The Cornell Women’s Ice Hockey formally begin its 2000-01 season this weekend. Traveling to rival Niagara University, the Red will face the Purple Eagles in two games scheduled for today and tomorrow.
After a strong showing last weekend in a scrimmage against Beatrice Jr. Eros, the Red is ready to play. Cornell was able to have all players, including the three goalkeepers, get playing time in the 5-2 win. This allowed Head Coach Mullins to see all players of her team in a true game situation.
The team’s play impressed Mullins who praised them stating, “they played really well.”
Playing really well will be a prerequisite if the Red hopes to defeat the Eagles. In last year’s match up the Red split the two game match up, wining the first contest 1-0 and dropping the second 0-2.
Leading the way for the Red will be senior co-captains Danielle Bilodeau and Patricia Kemp. Senior Erica Olson will join the team after her run with the soccer team is over.
“The seniors need to lead, to bring along the younger players,” Mullins commented. And lead they shall..
Defensively Kemp will control the back. After notching a goal and four assists last season, Kemp will look to deter all of Niagara’s offensive advances.
As a whole the Red will be looking to play strong man-to-man defense and shut down the Eagles. Mullins believes that if each player contains her mark, Niagara should be unable to post a strong offensive showing.
On the other end of the ice, Bilodeau will be leading the attack. After scoring eight goals and adding 11 assists last season, Bilodeau should be hungry for the net. Joining her will be junior Jenel Bode who with Olson produced 22 points. The Red will be counting on this duo to find the back of the net in order to return home 2-0 this weekend.
In order to accomplish this goal, the offense has one important job. First and foremost, the Red will be looking for good shots and a lot of them. Mullins wants her team to “get the goalie moving and to shoot the puck up and over [her] and to take as many shots as possible.”
Joining the upperclassmen this season are a solid core of four freshmen who should look to add a lot of depth to the team. Classmates Sarah Carter, Briana Jentner, Anita Khar and Allyson Simpson will all look for playing time this season.
“They add a lot to the team, commented Mullins of the freshmen. “It was good to see what they could do [last weekend].”
The Eagles, although a young team with just a three year tenure, placed ninth last year in the ECACs and just missed making the eight team tournament. They come into this weekend’s contests with a 4-0 record notching wins against Findlay and Wayne. In order to win this weekend, the Red will have to shut down a strong backbone of Eagle sophomores .
Guarding the net is the first of the three sophomores, Tania Pinelli. An ECAC All-Rookie team member last year, Pinelli posted a .915 save percentage last year and currently has 21 saves.
Aiding Pinelli is classmate, defender Barbara Prall, who led the team in assists with 14 and penalty minutes with 94 last season. 94 penalty minutes was also a national record.
Rounding out the trio is forward Brooke Bradburn. Offensively the Eagles will be looking to Bradburn, last years leading scorer, to produce enough offensive prowess to overpower the Red.
This weekend’s match up will be very telling for Cornell. This is the only time they will take on Niagara this season, and Niagara is always a foe for the Red’s post season berth.
Mullins is predicting a very physical and tough game. The Red has been working on its own individual physical play to match up with Niagara’s style.
The team is hoping its practice pays off and they return home 2-0, a great start in what looks to be a promising season.
Archived article by Kristen Haunss