The women’s hockey team wrapped up its season over the weekend against St. Lawrence in the ECAC North playoffs.
The sixth seeded Red (9-18-1 overall, 7-8-1 conference) traveled north to Canton, NY to face off against the third ranked Saints.
On Friday night St. Lawrence beat Cornell 4-3 in the first hard fought contest of the three game series. The Red went on to suffer a tough 2-1 overtime defeat Saturday in the second game.
Cornell went into the contest looking to surprise the Saints and come away with an upset for the series. Early on Friday, that looked quite likely, and it remained possible through both of the weekend’s games.
The Red came out of the gates quickly on Friday night, running up a 3-1 lead in the first period.
St. Lawrence put the first point on the board less than a minute into the game with a quick slapper. Cornell answered defiantly under three minutes later when junior defenseman Brooke Bestwick burned the Saint’s defense and flicked in the puck, unassisted, to knot the game at 1-1.
Junior Lindsay Murao put the Red up for the first time with a power play goal at 8:32 in the first period. Senior captain Jenel Bode and Bestwick assisted on the play.
The team scored its final goal of the first with less than two minutes to go in the period when Bode fielded the rebound of a shot from senior captain Erinn Perushek and netted the puck.
In the second period, St. Lawrence tied things up with a couple of power play goals.
The Saints picked up the first at 2:51 in the period to cut the Red lead to 3-2, then made the best of a five on three advantage about ten minutes later. Cornell started out with a power play at 9:48, then lost the advantage with two penalties in 12 seconds scarcely a minute later. The penalties put the Red down by two players for more than a minute, and allowed St. Lawrence to tie the contest with a little more than seven minutes left in the second period.
Cornell couldn’t crack the Saint’s defense in the third. The Red managed only one shot on goal — none in the first 19 minutes of the period — compared to St. Lawrence’s 12. Despite excellent play from Cornell junior goalie Sanya Sandahl, the game-winner found its way through at 8:34.
The Red was outshot by St. Lawrence 42-18 in the game.
On Saturday Cornell came out with an even tougher game than the day before.
The two teams held each other scoreless for the first fourteen minutes of the contest.
For the second day in a row St. Lawrence scored first, putting the puck in on the power play for the advantage late in the first.
In the second, Cornell held strong on defense, keeping all ten of the Saint’s shots out of the net to hold the score at 1-0.
With an even greater sense of urgency, the Red came out shooting in the third period. For the first time over the weekend the Red matched St. Lawrence in shots on goal, with ten apiece. Those shots paid off for Cornell. Sophomore Anita Khar got the puck right off a face off and fired it in, unassisted, to tie the game at one all in the middle of the period.
Both of the defenses locked down to put the game into overtime, when the Saints got the puck out from behind the Cornell net, caught a rebound off junior goalie Liz Connelly’s pad and netted the game winner.
The Saints will play in the ECAC North semifinals next weekend in Dartmouth.
The series defeat sends Cornell home for the season. It marks the end of a remarkable late-season turn-around for the Red. After starting out 2-9-1 in November and December, Cornell earned a 9-8-1 record after December. The Red finished off the regular season in style, with a four game winning streak.
Without exhibition games, the team’s final record stands at 9-18-1 overall. The Red achieved a 7-8-1 conference record.
Archived article by Matt James