Last weekend it was the ECAC regular season crown, this weekend it was the Ivy League title. The women’s hockey team won in an 8-0 rout of visiting Brown (2-21-3, 1-15-3 ECAC Hockey) on Friday night and easily handled Yale (7-16-3, 6-11-2) in another blowout, 7-1, on Saturday to capture the Ivy League crown for the second year in a row on Senior Day. The win over the Bulldogs marked the first time since 1979-80 and 1980-81 that the Red (25-1-1, 19-0-1) has won consecutive Ivy titles.
“It was definitely a special moment for us,” said junior forward Rebecca Johnston, who totaled three goals and four assists on the weekend. “We haven’t done that in like 30 years, so it was a pretty special moment for everyone to be able to contribute and share that history — we’re definitely excited about it.”
On Friday night the Red got off to a fast start when Johnston slipped behind the Bears defense and notched her first of two goals just 40 seconds into the game. The Red never looked back after the score, picking up three goals from freshman forward Brianne Jenner and one apiece from junior forward Catherine White, junior forward Kendice Ogilvie and senior forward Hayley Hughes. Senior goaltender Katie Wilson stopped all eight shots she faced for her second shutout of the season.
On Saturday afternoon it was the Bulldogs who scored first to go up early in the first period, 1-0, but the Red was not deterred, responding with seven unanswered goals in front of the Senior Day crowd to clinch the Ancient Eight crown. White, Jenner and Johnston were joined on the scoring sheet by junior forward Chelsea Karpenko, sophomore defenseman Laura Fortino and freshmen forwards Olivia Cook and Jessica Campbell.
After a weekend in which the Red came from behind twice in order to defeat St. Lawrence and tie Clarkson, this weekend’s resounding victories were much more on par with how Cornell has performed throughout the regular season.
“We’re obviously happy to win by that much, but it’s probably better for our development to play in the close games,” Johnston said. “[In games like this weekend’s] it’s a big test to play a full 60 minutes and to not focus on the scoreboard and not back off at all. I think we did a good job of that this weekend, especially in the [Yale] game.”
While the Red’s remaining two regular season games against Harvard and Dartmouth have little meaning for the playoffs, the team has no intention of lightening up on the gas pedal during its next week of practice. The Crimson and Green rank second and third respectively in the ECAC and are both likely opponents for the Red in the upcoming conference playoffs.
“We’re going to take it just like any other weekend,” Johnston said. “It might not count in the standings but they are definitely an important two games for us. For the playoffs you need the most amount of practice and good competition that you can get before you get there, so we’re going to come out strong and play the way we know how.”