The women’s hockey team opened its regular season last weekend on the right foot, taking on Vermont two nights in a row and coming out of each game with a win — 7-1 on Friday night and a 5-1 Saturday evening.
In the first of these back-to-back away games, the Red, (2-0-0), took advantage of power play opportunities from the beginning of the game to propel itself into an early lead and 7-1 win over Vermont, (2-4-0, 0-2 America East). Six of the team’s seven goals were scored in power play situations, as the Red went 6-for-15 on power play opportunities while holding the Catamounts to 0-for-12. [img_assist|nid=33061|title=Knuckle puck|desc=Sophomore Rebecca Johnston (16) is leading the nation with four points per game on the young season after her eight-point weekend.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Just over five minutes into the first period, junior forward Stephanie Holmes scored on assists from sophomore forward Rebecca Johnston and freshman defender Amanda Young. A second power play goal came about 10 minutes later. This time Johnston scored a goal of her own on a helper from Young.
Retaining its early lead, the Red was strong again in the second period, tallying three more goals. Nine minutes in, junior forward Liz Zorn scored with assists from sophomore forward Karlee Overguard and freshman defender Jess Martino. Freshman forward Catherine White then contributed to the Red’s lead, making her first collegiate goal with help from Holmes and Jonhston. Junior forward Laura Danforth then brought the Red to a 5-0 advantage, netting her goal with under a minute left to go in the second period.
Two minutes into the third period, sophomore defender Sam Wauer scored on assists from Johnston and Young. This time, Vermont answered back with its first goal of the game, scored by freshman defender Shannon Bellefeuille and assisted by sophomore forward Molly Morrison and freshman forward Chelsea Rapin.
Zorn made her second goal of the game, assisted by Martino and White, to bring the final score to 7-1.
Junior Jenny Niesluchowski was a major asset to the Red in goal, tallying 30 saves in the contest while allowing only one goal.
When the two teams returned to the ice the following day, the Red put its previous win temporarily out of the picture in order to approach the game with more focus.
“We definitely try to approach each day as a different game entirely and come in with the same momentum each day,” said sophomore defender Amber Moore.
About halfway through the first period, Vermont was down two players due to penalties, giving the Red an advantage on the ice. Zorn buried a power play goal assisted by sophomore defender Amber Moore and Danforth.
The Red upped its lead dramatically in the second period, tallying three more goals and putting the game largely out of reach. Cornell registered 12 shots on goal compared to the Catamounts’ four. Three minutes into the period, Johnston scored with Young and White setting up the play. The Red’s next two goals were both scored by White, who was assisted by Johnston on her first goal and by both Johnston and Holmes on her second.
In the third period, the Red scored an insurance goal to further solidify its lead when Holmes scored. Vermont made its only goal of the match with less than five minutes to go in the contest. The Catamounts took advantage man-advantage and freshman forward Erin Barley-Maloney notched Vermont’s second goal of the weekend.
Sophomore Kayla Strong won her first game of the season in goal, making 17 saves in the contest.
“Vermont came out more prepared in this game because they knew what they had to do to try and beat us, but we just came out on top,” said freshman Catherine White.
Though the season is still young, the Red has already shown that it is prepared to be persistent and take advantage of scoring opportunities that come its way.
“Our team is definitely coming along well,” said White. “We’ve been working hard and basically with Vermont we just kept working and gave it our all, and that resulted in our big win.”
The players thought these two overwhelming victories showed the Red’s true talent — talented scorers, solid goalkeepers and much promise for the rest of the season.
“It was exciting because we got to see the potential of how good our team could be this year, and we definitely don’t have a problem scoring goals on power play,” said Moore.