A challenge faces the Big Red women’s ice hockey team (4-9-1 ECAC, 6-10-1 overall) this weekend in Lynah Rink as it matches up against Boston College (1-14-0 ECAC, 5-17-0 overall), the last-place team in the ECAC, and Dartmouth (12-1-1 ECAC, 14-1-1 overall), the first-place team.
The Red will meet a struggling Boston College squad on Saturday at 2 p.m. With only one ECAC victory, the Eagles are hungry for a win this weekend. Their primary offensive threat is junior forward Kelly McManus, who currently leads the team with fifteen points.
Cornell’s 6-0 win against Boston College before intersession may bolster the Red’s confidence level. It is important, however, not to overlook Saturday’s matchup. Although Dartmouth is the big game this weekend, Cornell wants to focus on winning the games that the team is expected to win.
“We’ve been focusing on our own game, not on Dartmouth. Dartmouth will definitely be a challenge, and we know it’s going to be hard, but we need to win the games that we haven’t been winning,” said senior forward Erica Olson commenting on her team’s focus for the weekend.
Currently sitting on top of college hockey polls, Dartmouth will pose a significantly greater challenge to the Red on Sunday at the same time. The Green has nine players that have scored over eleven points this season. Sophomore forward Carly Haggard leads the pack with 21 points. Close behind with twenty points is Corenne Bredin, the younger sister of former Big Red standout, Collette Bredin ’00.
Although the Red lost to Dartmouth earlier in the season by a 9-3 margin, the team is sure of its progress over the past months and the players are ready for a different match this time around.
“Since [the last game], we’ve definitely improved,” Olson added. “I think we’re playing more like a team and we have a lot more consistency. Our lines have changed around a bit and we’re really starting to come together, so we’re playing a lot differently than we did in the beginning of the season.”
Although the Red is missing a few important heads, with sophomore goalie Liz Connelly out for the season and senior co-captain Dani Bilodeau sidelined with concussions, the team has learned to cope without these crucial players on the ice.
“It hurts not to have Liz’s talent, but [sophomore] Sanya [Sandahl] has been playing amazingly and it hurts not to have Dani, in terms of depth, but we have accepted the fact that we have to play without her. We’ve changed our style around [Sandahl], and we should be fine but it will be nice to have Dani around next weekend,” Olson said of her missing teammates.
Hoping to improve on defense this weekend, the Red has been focusing on its defensive zone coverage this week in practice. The team is optimistic about picking up four points and an upset this weekend.
“We’ve had trouble in the past couple of games, but if we can communicate well and do our individual jobs on defense, then we’ll be fine,” Olson said.
Archived article by Kelli Larsen