The women’s hockey team posted its first win of the season Saturday, defeating the Findlay Oilers 3-0, but couldn’t make it two in a row, falling 2-1 in Sunday’s contest. The weekend split puts the Red at 1-5-0 overall, 0-2-0 ECAC, and brings Findlay to 4-6-0.
The Saturday afternoon win saw the Red put in its first goal of the season, a power play score by junior Lindsay Murao with less than eight seconds to go in the first period. Senior Sarah Olivier and junior Brooke Bestwick earned the assists after Olivier found an open Bestwick for a left-side slapshot that rebounded off Oiler goalie Erin Blair’s pads and found its way onto Murao’s stick for the follow-up score.
The momentum from this initial strike carried into the second period, as the Red dominated play and again found the back of the net. Murao was in on this goal too, earning an assist this time for her dish to senior Jenel Bode, who circled behind the goal and curled one in at 5:26 in the period.
Findlay had several close calls during the remainder of the second, but these breakaways and man-up attacks were thwarted by excellent goaltending by junior Liz Connelly, who had 33 saves in the win and picked up her third career shutout.
Things really heated up in the third period, with nearly every Findlay attack resulting in a pile-up in the Cornell goal. In the game, Findlay had 33 shots to the Red’s 18, 15 of which came in the final period. The offensive intensity of the Oilers was matched by an aggressive Red defense that stopped every attack, and it looked as though the 2-0 score would stand.
With two minutes to go, however, Findlay looked to score by pulling its goalie, a move that resulted in a second score for Bode, who put in the empty-net goal with seven seconds remaining in the game. Murao, who had two goals and an assist on the weekend, cited balanced play as the key to the Red’s first win this season, noting, “All of our lines put in a solid effort–everyone was hustling and doing their job.”
Right from the first drop of the puck, Sunday’s contest saw much more physical and aggressive play from both teams. It looked as though the Red would dominate, however, as Murao once again started off the scoring, finding the back of the net just 30 seconds into the first. Seniors Olivier and Bode picked up the assists on the goal, and the Red looked off to a fine start.
With 41 seconds to go in the first, however, the Oilers got their first score against the Red, a slapshot from the blue line that flew past Connelly’s left shoulder and into the net. Just 2 minutes into the second period, a quick shot that found its way between the legs of Cornell’s netminder put Findlay up for good, 2-1. Connelly, who had 25 saves in the game, kept the Oilers scoreless for the remaining 59:30 of the game, but Cornell’s offense couldn’t tie it up.
The game saw the Oilers take more shots on goal than Cornell once again–27 to the Red’s 21–giving them 21 more opportunities on the weekend. Murao points to this deficit as a significant contributor to the Red’s loss, adding, “A lot of times we use stick handling or try to make the perfect move when we should just take shots and have people rush the net.”
Sunday’s loss was a disappointing one for the Red, who had hoped to see a repeat performance of the prolific offense and solid defense of the day before. Cornell will look to get back to Saturday’s balanced play and its winning ways next weekend when it hits the road for the first time to take on Mercyhurst, in Erie, Penn.
Archived article by Sarah Spain