As the season winds down for the Cornell women’s hockey team, the Red hosts two ECAC foes Union and RPI at Lynah this weekend before taking the road for the final time in the regular season.
Cornell (14-6-3, 10-3-3 ECAC) already faced both of these teams back in October during its first road trip of the year. When the team travelled to Troy for a matchup with RPI (9-17-2, 6-9-1), the Red mustered twice as many shots, outshooting the Engineers 41-20. However, goaltender Lovisa Selander recorded 41 saves and shutout Cornell to win it for the Engineers, 1-0.
However the Red bounced back the next day when it traveled to Schenectady to take on Union (4-23-1, 1-14-1). Cornell once again held a large shooting advantage at the final buzzer, outshooting the Dutchwomen 44-14, but this time, the Red came out on top with a 3-1 victory. The goals came from sophomore Lenka Serdar, freshman Kristin O’Neill and senior Kaitlin Doering.
The Red currently sits in third place in the ECAC, four points back from second-place St. Lawrence and six points behind conference-leader Clarkson. Meanwhile, RPI sits in the bottom half of the conference standings, and Union is mired in last.
Nevertheless, the Red still respects both teams, calling them “very competitive,” and acknowledging that each team is “playing very well right now.”
Historically, both teams have also been tough matchups for Cornell. RPI has won the past three games against the Red, and Union managed a tie at Lynah last season.
“Both Union and RPI play a very disciplined team game, and it is very hard to generate quality scoring chances,” said head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. “They have played very well against us both at home and on the road, so we know we will have another tough weekend.”
O’Neill echoed these sentiments, saying that the team’s game plan does not change “no matter what place they are in the standings.”
“Our team always knows we have to be at the top of our game to be able to beat anyone in our league,” the forward said. “We must not overlook the placing of these teams because they will be very tough competitors no matter what.”
Derraugh, O’Neill and senior forward Hanna Bunton all agreed that the Red must play a solid team game and stay disciplined in order to come away from the weekend with four points.
“Staying together and working as a team plays a big part of our team’s success,” O’Neill said. “Using our team strengths — speed and defense, as well grit — will enable us to be tough competitors against RPI and Union this coming weekend.”
Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday night against Union and 3 p.m. the following afternoon versus Rensselaer.