No. 2 Cornell suffered its first conference defeat this past weekend. The Red (9-2, 7-1 ECAC) was able to earn an important overtime win at Dartmouth (4-2-2, 3-2-1 ECAC) on Friday, 2-1; however, the team was unable to complete the weekend sweep, falling 1-3 to No. 7 Harvard (6-1, 6-0 ECAC).
In Friday’s game, Cornell scored the equalizer goal at 5:24 in the second period by freshman forward Taylor Woods from sophomore forward Jillian Saulnier and junior forward Brianne Jenner. The Red sealed the victory 3:38 in the overtime period on a power play goal from Saulnier assisted by senior defenseman Laura Fortino and senior defenseman Lauriane Rougeau.
“Friday night we battled hard during the game,” Rougeau said. “We had to work hard for every battle and it basically was decided by the team that made the first error. We were able to capitalize on the power play, while they were not.”
Cornell was 2-for-6 on the power play with 12 shots, while Dartmouth struggled to capitalize on opportunities on their power play going 0-for-5 with eight shots.
“We were able to anticipate a lot of their passes and plays,” Rougeau said of the Red’s penalty kill. “We studied the tapes during practice and thus were able to put on a lot of pressure.”
Saturday’s game was not expected for the Red, who had won eight straight contests entering play. The 1-3 defeat was Cornell’s first conference loss since last March, which was also a 1-3 defeat, but at the hands of St. Lawrence. The conference road defeat was also the Red’s first of such kind since Jan. 28 of last season — a 5-3 loss at Clarkson.
“The team definitely could have played better,” Rougeau said. “We were not able to win our battles along the boards and were not strong enough on the stick. This week have to practice winning our battles and playing fast paced.”
The women continue their road trip this weekend as they travel to Clarkson (12-2, 6-0 ECAC) and to St. Lawrence (7-6-1, 5-1 ECAC) — both important ECAC games. The Red’s next home game will be Jan. 15 against Syracuse.