State’s Sam Poynton’s late-game heroics.
With the score tied at three, Poynton lifted a shot glove-side past senior goalie Beth Baronick for the game winner with only 20 seconds remaining in regulation. It was Poynton’s first goal of the year after notching 29 last season.
After the Warriors took the lead, Cornell pulled Baronick to gain an extra skater but was unable to score.
On Saturday, Cornell took another early lead when Schmidt scored her second goal of the weekend seven minutes into the first period. Despite the early lead, Wayne State came back to tie the game on a power play goal by sophomore forward Lindsay DiPietro. Five minutes later, the Warriors took the lead when Burnett scored her second goal in two games. Cornell answered right back as junior forward Miranda Callaghan beat Thompson for her second goal of the season. The 2-2 score was shortlived however, as Wayne State junior forward Ashley King took a rebound and shot the puck past Cornell freshman goalie Jenny Niesluchowski, giving the Warriors a lead that it would not relinquish. Niesluchowski made 36 saves in her first career start.
“Before the weekend, I thought about giving Jenny a chance, but actually Beth Baronick was suffering from a concussion after the first game,” said Cornell head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. “I had to make a decision between [Niesluchowski] and Sarah [McConnachie], and I decided to put Jenny in.”
Throughout the series, Wayne State dominated on special teams. Over the two games, Cornell scored once in nine power play chances. The Warriors, on the other hand, scored five times on 11 chances.
“We have been trying to work on our special teams a lot over the last few weeks,” Derraugh said. “[Wayne State] had a couple of players who were very dangerous on the power play and we had a couple of 5-on-3s that we had to kill. They capitalized on their opportunities and we did not. That turned out to be the difference.”