The Cornell women’s hockey team took to the road this past weekend to take on ECAC opponents Quinnipiac and Princeton. The Red (6-2-1, 4-2-1 ECAC) came out of the road trip with three points after a tie with the Bobcats and a win over the Tigers.
The Red started strong against No. 8 Quinnipiac. With just under five minutes left to play in the first, the Bobcats earned a power play. However, it was the Red that capitalized, despite being one-man down.
After a shot from senior Hanna Bunton that was deflected off a Bobcats’ player, freshman Kristin O’Neill rebounded the puck, deked the Bobcats goaltender and got the shorthanded goal, O’Neill’s seventh goal overall. The mark ties O’Neill for program record for shorthanded goals in a season.
Quinnipiac came out in the early part of the second period firing, but Red goalkeeper Marlene Boissonnault controlled the early chances. After the Bobcats’ series of shots, freshman Jaime Bourbonnais took the puck and shot it from near blue line, which went by the Bobcats’ goalie to give the Red a 2-0 lead with a little under 16:30 left to play in the second.
Shortly after, sophomore Micah Hart capitalized on the Red’s first power play of the game, putting the Red ahead 3-0.
Bourbonnais credited the team’s energy with helping the Red put up an early lead.
“We knew how important it was to come out strong against Quinnipiac and play a solid team game,” Bourbonnais said. “We had a lot of energy on the bench which really helped us come out to a good start.”
But the lead quickly evaporated, and Quinnipiac scored back-to-back goals in a span of about three minutes.
The Bobcats’ Kate MacKenzie grabbed a rebound and was able to slip it past the Red net at the 14:13 mark of the period, then Melissa Samoskevich got another goal to trim the lead 3-2 heading into the final period. The Bobcats scored its third unanswered goal to open the final period, ultimately resulting in a 3-3 tie.
Bunton said she believes that the Bobcats’ comeback came as a result from the lack of consistency from the Red during the game.
“They were able to put some pucks in the back of the net and we started to change the way we were playing,” Bunton said. “It’s going to be important for us, whether we are up three goals or down three goals, to continue to play the same way.”
Head coach Doug Derraugh ’91 also said he believes the Bobcats were able to capture momentum before heading into the third period.
“We gave up a couple of odd-man rushes against them and then took a penalty,” Derraugh said. “They capitalized on the powerplay and then scored just before the end of the second period. I think that gave them some momentum going into the third.”
The Red came back on Saturday to defeat the Tigers, 2-1, thanks to 38 saves from senior goaltender Paula Voorheis and goals from freshman Grace Graham and sophomore Pippy Gerace.
Just five minutes into the game, Graham scored early for the Red on an assist from Valerie Audet. The goal marked the seventh time this season that the Red scored first in a contest.
Princeton came back to score with 5:29 left in the period to equalize the game at one apiece.
But Cornell was right there to take the lead. With one minute left to play in the second period, Gerace’s backhanded shot went by two Princeton defenders and the goalie to put the Red up 2-1, a goal that would prove to be the game-winner.
Gerace said she believes that Friday’s result helped the Red surge past the Tigers on Saturday.
“Tying a game that was very winnable definitely put some fire in us against Princeton,” Gerace said. “We know that we can play with any team in this league if we play for a full 60 minutes.”
The Red will take a quick break from ECAC play when the squad travels to Madison for a two-game series against Wisconsin during Thanksgiving break.
“We are very happy with the way we played this weekend and how successful we were,” Bourbonnais said. “Now we are focusing on our next couple of games and are very excited to head down to Wisconsin.”